Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ten years ago in mid-April ...

... Dominic and I went on our first date, though not together.

Matt and I worked together. He asked me out on a double date during finals week. Matt was going to set up his best friend, Dominic, but the girl couldn't make it at the last minute. Dominic didn't want to go as the third wheel, so I offered to ask my sister Ellen to join our date. Dominic agreed, and Ellen decided to come along. Amber, our roommate, also came.

We first went to see the play "Into the Woods." I sat between Matt and Dominic. Matt fell asleep, and Dominic kept making snide remarks about the play and making me laugh. Ellen felt a bit neglected, and I guess Amber just watched the play. Afterwards we went to The Creamery for ice cream cones. Due to this part of the date, it took me ages to remember that Dominic was allergic to milk, because he loves ice cream.

Then we hiked up to the Y. I fell behind, and Dominic fell back to keep me company. I thought he was very nice and considerate, plus he was easy to talk to. It was a huge party up on the Y, with a crowd of people and lots of random music playing; it felt very festive.

On the way back down to the car, Dominic and I intentionally trailed behind the others. At this point I liked him more than Matt. He asked me out before we reached the car. (Later I realized that it was a gutsy move to ask someone out while they are on a date with another person, but I didn't mind.) I informed him that I was leaving immediately after finals to visit my parents for a month, and he said that he would wait for me. Although I had had a good time with him that night, I didn't expect him to remember me. I was wrong.

Monday, April 18, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night,

and we were drifting off to sleep in our warm, dry bed. All of a sudden we heard, "Meow, meow, meow." I reluctantly got up, went downstairs, and opened the back door (directly below our bedroom) to let the cat in from the rain. He wasn't there. So I went and checked the front door. He wasn't there, either.

Back upstairs, the meowing was louder than before. Hm, he must be stuck in the house - it's happened before. So Dominic joined me in checking all the rooms and closets, upstairs and downstairs. Still no sign of that pesky feline. The kids had been playing with the window, and the cat sometimes climbs out onto the roof. I poked my head outside, but no luck.

Convinced that we had looked everywhere, we went back to bed. Just as I was almost asleep again, I heard more urgent meowing, plus scratching. Okay, so the cat was somewhere he didn't want to be and was trying to get out. We got up again and looked in everything again, plus the kitchen cupboards and drawers and any place large enough to hold a cat - even the fridge, just in case. All to no avail.

Honestly it sounded as if the cat was stuck in the wall or attic. How could he have gotten in there? Dominic checked the attic entrances, but they were all shut tight, and we don't have holes in the walls. He went outside to visually check the roof, in case the cat was stuck and couldn't get back to the window. Exhausting every conceivable possibility short of tearing down the walls, we went to bed well after 1 a.m.

By morning there was still no sign of the cat, except for the occasional meowing from the walls or attic. I served breakfast to the kids and Dominic took drastic action. He carried a ladder up to the guest bedroom. The attic access had been caulked shut. Dominic broke the seal and found the cat.

What apparently had happened: the cat had gone out through the broken screen when the kids were playing with the window and was stuck on the roof when we made the kids close the window. He had knocked off a vent cover, which had not been nailed down, and fallen into the attic. Well, he had found a dry place to stay during the rain but couldn't get himself out. For all his efforts, he earned a bath to clean the fiberglass insulation out of his fur.

The final scoreboard:
Cat: +1, for finding a dry place to stay during the rain.
Homebuilders: -2, for the unsecured vent cover and the sealed attic access.
Dominic: Winner! for rescuing the cat and fixing the homebuilders' mistakes.