How Runner Minds the House
WHAP! Huh? Runner flew about three feet up off of the sofa.
Startled out of her dreams, she found herself snarled into the
Afghan. Whuff, puff, pssssttttt she shook her head to clear it.
Runner looked around to see what had wakened her. Seeing nothing
amiss, she unwound herself and jumped down from the couch. One
good stretch and off she went in search of her human.
WHAM! Whoa, thought Runner. There's that horrible noise again. Coming from the bedroom. Must be where her pet human was. Runner came into the doorway to find the human holding a rolled up newspaper. The human put it down and started muttering. Something about flies and where did they come from, how did they get in. The human was not happy. Now it was talking about being late for work.
Still muttering about pesky flies, the human left through the front door. Without even giving Runner her normal goodbye and take care of things while I'm gone talk. Not even the kiss on the top of her head that Runner loved so much. Not even a wave. Oh, this just won't do. She felt so dejected. Runner decided she would just have to figure out what had gone wrong. Feeling abandoned and alone, Runner crept back to her place on the couch. It was time to think. Time to figure everything out. Time to study on it.
As Runner was laying there, eyes closed, breathing regular and deep, her brain was going back over the events of the morning. Step by step Runner retraced everything that had been said. She settled on the "come from" and "get in" things that her human had said. Her nose twitched, her tail flipped. This was it! This was the key to the problem, another twitch, nose and back leg this time. Something was getting into the house and was upsetting her human. Something small. Another twitch, ears rotating, another twitch, eyes closed. And it was going to be up to Runner to fix the problem.
It was Runner's job to take care of the house while her human was at work. It trusted Runner to make sure that everything was just the same when it came home. After all, didn't it say to Runner every morning to mind the house now, be good and take care of things? And Runner hadn't. Runner had let something slip by her and it upset her human. Oh dear. Well, Runner was just going to have to do something about it.
Up, stretch front, stretch back. Flex her neck, swish her tail. Time to get her senses moving. She twitched her ears, listening. She flexed her whiskers, feeling. She twitched her nose, smelling. Runner slowly padded through the living room and into the kitchen. Nothing amiss there. Around the kitchen she crept. Listening, feeling, smelling. Hummm. There, her breakfast, waiting for her. Well, she thought, I need strength for this, might as well grab a few bites before I continue. She ate a small amount from her bowl, took a few sips from her water dish. And then went back to the hunt.
She stalked from the kitchen down the hall to the bathroom. Slowly, carefully, listening, feeling, smelling. Nothing but the normal sounds and scents. On to the bedroom. There! She heard something. A buzzing sound. Runner stopped still. Concentrating on the sound, Runner slowly, slowly turned herself toward it. Hardly a muscle moving, she crouched low. Slid her paws one half inch at a time towards the buzz. Her back held low to the ground, her tail flat behind her, balancing her. Head stretched out, low down. Her eyes fixed on something. Something making that noise, moving just out of reach, there, against the wall.
Runner stayed in that position for a minute. Waiting. Not a whisker twitched. Ears cocked forward, low to her head. Slowly her back legs tensed. Her tail flattened even further for support, her front paws got ready, her eyes watching its every move. She sprang. Uncoiling she leaped into the air, front paws outstretched, ears forward, she gave a ferocious swat!
And got it. Aha! First time. Tiny little thing to make so much noise. Runner swatted it again. It lay there. Unmoving. Runner flipped it a time or two, just to make sure. It was vanquished. Defeated. The Runner had struck again. She was the best! But now it was time to go to the second half of her job. How did it get in to Runner's house? Runner left the noisy thing there for now and begin to stalk again.
This time her whiskers would be concentrated on. She thrust them forward, fully outstretched. She wouldn't enter any area where the opening was smaller than her outstretched whiskers. Using that as a guide, she wouldn't get caught into a place she couldn't back out of. She paced the room. Feeling. There - a breeze. Just a hint of different air. Just enough to ruffle a whisker or two. There. By the window.
Runner jumped up on the back of the bedroom chair that was by the window. The drapes were back, the shade pulled up. Runner slowly moved her head back and forth. There. The breeze. And she found it! A chip in the wooden window sill. A hole only two times the size of the buzzy thing. Runner sprang down, ran to her toy box, and grabbed up a paper ball her human had made for her to catch. She jumped back to the window and dropped it by the hole. She used her paws, used her nose, pushed it, pushed it and stuffed it against the hole until the breeze had vanished.
Triumphantly, Runner jumped off the sill, all four paws outstretched and sprang to the floor. She pranced back to the living room, head and tail held high! Back to her spot on the couch and exhausted, plopped herself down. Ah, now to dream about her wonderful day and wait for her human to come home.
Before Runner knew it, the front door opened. Runner jumped off the couch and ran to say hello. The human scooped her up and kissed her on top of her head (the kiss that Runner loved so much) and muttered something about a cat's life. Nothing to do all day but lay around and sleep.
Runner purred, smiling to herself
And that's how Runner minds the house.
This story is reprinted here with permission of the author, Karel Bergstrom. Please visit Karel's Restless Legs Syndrome support site, Nightwalkers to read more of her stories and for the story behind the stories.