Posted by: jane770 | June 18, 2011

tails from Monterey Bay

It was a hectic day at the house on the corner. There was a massive remodeling project in process. Windows were being removed and enlarged to expedite a view of Monterey Bay; cabinets were replacing the wall between the dining area and kitchen. New appliances were sitting covered in the carport, awaiting installation; a behemoth of a dumpster loomed in the driveway, gobbling unwanted debris…

Becky, the mistress of the home, supervised carefully to insure that things would be done to her liking, Sean, just went to work or buried his nose in a newspaper. The animals were distraught and puzzled, Shy Ann and Daphne got as far away from the activity as possible, the cats seemed oblivious to the entire thing, but stayed out of sight until it was time for their repast.

The day was over; Becky prepared dinner on makeshift appliances. The workmen had long since departed and the family settled down for the evening. Suddenly there was a shriek, “Sean, Sean, come here! The master of the house hurried to the kitchen. They listened “meow, meow”, came from behind the wall, which had been installed and primed that day…”MEAOW!!” The Flavins looked at each other. “Oh, my”, cried Becky, “the cat is walled up, Sean, we must get him out”

This project was, obviously, beyond the abilities of the owners and the only solution was to call the contractor. The call was made, there was much discussion and unhappiness demonstrated by the man who really had no interest in driving over at 10:00 PM. “Mr. Flavin, this will be very expensive, time and a half, you know”, Sean blanched “It doesn’t matter what it costs.” said Becky. “He can’t stay in there overnight, he might suffocate”.

The contractor arrived in a less than happy mood. Wielding a large mallet he started breaking down the wall, first a small hole, then larger and larger, down to the studs. No feline appeared, but, from time to time, the plaintive cries were heard. “Sorry, Mrs. Flavin, there is really nothing more I can do; I’ll see you in the morning”. He drove away, looking forward to his comfortable bed.

The Flavins continued to worry and tossed most of the night. Becky would arise from time to time and flash a light into the gigantic hole in the new kitchen, no cat and, now, not even a sound. “Oh, my, I wonder if he is dead. What if a piece of wood fell on him” “Don’t worry, dear” comforted her husband, “I am sure he is all right” Becky moaned, “How can he be all right?”

It was a long night. That morning all of the workmen arrived on schedule, the dogs hid, the remaining cat visited the neighbors, and Sean went to work. Heartbroken, Becky went downstairs and consoled herself by tending to plants. Suddenly she looked over at the house. Out from the crawl space came the missing kitty, he stretched, smiled and sauntered over to rub against her leg, he hadn’t enjoyed being under the house but a tasty mouse assuaged his ire and he went to sleep on a pile of leaves. Being practical the Flavins tried to think of a way to minimize the damage to their kitchen, but, after much pondering, the wall was replaced and life went on in the neighborhood…


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