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Rufus’ big adventure

October 4, 2008

Rufus has a tendency to bother us early in the morning. His body clock is set to the earliest time we get up during the week and does not alter to accommodate later weekend waking. He’s not content to just sit quietly on the end of the bed, or even to sit noisily in the middle of the bed. He gets right up by the pillow and gently paws my face. Well, gently at first. As minutes go by he becomes more insistent and I usually get up before he nips me on the chin.

This morning was different. Not only did Rufus let us sleep in, but he did not come running when we got up. We called him and… nothing. We checked the igloo, the carry case, the wardrobes, under the couches, the pantry… nothing. Not a mew; not a scratch. Curiouser and curiouser. By now, we were getting a bit desperate. Each of us checked the places the other had checked. Nothing.

I remembered that the other day Rufus had discovered a way of getting to one of the few safe food hiding places in the house: the top of the fridge. He’d shown some interest in my packet of Fatto A Mano brownies, so I’d stowed them up there. A few minutes later, he was launching himself from the bench to the fridge. Could he have fallen and become stuck down the back? Only one way to find out: we pulled the fridge out. Nothing.

But then we heard a small meow. Huh? It was coming from inside the kitchen unit. Then, a little russet leg extended out above the kick plate. Yep, he was trapped inside the joinery. He had somehow – without breaking anything – jumped onto the shelves above the stove, then onto the top of the central unit. From there, he must have decided to explore the top of the tall shelving unit… except that it doesn’t have a top. OK, so that’s how he got in – how will he get out?

The first rescue suggestion seemed like a good one. Rufus loves to get his claws stuck into fabric so we tied three towels together, lowered them down, and hoped he’d climb up. Nope. He batted at the end for a bit, then went back to mewling pathetically.

The next attempt was also based on observations of previous behaviour. Since I have trouble keeping him out of eco shopping bags, surely he’ll be happy to leap into one that has been tied to a cord. Especially when there is a bowl of food inside. Nope.

We were fairly confident that this was, at least, the right approach. Perhaps we needed a container with shorter, more rigid sides. Say, something like this:

Let's try this, then

Let's try this, then

It fitted into the space – just – but was no more successful than the other attempts.

The only other alternatives were to cut into the panel (running the risk of cutting into the cat) or taking the joinery apart until we could remove the panel (this seemed, at the time, to be a brilliant plan).

This won't be easy...

This won't be easy...

Of course, once we’d started, we realised we’d have to take all the shelving out, which meant all of the things on the shelves had to come off

Pulling the kitchen apart

Pulling the kitchen apart

… aaaand then we realised the panel was attached from the other side.

So, it was back to plan C.  Cutting.  Fortunately, our carpenter friend was able to respond to the emergency call.  A few minutes with a hole saw later and a very shaky Rufus emerged.  A few screwdriver twists later and our kitchen was back to normal.

Restored and restocked

Restored and restocked

Rufus, liberated, retires upstairs for a nap

Rufus, liberated, retires upstairs for a nap

And we retired to the pub. Lamb pies all round!

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 4, 2008 7:13 pm

    Oh no! I’m glad you were able to get him out eventually, but I can imagine how worrying that would be. Especially if it’s not so clear how you’re supposed to get him out!

    Tigger once did something like that, but in someone else’s house. We couldn’t find him all day, and then in the late afternoon we got a phone call from a woman saying that she had our cat and that, BY THE WAY, he had ripped her curtains to shreds trying to escape through the glass window in her living room. Oops.

    Now he contents himself with BELIEVING he’s stuck upstairs when the door is actually wide open. He’ll look at the wide open door, decide it’s a probably mirage of some kind, and then wail through the mesh on the other side of the stairs that he’s stuck and demands an immediate rescue.

    On the other hand, Caper never gets stuck anywhere. In fact, that’s why she’s named “Caper”. As a kitten, she was called “Caper the Escaper”, and that’s where her name comes from!

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