Furry Window Watchers

There’s an aluminum ladder sitting in the back yard, just under the small kitchen window over my stove. It arrived at this location quite a few years ago when one fine spring day my husband and I locked ourselves out of the house. The plan had been to open the window I knew to not be locked, and I, being the smaller of the two of us, would scramble through over the stove and let him into the house. The plan didn’t work, as we couldn’t get the window open, so we ended up breaking in through the laundry room. The ladder remained where we’d placed it, because it was as good a place as any other for it to sit and wait to be needed again. It has also served as a gentle reminder to never leave the house without making sure I have my keys.

Over the years, various and sundry colony cats have perched atop that ladder and peered into our kitchen, as though the activities in my kitchen were a movie or play put on just for them. They’ve watched me cook meals, paint paintings, plan and finish all manner of projects. They’ve also watched the antics of the house cats, and on pleasant days, when I’ve thrown open the windows, information between the two cat worlds has been exchanged. Sometimes, when I’m late to feed the colony, one of them will sing loudly for their supper. So long as there are cats in the window, the ladder will never be removed.

It delights me when Cali Coco or Bonkers is sitting there when I stumble to the kitchen to make the morning coffee or to have a cat watching over my dinner preparations. There have been cats in the kitchen window for so long now, it would feel strange if they weren’t there. A cat sitting on a ladder outside my kitchen window is a fixed object in the scenery of my life, which is why I sometimes merely note a cat being there, without paying too much mind to said cat. This is especially true if the colony cats have already been fed, and their reason for peering into the window isn’t to remind me their bowls are empty, or if I am intently focused on whatever it is that brought me to the kitchen. Tonight, I was deeply focused on kneading dough for a pizza crust when I noticed a cat on the ladder.

It was just a brief glimpse, as I moved to grab more flour to add to the too wet dough. “Brown cat, must be Bonkers,” my brain noted. It wasn’t until I’d finished kneading and stretching the future pizza crust and turned to put it in the oven that I realized the cat was not a cat. It had its back to me, but the fur was all wrong. Too fluffy, and the body was far too round and not at all cat-like. Then it turned to look at me. A cat-sized raccoon! I tapped on the window, hoping it would run away, but instead it pawed at the window glass, as if it had seen the colony cats do just this very thing and be rewarded with full bowls of kibble.

Alas, the trick didn’t work for the raccoon, adorable though he was. He’ll just have to wait until tomorrow night and eat the colony’s leftovers. Perhaps, I’ll put out a bit extra. Eventually, he grew bored of watching me staring back at him and disappeared into the darkness of the yard. I wonder if he’ll come back to watch another kitchen window show? Was I entertaining enough for a repeat visit?

Missing: The Best Dress Ever

I spent much of my day simultaneously playing No Man’s Sky and working on my web site. What I should have spent a bit of time doing today was getting together my outfit for the ballet on Saturday night. The plan … after trying on everything I own and even considering buying something new … was to wear my black Calvin Klein sweater dress, accompanied by whatever accoutrements to fit the season we happen to be having the moment I prepare to walk out the door (maybe summer, maybe winter … anyone’s guess). Well, after goofing off all day, I go to the bedroom to get out the dress, and it where I expected it to be. I resisted the urge to panic. Surely, I just put it in another drawer.

Every drawer was opened. Each piece of clothing was touched (more than once). Still no dress. Panic began creeping in around the edges. It’s my favorite dress. Ever. It’s the only dress I have ever happily worn without complaint. I love my Calvin Klein sweater dress! It can be dressed up or down and is perfect for every cold weather occasion! What will I wear if I can’t find it? I carefully searched all the drawers again. Unsurprisingly, the dress was still not in the chest of drawers.

I gazed upon the closet doors. I’d have had to be out of my mind to hang the dress in the closet. Never hang a sweater dress. They stretch in terrible ways, and they never recover. Don’t ask how I know. It’s a tale of tragic woe. I checked the closet anyway, and thankfully, I hadn’t had a moment of total insanity and hung my favorite dress on a hanger. All the same, still no sweater dress. Panic was doing more than creeping in at this point.

I’d now spent well over an hour digging through all my clothing (I even checked the linen drawers), and not only had I not found the dress, I had no idea what I might have done with it. I flopped on the bed and stared at the ceiling. What the hell would I wear to the ballet? Was I doomed to either wearing something I don’t actually like … or spending tomorrow frantically digging through my fabric stash and sewing something new? Neither option seemed acceptable.

The husband arrived home from work. I set upon him as soon as he opened the front door and explained my dire crisis. He suggested we go buy a new dress on Saturday. As if I can just walk into any store and find something that actually fits me and that I like well enough to pay money to own! I’ve been shopping for new clothing for months and have found nothing! I shambled back to the bedroom and rustled through the drawers some more, as if my sweater dress might magically appear out of thin air. It did not.

As I prepared to try on all possible outfits again, resigned to the fate of having to wear something I’d already decided I didn’t want to wear, I noticed the lingerie chest and had a thought. Did I put my favorite dress of all time in one of those drawers? Doubtful. I mean, why would I? That’d be a silly place to keep it. I decided to check anyway. Might as well be thorough.

Top drawer … hand knit winter hats and gloves. No dress.

Second drawer … hand knit scarves and socks. No dress.

Third drawer … silk scarves and fancy belts. No dress.

Fourth drawer … something wrapped in tissue paper. What the actual hell? I pull back the top layer of paper, and there … carefully folded with a little lavender potpourri packet on top … was my Calvin Klein sweater dress! Date night was saved! I could go to the ballet, be comfy, and have fun! I might even look moderately stylish and put together!

Now all I have to do is wait to see what the weather decides to do Saturday night, so I can pick appropriate hosiery and shoes. I’m sorta hoping it’s cold enough to warrant black tights and my black boots, but it’s been in the 70s at night all week, so maybe not. May even be too warm for a sweater dress, but I’m wearing it no matter what. It truly is the best dress ever, and I’ll be returning it to its special drawer where it will wait patiently, wrapped in tissue paper with a little lavender potpourri packet on top, until the next time I don’t know what to wear to a social event.

Hopefully, I don’t forget I put it there next time I need it!