Mr.Q was out late last night at a show. I managed to stay up until 10:00...TEN O'CLOCK! Oh my word! I snuggled down under the covers, looking forward to a bit of reading and a bit of a sleep-in. (I didn't have to do anything for prep before class today, so I could leave a half-hour later...bliss!) I read for about half-an-hour, and started dozing off. I turned off the lamp and slipped into Neverland....
Only to be rudely awakened by a catfight. A very vigorous catfight. One that didn't quit after the first quick round of "Who's Alpha Cat Today?" One that was followed by a lot of thrashing around, and some ominous growls. WTF?
I got out of bed and looked for the cats. Two were in the hallway, looking toward the laundry room - with the cat door - in decidedly hostile and defensive poses. I ran down the hall, through something wet, and turned the laundry room light on. A small grey blur leapt for the window, missed, and came screeching by me, only to be met by the cats on guard in the hallway. Another tussle ensued, followed by frantic racing around the house.
A stray (or lost kitty) had gotten in through the cat window, and was so terrorized by my territorial companions that it couldn't get out. (That, and Singe-cat was blocking the window.) Some futile chasing of the intruder ensued. I realized that the wet stuff on the floor, which was now being tracked all around the house, was evidence that someone had literally had the piss scared out of them.
The cat got behind the dryer...and then behind the tarp closing up the hole in the wall (where the water has been coming in)....which goes under the tub in the bathroom. He got into the space under the tub - all the way back, and too cramped for a human to follow. Fuck!
I pulled the washer and dryer out, and blocked his access to further areas behind the wall. I found a lone tin of salmon in the cupboard, and drained some of the juice into a dish, which I placed near the front of the gaping hole in the wall. I closed the door and waited. I dug out the cat carrier and put a towel in it, and positioned it by the laundry room door.
I went back, quietly and slowly. He was halfway toward the front of the hole. I left and waited. I went back, quietly and slowly. He had his nose out from behind the wall. I sat down, extended my fingers, talked to him quietly. I coaxed his head out, scratched his ears. I finally got him by the scruff of the neck, and got him into the cat carrier (with nary a scratch, thank you very much!). I put the tarp up tightly, moved the washer and dryer back against the wall, and blocked up any possible entrances.
I realized I had left the dish of salmon juice under the tub. I moved the washer and dryer, took down the tarp, retrieved the dish. Then I put it all back together again. I put the cat-in-carrier into the Magic Room, brought him some food and water. Then I got dressed and went for a walk: I had seen "missing cat" posters up all over the place a few days ago, and this beastie met the description.
I walked up and down for about half an hour. There were no posters anymore. It was almost midnight, and I had a stray cat in a cage in my apartment, and three very cheesed-off resident felines. I went home, checked on him (he was very affectionate, and had downed all the food).
Then I washed the cat pee off my feet. Then I went to bed. When Mr.Q came in at 1:30, I had him take the cat outside and let him out half-way down the block...hopefully far enough away to discourage a return, but close enough that he wouldn't be lost. Then I laid awake listening for the cat door all night.
Then I worried all day at work that I would come home to find the house in shreds and this strange cat under the tub again.
It wasn't, and he wasn't. I am very tired. I am having a glass of very, very good tequila.