Sunday, January 6, 2013

Yet More Prison Adventures

"This is sorta like living with flying squirrels," Libby said sometime last week. The boom truck's cleat marks were rebounding at the glacial pace of Robert Frost's "dent in dough." I was getting ready to go to work. Usually I drink coffee and look at the computer in the morning, but just before Libby had made that remark I'd been skil-sawing a board out in the pre-dawn murk.

I think of morning awakening as roll-call. So do the Boys. First one or other of them walks on me, or jumps on the bed from the window sill. When I get up they rush ahead of me to the kitchen, and take turns jumping up on things to see if I'm putting food on their saucers. Usually Momma is also there, peering in from the stoop through the French doors. I've learned to go ahead and fix her food too. Then I can usually get the door open and feed her while the Boys are focused on their plates on the other side of the room. After all that's done I can start water for coffee, get the beans ground, etc.

Which ever morning it was, maybe Wednesday, Mokey (formerly Bruiser) didn't show for roll call. I left his plate on the counter and called him. Still no Mokey. We have this little place over in an obscure corner where the water supply pipe from the well comes into the house to the hot water heater. It's actually where two adjacent walls connect, and there's a little gap at one place on the floor where the mason didn't lay the blocks quite correctly. (Enough said about that!) The pipe comes in--handy!--and I'd stuffed insulation in the gap and put a piece of plywood over that. This is all behind a cabinet and under the loft stairs. Sometime last year the plywood got moved. Well before the arrival of the Houdahenians. So eventually I looked into that little corner and found a pile of insulation and a hole you could climb down to the ground from. If you were a Mokey I mean. Absence explained here at Stalag 109. I looked over at the slider and there was Mokey looking in. He'd no doubt heard the rattle of the kitty plates. Meanwhile, the Boys were done with eating and were crowding around the hole. Probably they found it from the cold air flowing in, or maybe they'd put Mokes up to checking it out first to see if it was safe out there.

I got Mokey in, got the Boys in the next room with the door shut. Sawed a new covering board in the morning murk. Found a very big rock to put on the board. Ha, let them move that. By then it was time for work. I took a thermos of coffee with me. The day stoked with coffee like that reminded me a bit of the story of the Lenny Bruce movie. You can look it up.

As you can see, if anyone is ok up in a tree, it's Mokey. That's the top of the refrigerator he's perched on. He can jump 6 feet vertically, and aim himself like a basketball going in a hoop. And yesterday Libby and I sawed up the sassafras tree and the maple that had scared Wuzzy up, and I started a new burn pile of branches that were too small to stack, and we worked some on Tyndall Drive, which is a great new feature of the Ranch. I might order me a street sign. The man deserves some credit.

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