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Sammy and the Stairs

by Lori Crews, Houston, Texas, USA


I have to preface this a bit. I have a really weird house (which is why I found it so charming and decided to buy it despite the amount of work it needs). My front porch goes up to the middle of the two floors and the front door opens to a stair landing. When you enter the front door you can either go downstairs, to the right, to the sitting room, or upstairs, to the left, to the great room. My kitchen is upstairs in the back of the house and has french doors leading to the upper deck. My master bedroom is downstairs in the back of the house and has two sets of french doors leading to the lower deck.

The arrangement of the house means I have to go up and down stairs many, many times a day, and of course my little suppository (as in if I stop short you know where she'll end up), Sammy, is always trying to beat me to wherever it is I'm going.

The stairs themselves are carpeted, but the landing by the front door is tiled (which makes clean-up on a rainy day easier). Well, Sammy gets good traction on the carpeted stairs going upstairs, but when she reaches the landing, and has to do a 180 degree turn in order to continue up the stairs, her feet slide out from under her and she slides along on her side for about 2 feet before scrambling up to continue her break-neck pace to beat me upstairs.

Going downstairs is even worse since her momentum is assisted by gravity. When she gets to the landing she sprawls, all four legs splayed out like a starfish, and slides along on her belly for about 3 feet.

As she gets older, she gets faster (but so far not more sure-footed). Today, in her race to beat me downstairs, she hit the landing, slid along on her belly, and then continued to fly off the landing and through the air into the downstairs sitting room. In panic she grabbed hold of the drapes as she flew past and 8.5 pounds of kitten was too much for the curtain rods to bear. Luckily, Sammy missed hitting the desk and landed in a heap, tangled in the drapes, on the carpeted floor.

Was she properly scared by her close call??? Was she abashed at her inelegant landing???? Was she even ashamed at tearing down my drapes and bending my curtain rods????? NO SHE WAS NOT! She lay there and looked up at me to say, "Ha ha, I beat you downstairs!!!"