By Meg Curtis, PhD
You brought your summer furniture in from the patio, right? This is important because, if you don’t, Sandy may blow it through your windows. I learned this lesson when I lived in a Gothic Village in Pennsylvania.
There, an exquisite jewelry store suffered trauma when Andrew hit town (aka Hurricane Andrew, in 2004). The store held fast, but debris hit the glass entrance, bashing a hole and letting the flood in faster than a burglar.
The entire inventory escaped with the water. It flowed down the street, leaving the owners to chase after it, seeking diamond rings and gold hearts in refuse. I cry every time I think of their wicked misadventure.
So, I determined to clean the plastic table on my balcony before Sandy has her way with my belongings. My plan: to bring the table into the living room, and let it recover from spiders and moths taking refuge under the rim.
This undertaking took longer than planned, of course. My dog accompanied me as he always does. The manager type, he never trusts me to know what I’m doing without his oversight. He lay down and watched closely.
My cat observed every move through the screen and glass doors dividing the balcony from the living room. He checked for any live prey which might give him the thrill he’s waiting for. Disappointment never stopped him.
The two of them had their paws full for a good twenty minutes as I cleaned and checked for spider webs, lost wings, and extra legs. The table looked pretty good, so I returned it to its winter residence, in my living room.
While rolling the table top through the doors, I met the dog going, and the cat coming. This might be his one chance to catch the birds he fancies when he’s not keeping his eyes on me. He shimmied, but I caught him.
An indoor cat, Chopin boasts a long history of his own misadventures with electrical cords. How’s he’s alive after chewing through five live connections mystifies scientists to this day. He talks about it all the time.
I caught the door just in time as he poked his cute nose where it doesn’t belong—into the outside world, on the patio, where he could easily leap to the trees, and be on his way to Buffalo or even Cleveland.
Slam! He rose on two legs on the inside with me on the balcony by myself. Thank goodness. Now I could clean without worrying about either of my assistants. They mean well, but you know how assistants can be.
I pulled the glass door to take the table’s legs inside to the living room at last. Uh-oh! It wouldn’t budge. I pushed and pulled like a stevedore, but there I stood, in 43 degree weather--alone, with four animal eyes staring at me.
To be continued—
*Readers of this column will recognize the emoticon for Rolling Eyes.