The House Built for a Cat

This house was built for a cat. Or, rather, this house was customized, post-build, for a cat. There is a cat door (now closed off) in the basement door. There is a hole in the drywall of the basement, near the stairs. On the other side of the hole is a cat perch. There is evidence of a pass-through hole from the living room to the basement stairs.

And the hole in the closet floor? The one I thought was for some old heating vents or something? Well…

***

My mom came to visit last week, and we needed to find out something about trash and leaf pickup. The second page on the drop-down menu on the city’s website is ADOPT-A-PET. I clicked on it on a whim and found Trouble, a 14 year old cat.

“Oh! We have to get him. If he don’t adopt him, he’ll die alone, in the shelter!” I said.

After some tears (I have too much jeong) and a day of thought, Good Man said we could get a cat if I let him get whatever tiny dogs he wants this summer—even a shaky dog. (Shaky dogs sort of freak me out.)

I said I thought that was fair, and Good Man laughed, “That was my plan all along!”

We met Trouble on Tuesday, after Frankenstorm Sandy blew through. He seemed friendly enough, if not a little shy. He had been in the shelter for nearly four months!

We adopted him Wednesday, took him home and…!

In three minutes flat, he disappeared in the house.

We searched all over. All of the rooms, all of the floors, including the basement. I was panicked, concerned that we had left the kitchen door open, and that he had darted out the door. A black cat, out on Halloween?

Finally, I calmed down enough to notice little kitty pawprints in the dust of the closet.

Pawprints

“He went down the hole!” I said. “Oh my God, what if he’s trapped somewhere?”

Good Man poked around the hole with a flashlight and got dusty, but didn’t see Trouble.

Dusty Good Man

We searched downstairs and I finally saw a lone, furry tail.

There He Is!

It turns out there is essentially a tunnel built into the ceiling of the basement. I truly think this was created for a cat!

Slinking Along

We left a trail of treats outside of the hole. Trouble jumped out, and we thought we had won! We ran back upstairs and Trouble jumped back into his hiding spot. For the next few hours, he jumped out just long enough to grab the next treat before hiding again.

Silly Trouble!

After a few hours Trouble did come out and start marking us and the house as his. By the end of the night, he was purring (which Good Man had never heard!), cuddling, meowing, and eating.

But Good Man really wants to change his name. “Names are too important. They have consequences.” He’s thinking Black Jack instead.