Emmy's Secret Hideout

Emmy is the pure white cat who lives next door. She is older than our tabby kitten, Davie, but they enjoy each other's company. It’s almost as if she wants a friend so that she can play 'Chase Me'. She likes playing that game. Most girls do.

All the houses in our bit of the road have garages at the bottom of their gardens, which you get to by using a little lane running behind the houses. Some of the garages are getting old, so the neighbours building new ones. Next door is the same. Their new garage is double size and includes a workshop. They store all sorts of things in there from builder's equipment to old furniture.

“There's no room in our house at present”, the husband says, blaming his growing family, but I'm sure it is just an excuse. He likes to go and potter with his tools in the long summer evenings. At present there's no room for a car, but there is a surprise. Inside he has an ancient player piano that he's got working by attaching it to the 'blow' end of an old vacuum cleaner. What’s more, he’s even managed to get some old rolls of slotted paper, which make it play tunes.

Of course garages usually mean cars and Davie doesn't like cars - they remind him of visits to the 'Vets'. This meant that he wasn’t interested in what was in the new garage, until one day he found it open. That morning, Emma's 'Mum' was going to work and she needed something from the garage to take with her. She left the door ajar to let the light in while she was looking for it and Davie couldn't resist the open door while she had her back turned.
He crept in to explore.

While he was looking at everything, however, Emmy's 'Mum' failed to see him, shut the door and went back to her waiting car and drove off.

Then Emmy, to tease Davie, jumped up on a big pile of bricks set down next to their garage. After making sure he had spotted her she scrambled up the garage wall just under the bit where the roof starts, and disappeared! Davie was so surprised, he had to go and investigate.

He also scrambled on top of the pile of bricks and looked where she had gone. Then he saw there was a gap on top of the wall under the eaves. As Emmy must have gone in there, Davie followed. He squeezed through the gap, which wasn't easy because he is rather tubby and found he was on top of the wall inside the garage.

Although it was dark, there was some light coming from the crack under the garage door, and he was soon able to see. Now, where had Emmy gone? Had she really disappeared or was she just playing ‘Chase me’ again?

Ah, there she was, pretending to be fast asleep, curled up on a blanket on top of some planks of wood. Davie kept quiet as a feather and tiptoed to the other side of the garage so as not to disturb her. As he had just had his breakfast, this would give him plenty of time to explore all the delights of the garage before he got too hungry.

He had almost finished sniffing all the piles of wood when he heard my wife calling for him. She was with one of her friends and she was explaining that Davie was lost. Emmy was still asleep, so he looked for a way to get back up to the top of the wall where he had come in. All of the piles of wood looked a bit unsafe, so he jumped down on to the floor and put his nose under the garage door, shouting a meow telling my wife where he was.

"That's him," she exclaimed to her friend with satisfaction. "Typical. Let's have a cup of tea and work out what we should do! They've both gone out, you know."

The two ladies went away, but soon came clattering back, dragging garden chairs and each carrying a mug of tea. Then they sat down in the lane and proceeded to talk about Davie and cats in general, just as if he wasn't there. It must have been interesting for Davie; especially as two of his other cat friends came and sat beside the ladies, heads to one side, listening to their chat and the occasional meow from Davie.
Then, even more excitement. Another neighbour drove up in her car, which meant that the chairs had to be moved to let her get past. While the two ladies were moving out of the way, the car driver wound her window down and said "I won't ask any questions" even though they could see she was dying to know what was going on.

She had her two small boys with her, belted safely in the back seat, and they were craning to see what was happening. As soon as their seat belts were unbuckled, they scrambled out of the car and came running to watch.

When they saw Davie's nose under the Emmy’s garage door they crouched down to look to see if they could see any more, but they couldn‘t.

My wife then explained to them that Davie was shut in the garage and it looked like there was nobody to let him out until teatime, when Emmy's 'Mum' and 'Dad' got home from work.

Davie then poked his nose further out through the crack under the door, presumably to tell my wife to hurry up and this caused even more excitement. The children started jumping up and down in front of the garage, saying "Hello, Daydee", (their name for him) over and over again and he was on the other side of the door meowing his ''I'm here" shout.

To calm everyone down, my wife pushed some food under the door, saying, "In case he gets hungry". He wasn't, as he had just finished his breakfast, but another cat friend, attracted by the noise and always after a free lunch, came by. He started to hook the food plate out with his claws
Then I arrived and joined in the conversation, saying "If he got in there, he can get out again!"

"But, perhaps he doesn't know how", my wife replied.

"Look, it's going to rain. We can't go on standing here or we'll all get wet.”, I insisted. “He'll be all right in there until they come back, I'm sure. Let's go inside".

While all this noise was going on, Emmy must have woken up and sneaked out of the garage using one of her many escape routes. Meanwhile, Davie was so busy listening to all the fuss at the front of the garage, he missed seeing how she got out.

Then it did start to rain, so we ran back to our houses with the chairs and left Davie still in the garage. It became very quiet. Davie was now tired, so he found where Emmy had been sleeping and decided to have a quick nap on her blanket.

Every so often throughout the rest of the day, I went back to the garage and shouted "Davie, are you still in there?" to the garage door. After the first few times, he gave up meowing back, I expect because all these interruptions were starting to get boring for him and a growing young cat like Davie needs his sleep.

Time passed. We had our evening meal and it got dark. Then Emmy’s Mum came home and we told her what had happened.
“Could you open up the garage and let Davie out?” I asked.
She couldn't understand why Davie had a problem getting out, when Emmy had none, but she opened the up-and-over door straight away.

Surprised by the noise of the garage door opening, Davie woke and appeared casually, stretching first his front and then his back legs, just as if this happened every day.

Emma's 'Mum' explained “The garage is her secret hideaway. She shares it with all the other neighbourhood cats, especially when it is raining. Most of the cats know about it, because they’ve all been there at one time or the other” she said with raised eyebrows. “Why your kitten got stuck is a puzzle”

Davie is still curious. He's found that some garages have just got a smelly car in them, but some of the others have very interesting insides. They even have mice! Also, they're nice and quiet, ideal for a snooze. Now, every time he has to be 'rescued', he hopes he's in for a super evening meal. My wife says “It’s to feed him up after being shut in for so long”, but I’m tougher. I suspect that he won't discover the secret of next door’s garage until he slims by cutting down on his biscuits......

The End

© By John Cheyne Click here to visit John's Page