Stairway to Adventures!
*whispers* we wrote this story months ago but it went missing … *scratching ears* #PhantomStoryThief
Do you remember I wrote about huMum telling me on our first day together that my Uncle would build steps to help me climb our 9 foot fence? It took him ages to get it done as he always had other chores to do for huMum and I had proved to them that I was very capable of scaling the fence without their help.
About 10 days after arriving at my forever home, I gave huMum a big heartache when I went out to explore my new neighbourhood. I left at 7:00 am, just after breakfast, and didn’t return until 8:00 pm! Please don’t tell huMum that I have admitted to being just a tad lost. I could hear her calling me but I kept being distracted by all the birds, finding possum nests, watching the kids play Aussie rules football in the park and, best of all, climbing a tree and teasing the dog in a garden about half a kilometre away, plus locating some really great places for cat naps. Eventually, as I was so hungry, I had to go home and, I must admit, it was a great relief to see our roof from my perch in yet another tree. Talk about a fuss when I pushed through my cat-flap and miaowed “I’m home!” HuMum didn’t know whether to cry and cuddle or be stern and lecture. It ended up being a mixture. It also was my first time on the naughty chair, but that is another story.
I did learn a big lesson, huMum was happy for me to explore but if I heard her call “Jessie” then I knew it was time to go home. We made a pact that I’d never worry her like that again!
I also learned that she was not too impressed with me sitting on the roof of our neighbour’s house and this confused me as she was happy for me to sit on our roof. So what if their roof is double the height of our roof, right? Wrong, I could see huMum looking out the kitchen window, then rushing to the patio doors screaming out my name with her hand over her mouth and terror in her eyes. Oh dear, I was in deep doo doo! It only took me about two minutes to get home but I think I was responsible for her looking so very pale. Another hour on the naughty chair and another lesson learned. I still regularly visit that tall roof but I make sure huMum is safely tucked up, snug as a bug, in bed.
In the summer of early 2006, huMum and Uncle disappeared in her car so, as is my practice, I patiently waited at the front window for their return. Finally they got home and there was so much new gear in the hatch for me to investigate. A 2×10 plank of wood, hammer, nails, drill, saw, brackets, tape measure – the garage and courtyard were full of all this mannish equipment!
They measured the long plank of pine-smelling wood and, using the saw, cut it into 4 bits. I heard huMum nagging my Uncle, “Make sure they are big enough for her to sit on!” I felt a bit sorry for him because she was getting in his way and he was muttering under his breath. Eventually he told her to go and make them a ‘cuppa’. Now it was my turn to help him so I organised all his zinc nails in a row and then pushed them over to him as they were needed. (Not really, but it does make the story more entertaining.) Truth be told, I spent most of my time up on the roof looking down because the loud hammering and sawing noises were scary.
You will have to use your imagination – we have the ugly side of the fence facing our courtyard, i.e. the side with the horizontal beams. Although huMum has made it look beautiful with jasmine, azaleas and camellias, it meant the fence was perfect for the assembly of my stairs as it gave Uncle a place to attach each step. He not only nailed the steps to the horizontal fence beams but, to brace them, he put three brackets under each step so I could land heavily without fear that they would fall off. His tour de force was the top step which is bigger than the others and allows me to sun bake and peep through the jasmine covered lattice. It is my favourite outdoor niche as it smells wonderful in summer; I get to spy on the neighbours and hide from huMum all at the same time.
“No! Why should I get off the roof onto those steps?” I miaowed when huMum tried to get me to test the stairs. “I’m happy up here, thank you very much. Oh is that cheese I smell.” I try to reach down from the top of the lattice where I’m precariously balancing but huMum has put it just out of my reach so I jump down onto the top step. “Wow this is so very excellent!” They make me go up and down my stairs three times just to prove the steps will carry my weight! How exciting, no more climbing the tall fence. I have the best Uncle and huMum a cat could have, so I gave them lots of nudges and leg rubs to show my gratitude.
For your information I can now, at full speed, make it from the kitchen, via dining room, the passage and the cat-flap in the laundry, to the roof in 5 seconds!”
Nap time, bye-bye for now!