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
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.
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
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’
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."
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
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.
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"
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
"But, perhaps he doesn't know how", my wife
"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
“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.
'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”
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
© By John Cheyne Click here to visit John's