Ever had one of those days that started in such a way that you wanted to hop back in bed and try it all over again? Well yesterday was that day for me. The entire family was awake at 6 a.m. like usual only my husband left ahead of my son and I. When I picked up my phone to prepare to leave, I noticed I had missed two calls from him and received a text. The text warned me to be careful leaving the flat because there was a cat running loose on our floor. Oh, minor annoyance, I thought. I text my husband back, “thanks for the heads up”, and kept it moving.
My son and I moved to the front of the flat where he danced to the theme song of Doc McStuffins as I packed the diaper bag. Apparently, the cat heard the morning jubilee and decided to sit on my doormat and purr. My 17 month old son, who’s heavy into animal sounds these days, heard the cat calls and decided he’d stand on the opposite side of the door and purr back. Perfect, I thought to myself with an outward eye roll; the cat surely wasn’t going to move on now.
The diaper bag was packed and it was now time to go. I had somewhere to be by 7:30. I go over to the door and ease it open to see if the cat was still there. I opened it just enough to peer out with a single eyeball and YIKES! I jerk my head back and slam the door. Not only was the cat still there, it was focused on the door and ready to charge head first inside as soon as it opened. Forgive me if you are an extreme pet lover but I yelled through the door for the cat to scat. It did not. I peeked out and jerked my head back in about 3 more times trying to get out but my fear was that the cat was better positioned and would get in before I got out. Unbelievable! I’m about 1o minutes into this stand-off with the cat.
I step back to regroup and think. At the same time, I notice another text from my husband. It reads, “Yeah. Be careful. It was on the elevator and stepped off as I was getting on”. “Oh thanks a freakin’ bunch”, I exclaimed. he actually let the cat loose on our floor. Why the heck didn’t he make it ride back down with him or at least get it back into the elevator!?! Oh well, it was my problem at that moment.
I decided to barricade the front door, leaving only enough space for me to get out. That way if the cat did make it pass me, it wouldn’t be able to run free throughout the flat. I slid a box containing an 8 piece LG surround sound system to one side of the door. Thank goodness my husband took his time about installing it. I then grabbed an empty water jug from next to the water dispenser. I put the diaper bag on one shoulder, held my son on the opposite side and carried the jug in a swing-ready position and opened the door. I used the jug as a barrier between us and the cat and slid out between the box and the barely opened door. Once I was successfully out of the flat, I left the water jug beside the door and headed to the elevator. Of course, the cat followed. I pushed the button for the elevator and waited a few seconds. Now how is this gonna work, I thought. I sensed movement and turned my head only to see one of my neighbors jerking her head back into her apartment and closing her cracked door. She’s a peeker. She always peers out at my son and I. On this particular occasion, I thought, “what a coward”. I would have helped her and her son.
The elevator arrives and the doors open. I waited and gave the cat first right of refusal and it refused. The cat, obviously shaken from having been trapped in the elevator earlier, laid down in the hallway. I darted inside and pushed the door close button frantically. The doors closed. Whew…a sigh of relief.
On the way to the car, I looked around for security. Like fate would have it, no one was around. I got my son strapped in and drove to one of the security hang out spots. One of them came to greet me at the door. “Good morning” he said as he held the door open for me. “Good morning”, I replied. The gentleman was tall and dark…about 6’2″ and a native of Africa. He said with a smile, “How can I help you”? I explained that there was a loose cat in my building and with a wide smile he said, “I know. I am going to get it”. I said thank you and proceeded to leave. As I pulled off I wondered how long had he know about the cat. Why hadn’t he gotten already? Would he finish his morning coffee before ridding us of the unwanted visitor?
I arrived at my destination 30 minutes later than I had planned but given the morning I’d just had, I wasn’t mad at all. Neither was my son. He actually had a fantastic time purring and watching the little critter move about. As I look back on the ordeal to write this post, I’m actually tickled. Who else can say that they were trapped in their flat by a cat until they freed themselves wielding a water jug with 40 pounds of baby and diaper bag hanging from their body? LOL