humor, Memoir

A Not so Cozy Winter’s Tale

We had a cat trapped in our wall. A crazy cat.

The house was a huge, unfinished metal two-story home in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere in rural Oklahoma. We rented it, along with about 20 acres, for around $300 a month. It was all that we could afford. We got a good discount for agreeing to chop the brush away from the door, kill the timber rattlers, and clear the house of scorpions and tree frogs.

The crazy young cat that we called “Fraidy” lived outside, but an early spring thunder-storm had blown up, covering the world with white dipping dots and then a half-foot or more of snow. So we let Fraidy in, imagining that he would lie peacefully by the wood burning stove (our sole source of heat), like Rembrandt’s “Little Sleeping Dog.”

Fraidy, however, did not like the stove, nor the house, nor the people in the house. He found the only hole large enough for a small cat in the lovely wood-grain paneling which allowed him to run into the uninsulated metal wall between the living room and kitchen, where he began to howl and hiss.

Amanda was concerned for our furry friend. With the aid of a flashlight, I tried to poke him out by jabbing things into the hole, but he just hissed at me. Whether I poked, threw, or cussed, he stayed put.

I then had a brilliant discovery; the dishwasher in the kitchen blocked the other end of the wall. If I just pulled it out a little, we could get Amanda’s sweet kitty.

I began to pull, and with one good jerk, I heard a pop, and a fountain of hot water began shooting out of the floor from where I broke the pipe which was directly attached to the dishwasher that I had the brilliant idea to move.

Our water cutoff was in the well house, which wasn’t too far of a run through the eight-inch deep snow, which was still heavily coming down and blowing sideways, for someone who was barefooted and wet, so I couldn’t understand why Amanda refused to go and sent me instead.

With the water shut off and about 3 inches of it standing in our kitchen (which had concrete floors, luckily), we turned our attention to that for the next few hours. When everything was finally dry, and we realized we had done all we could for the night, we noticed Fraidy curled up and sleeping peacefully on the rug by the wood burning stove.

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.

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