September 9th, 2006


End of an Era: Andy's traumatising morning of cats - or Andy's morning of traumatising cats - a tale

Well, yesterday at 6:45am I woke surliminal with a cup of tea, rolled her out of bed, shouted at her until she got ready and then shoved her into a taxi to the airport, from whence she headed to Southampton, her new home.

Which isn't actually the end of her Edinburgh reign, as I'm driving down with her next week to keep her company on the trip while she takes her car down. And this morning I had to help put her cats into boxes so they could be driven down. The other options were driving them down herself (not a lot of fun, especially as she wanted to split the journey and losing a cat overnight in Yorkshire can be filed under "things that are no fun at all") or air-freighting them when she flew down (and sadly the planes from Edinburgh to Southampton are too small to have heated/pressurised holds - apparently freeze-dried cats aren't quite as cute).

So, I had to be there at 9am this morning to help pack. Which was a bit of a pain as I'd been up at 6:45 the previous morning and out at mab's birthday party last night. But I staggered up, stopped momentarily at my PC to purchase a new license for Profimail (the mail client on my phone - needed to buy a new license to go with the new phone). I wandered up to the bus stop, where buses steadfastly failed to appear. At which point it was looking like I'd need to switch to a taxi when I hit the town centre, so I popped to an ATM. And discovered that I didn't have my bank cards with me (See! The Profimail thing wasn't just a geeky aside - it had Plot Significance!). Well, I had my backup credit card with me, but I wasn't 100% on the PIN _and_ the machine was out of order. So I could go into town and not be assured of getting any cash for a taxi, or I could go home and get the cards and get a taxi all the way. The latter seemed the safest option, so I hotfooted it back home, calling a taxi as I arrived in my street, dashing upstairs, grabbing cards and arriving back down as the taxi arrived.

It then drove me across town to surliminal's place, where I got some cash out, paid him, picked up a chicken pasty and headed in, just a few minutes late. The chicken pasty, by the way, has no Plot Significance at all, and is merely mentioned because it was quite nice and prevented my starvation during the Horror that followed. Because when I arrived the cat man had already found Cookie and placed her in a box. Java, however, was nowhere to be found!!!!!

This isn't actually that unusual. Java doesn't like people she doesn't know. Well, to be honest, she doesn't like people she _does_ know. She's _terrified_ of people she doesn't. So she tends to hide in cupboards, behind sofas and under duvets. All of which were dutifully checked by myself, the cat man and Jordan (surliminal's new lodger). No luck. Jordan assured me that he'd seen her this morning, but she seemed to have vanished into thin air.

Eventually I noticed that the cupboard under the sink in the bathroom has no side on it, allowing access to the area under the bath. I wasn't sure she was under there as I couldn't see, but I thought it was worth a try. So I popped out and scoured the Bruntsfield area for a torch for about twenty minutes before arriving back armed with a pen-light and a tin of cat-food. The torch showed me a pair of eyes staring back from the other end of the bath. The cat-food was completely useless (it turns out that she likes only dry food and parma ham. Surliminal seems to have raised terribly middle class cats).

At which point there was only one thing for it. We took off the side of the bath. Which was some rather nice wood panelling. Jordan watched with a mixture of horror and amusement as we peeled it back to the point where a cardboard tube could be used to prod Java, in the hope she'd come toward the other end (where I was waiting). No luck. She inched up to the point where I could stroke her nose if I really stretched out, but noses aren't much use for grabbing purposes.

Eventually the cat man took off enough of the panelling to actually get his hand on her rear end, at which point she made a dash for it, impacting half a second later with the door. I scooped her up and she clung onto my jumper for dear-life, her heart beating strongly enough for me to feel it. I whisked her next door, we opened the door to the large cat-box she'll be sharing with Cookie for the trip down, and she gracefully allowed herself to be placed in it. Cookie, of course, used this opportunity to make a dash for it. Thankfully, she was slowed slightly by her tail being snagged on the way out, and I managed to grab her as well, and dump her back in the cage. Which was placed in the van. Which drove off in a southerly direction.

At which point I told Jordan that he should get the bath put back together and bill Surliminal, grabbed my stuff and headed over to Hugh's for today's poker session, stopping only briefly in town to see if I could get a copy of the first Lego Star Wars game for the Gamecube (no, I couldn't).

I think I could do with some time off...