We’ve lived in this house – Our Towers (rather than Pog Towers, where I used to live on my own) – for almost 5 years. One of the ‘things’ a lot of houses in this area have is glass doors in the bedroom that open onto the roof of the floor below. These are supposed to have a sheet of very thick waist height glass to stop you climbing out, but for some reason the previous owner had removed this and stored it under the house. We then put all of our boxes and ‘things we’d see if we really needed’ in front of it and thought no more of it.
In summer time our room got quite hot, but I wouldn’t sleep with the doors open as it was very likely Norman would go exploring, get stuck somewhere and wouldn’t be able to get back. At Pog Towers he got stuck on the shed and conservatory roof a few times so it wasn’t that unlikely.
Because of this, we rarely opened the doors. Until a few weeks ago when it got silly hot here in the UK, and we realised that we might actually cook in our sleep if we didn’t do something.
We found that glass hidden behind stuff we’ve barely moved in five years and prepared to get it up to our room. It was SO heavy. I had to stop a lot. And when we finally got it up on the roof it didn’t fit any more as all the rubber holding it in places had swollen and solidified. Mr R did some magic though and we hefted and hefted and finally got it in place. Hooray! Then we realised we had trapped ourselves on the roof as neither of I us owns four foot long legs to climb back over. We hefted the glass back out, and realised we couldn’t fit it from the inside, so long story short, we had to get a step ladder and Mr R stayed on the roof to fit it and step laddered himself back in.
All good. We could now sleep with a breeze and no danger of Norman escaping.
Until Norman escaped. Apparently despite now being 12 and mostly enjoying the quiet life, watching the world go by from the front garden and sleeping slap bang in the middle of our bed at night, there is nothing more challenging than a three and a bit foot glass wall…
I was sure I’d seen Norman come upstairs but he wasn’t in our room or the Boys room. I must have imagined it. I got into bed and heard him miaowing though– a sign he requires you in some shape or another…
He was on the roof, the other side of the glass. We had to get the step ladder back out. I had to get on the roof and use all my stealth because Norman doesn’t like being picked up and if he thinks you might be about to, he runs…fast. And the only place to run was onto next doors roof outside their bedroom. My stealth moves won out, we got Norms back and we shut the doors and cooked.
Night two we kept the doors shut and went back to our old plan of having the windows in the Boys room open and all the doors between open so we could get some through breeze. Again, I saw norms trot upstairs. Again, he disappeared. I went into the Boys room and – clearly having a taste for it now – Norms was climbing out onto the slanted roof. I grabbed his bottom and pulled. He dug is claws into the roof tiles and a battle of wills ensued.
‘Come back you little fucker’ I whispered in that sort of stage whisper that carries for about ten miles. Well, maybe not ten miles, but certainly as far as the people just outside the house giving their dog a night time walk.
We did a bit of wrestling. It wasn’t dignified. The people on the pavement kept glancing up nervously as I reassured them ‘ it’s ok – it’s my cat’….like it was going to be anyone else’s.
I won, eventually. Normans pride was dented. We all cooked.
The irony is Norman never tried to get out when the barriers wasn’t in place. There’s probably some deep and meaningful message about life there. Or maybe he is just a very contrary cat who is determined to prove that he’s still got it. :o)