Posts Tagged ‘kitten stories’

Getting back from an event in Toulouse on the late side last night, tired and hungry, we were welcomed as usual by the cats, pleased to see us no doubt, but like us–in need of a snack.

I had a plan to do a quick stir fry with some chicken breast that had been marinating in an interesting mix of soy, olive oil, orange and lemon juice and various spices—of which more in a later post—and got down to work.

Meredith came into the kitchen looking worried.

“Have you seen Beau [our young black & white cat]?”

I hadn’t.

Usually he’s the first in line when the tins start popping.

Maybe he’d got locked in the dependence when we hit the road after lunch.

He hadn’t.

I was hungry and needed to eat—so continued to cook.

A now very concerned Meredith went into the garden with a torch.

A few moments later, I heard her exclaim:

“There you are—Beau! what are you doing up there!?”

I went out into the garden and saw a marooned Beau, stuck—way up in one of the box elders.

Meredith had heard nothing at first in the garden but sensibly had taken out Beau’s toy squirrel with her.

He heard the irritating squeaky noise it makes when I step on it by mistake.

The familiar sound, usually associated in his mind with fun, unfroze the frightened young cat’s state of mind and he started mewing—

“I’m here—help!!”

He was well beyond our reach, in a tree that was easy to climb but a devil to descend from—even for an experienced cat.

It was 10.30 at night, in the middle of the French countryside and most of our neighbours–the ones with long ladders, for instance–would be tucked up in bed.

What to do?

“Here I am—help…!”

“Well I have to eat!” I heard myself saying—ruthlessly.

We sat down without enthusiasm and discussed the options.

Our friend Thierry might have a ladder long enough—our friend Mitch certainly had one but lives fifteen kilometers away.

Call the fire brigade?

All these seemed ridiculous at that time in the evening—and the last, expensive.

What price our beloved Beau?

We chewed on disconsolately.

After ten minutes and fortified by the food and a glass of wine, Meredith opened the front door and went out into the courtyard.

After the briefest pause, I heard her cry for the second time in half an hour…

“There you are!”

Moments later in walked Beau…

“Here I am!” and sprawled himself on the floor under the kitchen table–as though nonchalance was his second name.

Following him Pippa came in—head cat, the “mother of all cats”—who’d stayed outside while we were eating and–we like to believe—talked the youngster down from the tree!

Pippa–our heroine!

There followed a popping of tins!

And a period of reflection…

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