I use the term "drama" loosely in reference to my cats. They are quite possibly the least dramatic cats on the planet. That said, being cats. . . they still have some drama.
Remember when Coca Cola was missing for a week in the cold January rain? Or when he got himself stuck on the porch roof in the ridiculously early hours of the morning? Then there's the time the dog cornered him in the bushes outside the back door and I had to crawl in after him. Believe it or not, this time the fat cat, Dr. Pepper is the one that caused the drama.
I get up early. By early, I mean 5:30. Today is Saturday, so I slept in and got up at 6. Here's the thing: I love the smell and sounds of the early morning. I love the dew and the breeze and the birds chirping with joy that another day happened. And I love that everyone else in my house is still sleeping. Everyone but the cats, anyway.
The dog is a lazy little frufru dog in a beefy, scary dog body. Seriously. She loves camping because it's family time with "the pack," but you'd better hope you get in the tent before her at bedtime or she'll steal your pillow. She loves all things fluffy and soft to sleep on. If the dog gets up out of bed before 7:30, it's surprising.
Most of the kids make it until about 7 these days. The Big One will sleep until noon if you let her, but I don't. Not even on the weekend. Sometimes they get up as early as 6 or 6:30, but rarely before that anymore.
This early morning time is my quiet time. I drink coffee and read. I read my Bible, study other stuff and just generally enjoy the morning. I actually get kind of annoyed when anyone else gets up too early. I spend all day (and often much of the night) taking care of the needs of others and I crave this time to worry about only myself.
The cats, however. . . something in their little kitty clocks goes off at 5:30 am and says, "FOOD! Mommy should be getting up RIGHT NOW!" I will say that they are respectful now (they didn't used to be) about waiting until they actually hear me get up to start hollering and pestering me. They simply sit beside the bed and stare at me until I get up. Then they proceed to remain firmly under foot until I feed them. So, before I can start this time of silence and solitude, I have to feed the cats to shut them up. Believe me when I say my cats are LOU-OUD! They are half Siamese and they have that loud, expressive, distinctly Siamese voice. And that voice is highly obnoxious at 5:30 in the morning pre-coffee.
After I feed them, Coke goes off and does cat stuff for a while by himself while Pepper "helps" me read. I noticed something was weird this morning when Coke didn't bug me to feed him and didn't seem to have cat stuff to do. He just followed me around looking confused and worried. When I sat down to read and didn't have to lug 21 pounds of giant cat off of my reading materials first, I began to wonder what was up.
I made a big, obvious show of going down to fill the cats' food bowl. That ALWAYS gets the obese cat's attention. Yet this morning all that happened was Coke following me downstairs, still looking confused and worried, watching me fill the bowl, then following me back upstairs again. When you have a cat the vet has told you he believes has an over-eating disorder (he seriously told me that and it took every ounce of willpower in my body not to crack up laughing at him) and you don't hear from said cat when you fill the food bowl, odds are something is wrong.
Because Pepper is 8 1/2 years old and ridiculously overweight, I was immediately worried. Unlike Coca Cola who, despite his outdoor misadventures will still slip out the door quickly at any opportunity, Dr. Pepper has little interest in actually being outside. He's not even big on the whole sitting in the window gig. The door would have to be wide open for at least a day when a giant bowl of tuna is sitting on the porch to entice him to go out there. And even then, he'd complain about the lack of carpeting and come immediately back in after eating the tuna. So I ruled out the possibility of him being outside wandering the neighborhood.
I started at the basement where the litter and food are and worked my way up the house. It's actually much easier to scour the house for a cat of his girth than for one his athletic brother's size. There are only so many places a 21lb cat can manage to hide. In most rooms, you can do just a quick sweep and be relatively certain the cat's not there. Our cats generally even come when called. He wasn't in the basement, he wasn't on the first floor and the third floor is latched firmly to keep the kids out. As I walked from room to room on the second floor, I thought I heard a muffled yowl. Weird.
I checked the back room behind our mast bedroom. No cat.
I checked under Levi's bed. No cat.
I looked under our bed. No cat.
I peeked into the girls' room and softly (the girls were still asleep) called Pepper. Muffled meow. I was getting warmer.
It seemed to be coming from the corner their beds are in. I swore under my breath that if Lex had hauled that enormous cat up into her loft bed with her, I'd ground her forever. She knows better. I climbed her ladder and looked around her bed. Just Lexi and 567 stuffed animals. And now the meow was coming from under me.
I tried to assess what could be going on. There are big drawers of clothing under Gloria's bed. How on earth could a cat as large as Pepper have gotten stuck under there? That was definitely where the muffled kitty cries were coming from, though. I pulled out one of the drawers, expecting that would free the cat from wherever he'd managed to get wedged.
There. . . IN THE DRAWER. . . was the cat, looking very relieved that the stupid human had finally figured out where he'd been the whole time.
I may never know how he got in that drawer. I could develop a few theories, but it's probably more fun not thinking too much into it and simply marveling at how he got in there.
This is my favorite new picture of the children and the look on the cat's face is classic and makes me laugh hysterically every time I see it. It's a great example of what a patient (and/or lazy) cat he is and is so very much getting framed and hung up on my wall. I share it because it's funny, I'm talking about him right now and because it gives you an idea of exactly how much I'm not exaggerating when I say this cat is MASSIVE.