Last night when I went to bed I left Ollie spread all over the top of the television. I knew he would never stay there. Sometime during the night he would walk on my face and I would let him out the window.
When I woke at six I began to think. I hadn't let the cat out. Where was he? We all know that sinking feeling in the tum when the cat disappears. I got up and did a quick circuit of the house - nothing. 'You must have let the cat out,' I said to DH.
'Didn't', said DH. 'Why are you talking to me in the middle of the night?'
I began to think - the cat must be sick. At least I knew he was in the house. If he was sick he must have crawled away into some tiny hideaway. But where? What followed was the biggest shake-up the house had had in years.
Do you how many places can conceal the form of a small grey cat? Forty-five and rising. Out came the sofa and the easy chairs, I collected enough money and pens from under them to start up a shop. Was he in the linings, nope; at the back of the computer amongst the wires, nope; at the back of the bookcase, nope. By the time I had reached the spare room and had wrenched out the beds to look in the springs I was sneezing furiously and had hit panic mode.
More grilling of DH "Sure you didn't let him out?"
"NOOOO - I'M ASLEEP."
It had begun as a gentle breeze but the panic was now of tornado proportions. It was 7.00 a.m. and no cat. Not a window was open but perhaps the cat had turned into a Houdini. I ran around the section calling "Ollliie Olllliiiiiie."
I was too upset even to get any coffee. I was going to miss him. I knew something had happened. Life was going to be awful without Ollie. Perhaps he was expiring in the top of the linen cupboard, I grabbed a chair and groped around. Nothing. I surveyed the opening into the ceiling and noticed it was slightly ajar, horrors, was he up in the loft. I knew that if Ollie had heard me calling he'd yowl back. Was it now a matter of searching for a a a a a ....... I couldn't bring myself to think of it. We all know how animals go and hide themselves when they are sick.
I went and sat on the cold back step and began sniffing. The yowling could be heard in the distance and there was no mistaking the grey shape bounding across the lawn.
There is nothing like a tearful reunion. It was the love-in to end all love-ins.
But the mystery remains. How did the cat get out of the sealed house? Was he in cahoots with Mr. Big? Should I check the silver?
I have a chair and a lamp ready for an interrogation of DH later this morning. Did he let the cat out? More awful still did I, completely asleep, open the window automatically? Has Ollie learned to open the door or a window? What part did Mrs. Big play in this? Perhaps Ted still has his spare key.
There will be more on this mystery when I finish interrogation of suspects.