This is Chopin. He’s Grounded.
I just moved in to a new place, and every so often I learn something new about my home’s habits and quirks. Innocuous creak in the floor? Two spots in the living room, one in the kitchen. Bathroom faucet has to be at a specific angle to get the hot water to kick in? Right between 9:00 and 10:00. I’m learning as I go… keep that in mind as this story unfolds.
I love a good summer rain. The temperature drops. The wind kicks up a bit. You can open the windows a crack and let that cool, dewy breeze in. Perfect sleeping weather. That’s what last night was… even though the storm was being a bit dramatic.
Right before I climbed in to bed I turned the air conditioning off and opened my bedroom window a crack. I knew the storm was going to rage, but I didn’t care; nothing important was going to get wet. I just wanted to sleep with the breeze.
So, I have my tea, read my book, and shut out the light.
Sleep lasted about a half-hour… my Spidy Sense started tingling and I shot up in bed. For some reason I had the sinking feeling that my cat, Chopin, was gone. He hates storms and seems to hide in the most clever places when the thunder starts rumbling. I know his usual spots, so I calmly check those first.
Under the futon. No Chopin.
Under the kitchen sink. No Chopin.
Bathroom tub. No Chopin.
I was running out of hiding places fast, and no hint of my Ragdoll.
The lightning got brighter, the thunder much quicker to follow, so I ran to my bedroom window to shut it… and that’s when I saw it… my bedroom window has no screen. I had never opened that window until last evening and could not believe that I never noticed.
I knew at that moment Chopin had run off into the storm.
I grab a hoodie and run outside, disregarding the deluge. I checked in bushes, under cars, quietly calling his name.
I run back inside, soaked from head-to-toe, and immediately update my facebook with pictures and descriptions of him; where he was lost, etc. I make flyers to distribute. I research and collect the phone numbers for all the shelters in the area.
I was going to find him.
There’s no going back to sleep. Another trip outside. Another status update. It’s now 2am. I may as well start getting ready for work, right?
I take my shower, get dressed, and just as I’m about to brush my teeth I hear the strangest sound; like something trying to come through the walls.
I run to my bedroom window… and there he is; just outside the glass. My window has no ledge, so he was hanging on the lip like Kilroy.
I open the window, scoop him up, and let out a hell of a sigh. He was safe. He was home. He was, for some odd reason, completely dry.
I now understand how parents can have the dual emotions: “I’m so happy you’re safe/you are in deep trouble”. That’s how I felt. I’m standing their soaking wet having lost my mind for three hours thinking he ran in to the road, etc. He was fine… and dry.
The combination of having found some “nip” on him earlier that day, and him breaking curfew last night… he’s grounded.
Get used to seeing outside from the inside, Mister. Yeah… you stand there and think about what you’ve done.