Catly smells like me, now. At about 8:30 a.m., as I started in on my second bagel, the phone rang. Who on earth? It turned out to be Dad calling from their trip, convinced that their house was in the path of Hurricane Alex. I wrote down directions about which windows leaked and where to find towels. I must have been concentrating on that task pretty hard because I didn’t hear any strange sounds.
I hung up the phone, and turned towards the kitchen in search of more coffee. Hunh, looks like I spilled coffee on the floor on the way out, before. Wait, no, there’s water splashed on the kitchen floor, too! Quick check: it didn’t come from the ceiling (i.e. bathroom) above; nor is it spurting out of the kitchen sink faucet. There is water by the open back door, too – it’s almost as if Catly dragged in something from the fish pond.
The previous owners of this house transferred a kidney-shaped pond with five koi to me. In the draught a couple of years back, a great blue heron discovered the free lunch, and so I became fishless. I tried again, but the little goldfish disappeared after a year or so, too. I knew Catly couldn’t have dragged a fish in – a slow, thirsty bird, perhaps?
I stuck my head out of the back door – one of the stones from the pond edge had fallen into the water, but I saw nothing else out of place. I returned to the dining room and surveyed the scene more closely. There’s Catly, under the table. And what do you know? The whole back half of her is wet, as if she fell into the pond. Of course, she was trying to lick herself dry. I fetched a towel and began to help the effort. Oh, no! Since there are no fish, I don’t keep the pond all that clean: she smelled like pond funk!
And that’s why, at a little before 9:00 this morning, I could be found trying to bathe the old house cat with a dab of my shampoo. Maybe she’ll stop drinking out of the pond, now.