Late Sunday night, as I was doing laundry, I heard yowling, crashing and off-key screeching. I assumed Bionic Kitty finally got electrocuted after months of chewing on power cords. Even so, I didn’t rush to the next room to check on her. That cat has made a Feline Pact With the Devil and I knew she would be fine, despite a little frying. The ruckus continued, but I just rolled my eyes and continued folding. Just as I was about to go investigate, Bionic Kitty sauntered in the room. She looked at me, tossed her head and meowed. It was all very, “See, it wasn’t me this time.” Uh oh. I rushed to the living room. There was Number Two, oddly attached to a Whole Foods bag, flying by at Warp Speed.
Best I can figure, at some point in the evening, Number Two jumped onto the kitchen counter where I had left the empty paper bag. In some strange act of cat physics, she apparently got her neck caught in the handle and could not get unstuck. I think this is about where fight or flight kicked in. When I found her, Number Two was at full tilt, handle firmly around her neck, the Whole Foods bag open across her back. The panicked-cat sprinting made the bag catch air, pull on her neck, and further scaring the living bejesus out of her.
At this point, I figured I had two options: chase Number Two around the kitchen/living room/entrance way loop or stay where I was and catch her on the return. I opted to wait. About two seconds later, Number Two and the bag whizzed by. I reached down to grab her, but missed. OK, try again. I crouched down, arms spread. She tore past and I got nothin’ but air. After the third fail, I knew it was time to fall back on the chasing option. Number Two hurtled around the bend and I took off behind her. But by now, she was at unprecedented levels of cat hysteria and was moving too erratically me to catch. A few laps later, I realized my best bet was to try and herd her to the bedroom. If I could trap her in a confined space, I reasoned I could catch her and get the bag off her neck.
Despite my efforts, Number Two would not stop running the kitchen/living room/entrance way loop. In desperation I decided to block the doorway to the kitchen. Effectively, it would break the circle she was running and I hopped she would head to the bedroom. The key was to find something long enough to close the extended opening and high enough so Number Two wouldn’t try to jump it. I looked around. Hello, coffee table. In a flash, I had it cleared, flipped and in position. It worked like a dream. Number Two approached, spotted the obstruction and rerouted straight under the bed.
For half an hour, I tried and tried to get Number out. But little cat, queen sized bed, no can reachie. Plus, with limited storage space in my apartment, under the bed is fully utilized. It’s a warren of plastic containers, Space Bags, and junk. You know those cheap games they sell at Cracker Barrel? The ones where you move the squares around the little plastic frame to make a picture and one piece is missing so you can shove all the other parts around? Well, those are my car ride nemesis. And this was just like those games, but worse. I’d move something, trying to force Number Two into arm’s reach, but she’d scramble somewhere else into the hodge podge. So, I’d shift something else. And on and on. As time passed and I still didn’t have Number Two, I became convinced the bastard child of Einstein and Stretch Armstrong couldn’t get her out this way. It was time for a Masterly Plan.
Eventually my Inner Thinker decided to rearrange my under-bed-junk to enclose Number Two and then remove the mattress. If she tried to escape, I hoped it would be up and straight into my arms. Even if she bypassed me, with the bedroom and closet doors closed, Number Two’s hiding spaces would be limited. Still, I was a bit nervous about the mauling I knew was coming my way. Cat Anger means spitting, teeth, and claws. Not a problem with Bionic Kitty. She’s declawed. But Number Two is a Hemmingway Cat. With her funky paw bone structure, the vet couldn’t declaw her. So, not only was I dealing with lethal cat claws, but Number Two’s got extra ones. Pleasant.
Well, the plan worked. Pretty much. Step one: I got Number Two was boxed in. Sure, this lead to yet more Cat Anger but what could I do? Step two: I wrestled the mattress off. Step three: box springs. But the Number Two’s not stupid. She knew what was coming. The minute an opening appeared above her, Number Two sprang. And I was ready. Thick sweatshirt and four shirts to prevent chest mauling? Yup. Oven mitts for hand protection? On. I grabbed Number Two and attempted to remove the Whole Foods bag from around her neck, but she was squirming, spitting and scratching everything in sight. While the oven mitts were necessary, they hampered my dexterity. I couldn’t get the handle untangled from her neck with them on. Wrestling Number Two was increasingly difficult, so I decided to take one for the team. I removed an oven mitt, braving the claws. I was yanking the handle off her neck when Number Two reached her breaking point. Cat urine. Ev. Re. Where.
Two days of keeping the bedroom balcony door open and four bottles of carpet cleaner, my room still stinks of cat urine. I’ve done eight loads of laundry trying to remove the smell from everything that got wet. And I think I’m going to have to replace my mattress. Initially, I thought it wasn’t hit, but now I’m not so sure. The best part of the entire story is last night, when I got home, I found some devious cat had gotten another Whole Foods Bag from my stash between the fridge and the wall. And of course, Number Two was sniffing around the handle.