A cat and a hat

If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that no matter what whirlwind course I’m on, I should never ignore my intuition.
If I’d have kept the womanly art of that skill in check on the weekend, I’d have saved us some dirty work.
When I got up Sunday morning to the usual suspect cat staring in the window at the back door, I took one look at his front paws and turned my back.
I’d just laid new carpet in the hallway and “Mr. Digs-a-lot” wasn’t about to get within 100 feet of it with paws that smacked of black earth from the flower bed.
I put on my ignore cap, closed my eyes, and double-wished “Ozzie” a safe trip to Siberia.
Then I forgot about him and went on with my day, which, like most weekends, included spreading myself thin over the 25 different chores still left on the “things to do before you sell the house” list.
Luckily, I had Pete around to pitch in this time—but, of course, not until after I helped him pick his skeleton up off the floor where it had fallen in pieces when he saw the work order list.
And as I was wiring him back together, I took off my gardening hat, donned my womanly wiles hat, and told him I’d make it worth his while.
It worked.
The three yards of black earth I’d ordered for my flower beds was muscled in by wheelbarrow lickety split. Both wearing our gardening hats, we worked together like peas in a pod.
I thought about the whereabouts of the cat once during the all-consuming drive to get the job done—when I covered up a hole he must have dug to Siberia that led from the flower bed under the deck.
It wasn’t until the next day, when Daughter #3 was tipping the scales of frantic because the cat had been missing for 24 hours, did we realize he was still under there.
It was a funny video moment as Daughter #3 dug a hole deep into the flower bed and coaxed him out with the last can of sardines (personally, I think “Ozzie” planned the whole thing on purpose to get back at me for not letting him in the house).
Meanwhile, as another night fell, I reminded Pete that I still intended to make good on my “work for play” deal that I’d offered him.
I don’t think I’d even got the words out of my mouth before he made a bee line for the bedroom.
I’m not sure if it was the sight of me in my nightie after a long two weeks away at work, or a hiccup brought on by anticipation of the moment.
Whatever it was, he stumbled over himself and backed into the carbon monoxide detector plugged into a wall socket on his side of the bed, and tripped off the alarm loud enough to wake the dead.
But that wasn’t the worst of it.
At first, he didn’t know what happened and I neither did I. I thought perhaps when he walked by the thing (having consumed a large quantity of jalapeno peppers with his pizza earlier) that a gust of wind had set it off.
When Pete said “It wasn’t me,” I immediately presumed we all were at the doorstep of suffocation. I put passion on the back burner, traded my night cap for my fireman’s hat, and started looking for the source.
It took a few moments to figure out that the real emergency was how to get back to where we were before all the ruckus.
Needless to say, that was a whole lot of fun.

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