Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cat Overboard!

We'd swum in the pool (us, not the cat--he can't swim), the French doors were open and the sunlight lingered well past 7:30 PM. 
"What a perfect spring evening," I said wearing dry clothes again and sliding into the sofa. "Nothing can shatter this moment." Mr. Wonderful nodded putting his arm around my shoulders.
Nooo, my interior voice whimpered.

"What was that?" I said but the room was empty for my spouse had sprinted to the backyard. I raced after him but the sunlight was just a memory and the residual glow from the sunset didn't provide enough light to see my two noses on my one face. Or was one of those noses Mr. Wonderful's? "That splash," I continued "It sounded like someone threw a brick in our pool."
"It wasn't a brick," Mr. Wonderful said scanning the pool.
"A rock?"  Just then we heard splish-splashing in the dark water.
"A motor-boat?" 
"It's our cat!" Mr.Wonderful said barely audible over the desperate splashing in the water. In the darkness we crouched by the pool trying to determine where Jackson was so we could leap in and save him. He didn't wait. He couldn't wait. Before we could get any closer, Jackson kitty-paddled to the side of the pool, grabbed onto the concrete sides with his claws and pulled himself up to suburban land. He could swim!

Sitting poolside I patted my lap and called to him. But Jackson was done with the great outdoors. If he'd had any energy, he would have whimpered. Exhausted, he beelined for the safety of the house, leaving a ribbon of water in his wake that made me think we should rename our house: "A River Runs Through It". 

From room to room I followed the water trail as wide as the Mississippi River, I grabbed a warm bath towel to dry him off but Jackson was so freaked by his close-encounter with the pool that he kept walking, preventing us from getting near him and transforming my house floors into a massive slip-n-slide. 

He was in shock and pain but--gee--all wet like that he looked so skinny and… funny! I stifled my laughter. This was serious business for him and us. After dripping water in every room of the house he finally succumbed to the dry towels and my hugs. When the towels were wetter than he was, he sat on my lap, licked my hand and fell asleep. 

The spring night returned to the calm promised by its early evening. While the cat and Mr. Wonderful slept, I tossed a question in my brain: Cats hated water, so why would ours spring into it? 

The next morning I found the answer: a lifeless grasshopper floating in the pool. After dinner Jackson must have chased the grasshopper, which escaped the feline by springing into the pool. 

Ahhh, spring! That time of the year when things are hopping and cats are swimming as well as Michael Phelps.

"Hey Jackson," I said over breakfast. "Since you can swim how about you join me in the pool for some laps?" He looked at me and just whimpered.