Ok this is from the file of I can’t believe this sh*t. The story begins last week when I noticed a cat jumping out from under the house. Since the house is split level there is a crawl space between the kitchen and basement ceiling. There is an overhang of about a foot and a half off the kitchen and livingroom. For as long as we have owned the house I have been meaning to climb under there and replace the old insulation and put up some plywood. It’s one of those jobs that always gets pushed down the list.
After seeing a cat had found a way in the job went right to the top. So last week I went to Lowes, spent about a hundred bucks and got everything I needed to do this job right. Insulating the crawl space has always been one of those things I felt guilty about blowing off so I was pretty happy to get it done.
I spent the day cutting, screwing and insulating. I was a pain in the azz because I was on my back, working overhead all afternoon. My neck and shoulders were killing me when I was finished but I really felt good about the finished product. I even used the spray foam to seal the whole space air tight.
Two nights ago we heard a cat meowing out back. The Oberfrau and I spent half an hour searching the yard but could never find it. She convinced me that it ran away when we approached it with the flashlight. (although I never actually saw it flee).
Anyway the meowing stopped and we thought no more of it. Until last night. I was at work and just got a call to work overtime today. It would be an easy day on South Street and since I was already in town I was glad to pick up the extra shift.
Then I got a call from the homestead. The boy was hysterical. “Dad, there’s a cat in our floor” he practically sobbed. Apparently there was a cat, sealed inside my nicely insulated and SEALED crawl space. They could hear it meowing and moving around and knew exactly where it was. But they couldn’t get it out.
I told them to call Fireboat John as I was at work and couldn’t do anything. I knew if it really was true there was nothing he could do at that late hour anyway. I would have to tear all that work out. But having John stop over during one of our mini disasters usually helps calm things down. Like I thought he confirmed my worst fears. There was nothing I could do except make a call to the Chief’s aid and cancel the overtime. I was heading home first thing in the morning to hopefully get the cat out of there before it croaked.
I had everything ripped out in about fifteen minutes. Slowly I stuck my head up inside the space (like a sci-fi movie I expected the cat to attack my face or rip my head off). But instead I spotted it- not moving- on the other side of the house. I wasn’t sure until a couple of hours later that it was still alive. I saw its eyes reflect the flashlight and I knew it had moved.
But the cat refused to come out no matter what I tried. Food, water, loud noises, nothing I tried made the stupid feline move. In the mean time I was checking web sites to see just how long a cat could survive without food and water. I figured it was about five days already. Who knows?
I finally decided (after much prodding from the Oberfrau) to go take a nap and wait the cat out. It got in and it should find its way out. After the nap I went back to check and sure enough it was still in the same spot.
I had enough. I got some lengths of one inch PVC and some duct tape. I taped them together like a Bangalore and slid it up into the crawl space. The cat got scared and finally started moving toward me. After some back and forth I was finally able to coax it out. The handy camera work is courtesy of the Oberfrau.
Somebody save me…