I stopped by the house yesterday for the first significant visit in over a month. Even when it was too cold to stay or work there, I stopped by at least once a week to check the mail, make sure the locals hadn’t broken in, and refill the trash container. That was it.
When I went into my bedroom, I noticed that, at some point, there had been at least one uninvited guest in my bed. Muddy paw prints and yellow cat hair just don’t lie. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised. I never finished the bathroom floor repair, so there was a hole big enough for a bear cub to crawl through. I never worried about it, since finding the hole would require being underneath of the house at the shallow end. The house is on an incline, and the uphill crawl space is less than two feet. There are numerous sewer pipes in that area to further restrict access, and there is no food or heat source in the house to attract them, so I felt reasonably safe from four-legged invaders. Wrong.
I cussed some, brushed the dried mud off, and used a lint roller to pick up the hair. I checked closely for fleas or any other secondary guests, since my intentions were to stay the night. Thankfully, I found none.
At that point, I had to go to work, so I didn’t give it much more thought until I got home after work. By the way, it is much more pleasant to make a ten minute drive across town to get home instead of sixty-five minutes on deer infested back roads.
After work, I took a cursory look around, and after finding nothing, decided that it must have been a one time thing – a shelter of convenience during one of our many recent rainy days. I then continued with the long neglected repair work.
Much of the subfloor was long gone and I had removed several rotten pieces the last time I worked on it. In addition, there were at least two significant joist repairs and several more damaged sections of subfloor to remove before the new floor could be put down.
The weather is supposed to be warm until Friday, even at night. My plan is to stay through Wednesday night. Four days is about all I am comfortable exposing my coworkers to, since the extent of personal hygiene available is wet-wipe baths. Considering how slowly the project had gone up to that point, I felt I would be lucky to finish to the point of getting the new subfloor done by the end of the week.
I attacked the project with a vengeance. I got home around 2045, and by 2315 the new subfloor was done. No more feline visitors, unless they either crawl through the dryer vent hole (vented directly to the crawl space by a former owner or resident – fucking genius plan there, NOT) or around one of the holes where the HVAC ducts have fallen down. Possible, but much less likely.
I went to bed, feeling very pleased with myself. I didn’t sleep all that well, since it was my first night there for a while, and with no background noise from the heaters, there were many unfamiliar noises to catch my attention.
This morning, I got up and hastily prepared to leave for Walmart so that certain biological needs could be taken care of. I stopped briefly to admire my handiwork from last night, and decided that tonight’s project would be to clean up the area and prep it for the layer of plywood that will be the base over which the vinyl flooring will be laid.
As I approached the door, I heard something in the vicinity of a partially filled trash bag laying on the floor. What the FUCK?!? It sounded like a cat. Sort of. Actually more like a kitten.
Damn it to hell. Not only did that cat violate my bed, but the damn thing must have shit out babies in my trash bag. I opened the bag and was greeted by several gray kittens wiggling and mewing. Fuck, fuck, FUCK!
With the floor access sealed off, mommy cat won’t be able to find her way back to the kittens. Plus, I don’t want them in my house. They are too young to be weaned, and I damn sure don’t have time to bottle raise them. I don’t want them to starve to death, but I have no idea where the local animal shelter is, or if they would even take them. Worst if all, I really have to shit. Now! And WM is ten minutes away.
I carried the bag outside, thinking that maybe their mother would find them and take care of them, even if they weren’t where she left them. As I was getting ready to leave, I noticed a gray cat hiding in the old kitchen cabinet that I left on the back patio area, pending disposal. Assuming that was mama, I moved the bag over next to her, just outside of the cabinet, pushed the top of the bag down so the kittens could be heard and seen, and hauled ass to WallyWorld, hoping to arrive before my bowels exploded.
The cat hair on my bed was yellow, but the kittens and the presumed mother cat were gray. So, I must have had at least two cats in the house at some point. Glad I got that floor done when I did, before it really turned into a cat house. I hope the kittens survive. I’ve done all I’m going to do, though. Nature will decide their fate from now on.
For anyone who is wondering, I made it to WM in time.