Bathtub Cats

Neil Gaiman has posted a story about his cat.
A small story about a clearly well-loved cat, sadly now in her last days, who managed to get herself walled up inside some bathroom construction.

His story reminded me about one of my childhood cats.
WhiteKitty (we were seriously into original names) was a silky long-haired white lady cat with mismatched eyes.
She turned up about half-grown after a thunder shower, and never left.
These being the long-ago once upon a time days, she had several litters of lovely kittens by our other cat, Young YellowCat.
(This distinguished him from Yellowcat. I mentioned our originality.)
They were truly lovely kittens.

I continue to mourn the fact that cats are not rare and valuable, so that I cannot follow my childhood dream profession of cat rancher.
Le Sigh.

Anyway, in those long ago days, we had recently moved into the new house in which we each had our own room.
My bedroom was the smallest one, since I was youngest, but made up for its size in its arrangement.
I had a tiny square corner room, but instead of a closet it had a long narrow room which had once been a gallery kitchen tucked under a sloping roof.
The appliances had been removed, and the space never really finished afterwards, leaving jagged edges of tiles and unfinished bits of wall.
My parents put in a dresser at one end, and ran a curtain rod from it to the far wall, making a closet of sorts.
At the other end was an open doorway into a small bathroom.
A tub fit under the roof, with a tiled space about a foot wide filling in between the end of the tub and the wall.
The story I was told was that the man who had designed the house had built this as a suite for his handicapped wife.
This would have been in, I think, the 30's.
Certainly the doorways were wide, and had no doors in them, and the bathroom fixtures were all low.
It was a pretty great space.

When Whitekitty was expecting one of her litters we'd always prepare a box for her, which she would always ignore.
We would learn where she'd stashed the kittens, and they would end up in the box being made much of, and eventually go with my dad to the office to find homes..
So when WhiteCat seemed interested in the back of my closet, well, that seemed like a suitable choice.
There were always lots of piles of this or that back under the hanging things, or behind the dresser.
Lots of privacy, and yet we'd know where she was, clearly ideal.
I checked a few times, though, and no kittens, though kittens had clearly happened somewhere.
Despite a fair amount of sleuthing, no kittens were turning up anywhere, which was beginning to be worrying.
Imagine my surprise, then, when put my ears underwater to rinse my hair one night and heard tiny scratchy noises and squeeks traveling through the water from inside the tub itself.
The clever girl had found a hole in the sheetrock, crawled through the walls of the tub, and made a nest inside that tiled space at the head of the tub.
And she didn't come out with the babies until she was perfectly ready to, smug little thing.

Score MamaCat 1, Hoomins 0.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. wow — TK just pees in mine.


  2. Yay for MamaCat!! If that had been me as a kid, I'd have spent all of my time in the tub with my ears under water.
    Cat ranching does sound like a purrrrrrfect career!


  3. Ha ha with the Le sigh…very nicely written too.


  4. Hehe! That’s a really cute story. I read Neil Gaiman’s as well. Mwelp? Ohhh kittehs..they certainly know what they like and where to hide


  5. "Mwelp?" is wonderful. I can hear it.I always wanted to be a cat rancher too. Although wrangling multiple kitties is tough.


  6. Well, you’ve heard the quote “Herding cats is like nailing jello to a tree.” I bet it would be easier with catnip…or hungry kittehs..


  7. You should all become cat herders 🙂 Sweet post!


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