A cat mystery – first published on 30 July 2012

She looks so innocent doesn't she?
She looks so innocent doesn’t she?

It’s been a tough job slowly looking through the posts from my, now defunct, Fatgirlslimblog, deciding what to keep and what to discard. It feels a little like spring cleaning with a big pile of junk and a smaller pile of things to keep. Sometimes it’s hard to decide which pile to put things in. The following post is one I knew was a keeper from the outset though.

Back at the end of July there was a lot going on in my life. The job I hated at Mad House was coming to and end. After the announcement in March that the whole office was closing down we’d all been on a roller coaster journey of fear and job interviews. As one of the lucky ones who’d actually managed to secure a new job straight away, and a good one at that, I didn’t have worries about what I was going to do next but I did have fears. I also had a bit of a cat mystery going on that was causing me sleepless nights.

30 July 2012

I now have only four working days left at Mad House. It feels a bit strange and not a little frightening. Perhaps I have Stockholm syndrome and I’ve become institutionalised to the Mad House way of life. After spending so long hating the job I’m now strangely afraid to leave. It’s going to be sad to walk away from all my friends there for sure but it’s also quite worrying starting somewhere new. What will the people be like? Will I be able to do the job? That kind of thing.

Something else is keeping me awake at night though. We have a bit of a mystery going on in our household at the moment. It’s a mystery in cat form to be exact. A small black and white cat, named Fluffy by Commando Junior, seems to have adopted us. We think she lives with the family next door, the ones who conduct all their family arguments out on the street and who we therefore know far more about than we’d like. We don’t actually see them much or know them very well we just know what they row about and that they seem to be demolishing their house slowly over time by way of DIY ‘improvements.’

Whenever we open the French windows in the gym the cat comes in and makes herself at home. We don’t mind all that much as she’s a friendly cat but we try to make sure we don’t leave the inside door open as we don’t really want her roaming round the rest of the house. We also don’t want to start a war with the neighbours because they think we’ve stolen their cat, apart from anything they’re quite scary.

Last night we’d checked the cat wasn’t in the gym and shut the doors before Commando and I went into the living room to catch up on some Sky+. Commando Junior was still in the gym practicing his guitar with his headphones on. All of a sudden we could hear miaowing coming from the hallway. Puzzled, Commando went out to investigate and found Fluffy out in the hall miaowing at the closed gym door to be let in. He picked up the cat, put her outside and locked the French windows in the gym for a second time.

At that point we thought we must have left the internal door open and, at some point, Fluffy had sneaked through it unnoticed and had been hiding somewhere in the house. We made a note to ourselves to be more careful in future and settled back to an episode of House. A little while later we heard the tell tale miaowing again. We looked at each other, not quite believing we’d heard it, but sure enough there was Fluffy again in the hall crying to be let into the gym to play with Commando Junior. Once again we put the cat out. This time we were sure we hadn’t left her somewhere in the house and we were sure we’d shut and locked the door. How on earth had she got in?

We were still going through the various possibilities when we heard her in the hall again. For the third time we put her outside and then did a survey of the house for ways she could be getting in. All the outside doors were shut and locked. All the windows downstairs were shut and locked. There were two possibilities, either the cat could walk through walls or she was somehow getting into the only open window in the whole house, the upstairs bathroom window. Quite how is another mystery.

How did she get up there?
How did she get up there?

The gym is a single story extension to the house and part of the roof is below the bathroom window. It’s a long way from the ground to the roof though and even further from the roof to the bathroom window. Even if Fluffy somehow managed to leap from the ground, the gate at the side of the house, or the tree in the front garden (which is not that near the roof), and then from the roof to the bathroom windowsill, the window only opens at the top and it’s a big stretch for a little cat, perched precariously on a window ledge, to get high enough to get through it. It’s also difficult to imagine Fluffy jumping down from the window and not disturbing any of the things on the sill which is quite crowded with dishes of soap, shower gels, sponges and the like (maybe that’s why they’re called cat burglars). Even so we shut the bathroom window and, so far, we have had no more cat invasions. Personally I still think she’s a supernatural cat and can walk through walls.

I think she's laughing at us
I think she’s laughing at us

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Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

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