Saturday, July 1, 2017

Running Toward the Noise

Yesterday, Seth clawed at the screen door because we were all outside working on the deck. He likes the deck, but I figured he wouldn't like it out there during demolition, the banging, the drilling, and the loud music playing.

When we started, a chipmunk had gotten disoriented and run back and forth across the deck before disappearing around the corner of the house. Then, he ran back, jittered back and forth like a squirrel on the double-yellow line with oncoming cars in both directions, and ran around the corner again. I hoped and prayed we didn't find a nest under the deck. That would be tragic.

No, I didn't let Seth go outside yesterday. Even wearing his harness cabled to Teddy's run, I was afraid he'd get disoriented like the chipmunk and get lost around the corner of the house. Our house is too close to the highway for outdoor cats.

Twenty years ago, our neighbors killed a kitten every six months by bringing them home and letting them run outside. The kids got used to telling me they'd lost another kitten. It was agony for me. I swore we'd never have an outdoor cat. Never.

This morning, when I got back home from picking up new books at the library, I found Mike on the deck, drilling, banging, and listening to loud music. Seth stood on the deck observing while wearing his harness and cable.

"What are you doing out here, Seth?" I asked.

"He wanted to come out," Mike said. I imagined he liked having company, even a cat.

"Is he happy?" I was doubtful.

"Seems to be."

I looked at him. He looked back at me. What a crazy cat.

What a crazy cat.

This is the cat, I remind myself, that runs toward any loud noises in the house, especially when it is his burly teenage kid, Nick who's making them. Seth has always been that way about Nick, running out and jumping onto the banister whenever any of his friends came to visit.

Seth acts more like a dog than a cat. He's friendly. He's in any room that's active. He will demand what he wants, special baths with a warm wash cloth, to be picked up and carried around to be petted. Seth was the first one to tell a human to pick him up to put him on the washing machine where we keep his food away from Teddy and his allergies.

Still, it surprised me that Seth would want to go out to the deck with all that banging, all that drilling, and the loud music.

There he stood, watching Mike work and sitting on a little tuft of grass that managed to grow in the deep shade behind the house. When I came out and started banging too, Seth jumped onto the deck and watched me work.

I should have known he would run toward the noise.

Thank you for listening, jb

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