Up, coffee, let Spotted Leaf out to prowl. I'm sitting here looking at all your gorgeous posts about your mothers and considering whether I'll post how much I miss my own when I hear my next door neighbor calling "Kitty! KITTY! Come on, kitty! Where'd you go, kitty?!" and I think that's weird b/c he doesn't have a cat. Coffee hasn't penetrated yet so it takes me a minute, and the neighbor is calling out to this "kitty" the whole time. I'm like, dude, it's early. He's the only noise outside except the birds--7:00 am on a Sunday and all. Finally my sleepy brain puts five and six together, I step outside and sure enough, he'd opened his door to put out the trash, Leaf got confused and darted into the wrong apartment. Neighbor looks utterly bewildered and like he doesn't do cats. I get it. "You have a cat?" he asks. Yup, so sorry, I say. He points up the stairs. "You want me to...?" Absolutely, he says. Up we go. My freaked out neighbor and I spend the better part of ten minutes searching through his (gorgeous) place, both of us in pajamas. The most we've ever said to each other is "hello" in passing. Now I'm peering into every nook and cranny of his place. Poor guy. Behind the toilet? No. Under the beds? Nope. In the closets?? NOPE. WTF. She's disappeared into thin air. It's getting weird, the two of us in our pjs thrown together into some mini-Agatha Christie episode. Silence, then....She wears a bell. It goes "ding" and we go stock-still, looking at each other, waiting for it again. A good 30 seconds, not talking, barely breathing, frozen like kids playing freeze tag. Nothing. We're on the landing now, next to the linen cupboards. One of them is open! Could she have? He peers inside, no cat. Carefully opens the next, then jumps back like he's been shot! CAT! Tucked way back into a corner behind the meticulously folded, perfectly white towels, eyes HUGE staring at both of us like she has no idea how she got there. My first thought is that this guy's linen game is STRONG, but this is not the time. I gotta get this terrified cat out of his place. Talk gently, reach in, she is not budging. A guttural howl. Claws into wood. "Do you mind if I?" "Whatever you need to do." Out come the towels. When I say I had to wrestle that feline out of that cupboard I do not lie. Her tiny heart is going a mile a minute. Mine too. Claws into my neck, apologies the whole way down the stairs, him continuing to be super-nice about the whole thing even as I know he can't wait to close the door on this crazy. We get safely inside my place, I double over laughing and I flash on my mom.
One of my favorite things about Dona was her sense of humor. Her laugh when she was tickled was big and long. She would have loved this story, it's got her fingerprints all over it, so I've decided to believe that she orchestrated the whole thing. Happy Mother's Day mama, wherever you might be.