I have five cats and although I love them dearly, sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t get some kind of bigger pets instead. Usually the five of them are a joy to have around, but every now and again, they would test the patience of Mother Theresa.
Just the other day I was doing a headcount before leaving for work and I was missing one, 12 week old Gabriel. I looked in all the usual places: on my bed, on the dining room chairs, in the laundry basket, but I couldn’t find him.
“Gabriel!” I called. “Gabriel, where are you?” No reply, not that I expected any.
I went around the apartment again and again, lifting blankets, kneeling to look under lounge chairs, peering behind curtains, but no sign of Gabriel.
Now I was getting worried. Where was he?
Stomping around the apartment like a tank on a mission, I started looking in some of the unusual places: the washing machine, the dryer, inside cabinets, I even opened drawers. Nothing, the little one seemed to have gone up in smoke.
“Gabriel!” I called a little louder and a little more frantic. “Where are you?” Where could he be?
With a wild pounding heart I ran around the apartment, shedding my coat as I went along. “Little bugger,” I mumbled, “I’m gonna tie a bell around your neck when I find you.”
Precious seconds were ticking away. I was gonna be late for work, but I couldn’t, I wouldn’t leave, until I found little Gabriel.
In my search I came across Charlie and Chanel, lifting their heads to see what all the commotion was about. “You could get up and help me look you know,” I chastised them. One after the other yawned, they clearly were not interested.
Then it hit me, the balcony. Oh gosh, Gabriel wouldn’t have slipped out onto the balcony, would he?
In my haste to get there I nearly tripped over Mickey and Charlotte, who were chasing after a ping pong ball. I managed to stay vertical, but I did hit my knee against the coffee table. Grrr, cats.
I did not pay attention to any pain though. The balcony was on my mind and the thought of a possible catastrophe loomed large. We live eleven floors up and none of the cats are allowed there unsupervised. The older cats are smart enough not to do anything stupid, but Gabriel is too young to know the dangers of height and gravity.
The balcony was empty though and when I looked down over the ledge onto the grass, all was well there too. I sighed in relief. Then frustration set in again. That little dickens! Where was he?
“Gabriel! Gabriel!” My voice pleaded.
At that moment I heard something crashing in the bathroom. Oh no, was something broken? I really didn’t have the time to clean up a mess right now. As I rushed to the bathroom, Mickey came flying out of there with a guilty look on his cat face. “Mick, what have you done now?”
What he had done was intentionally, or unintentionally led me to Gabriel’s hiding place. There in the sink the little cup cake was, curled up in a ball, without a care in the world.
“Meow,” he peeped sweetly when seeing me. Yeah, right back at you Gabriel, I thought, brushing another grey hair off my face. Oooh, I sighed with relief. The crisis was over.
Perhaps for my peace of mind, physical well being, and to maintain my hair color, I should get an elephant or two.