A while ago, I told you about how one of our cats ran away and we couldn't catch him for ages, and I was so stressed out I had a flare.
That's not the cat in this story. This is the other one.
Since those fateful events, we've had an "air lock" system in our house. Both the little entry hall has both the front door and the door to the rest of the house closed - only one can ever be opened at a time so as to make sure no cat can get out. We have the same system with the laundry and the back door - the door between the laundry and the rest of the house has to be closed before the back door is open.
This has left us with two cats who have begrudgingly accepted becoming "inside cats", but who still look enviously at a dog who is regularly taken outside.
Another piece of background to this story is that on good days, I try to do many of the things that I would leave for my son/carer on bad days.
So it happened that on Wednesday, I was taking my washing out to the clothesline. It was late in the day and I was a little tired, so a little brain fogged, and I didn't properly close the door to the laundry before I opened the back door to go outside. Out of nowhere the older cat appeared, and disappeared through the gazebo and into the trees before I had a chance to catch him. (He may be getting on, but you wouldn't know it.)
I called for my son, who failed to catch the miscreant, but did give me a lecture. (Whose job is it to make sure I close doors, turn off the stove, etc anyway?)
As I said this cat isn't the one who stayed away for ages. This one will always come home, the issue is just how much mayhem he will cause and what injuries he will come home with.
I finished hanging out my washing, and came inside.
A little later it was getting dark, and I thought it might be time to check if Mr Bumpy Cat were back home. I went to the front door, making sure to shut the other door behind me. I didn't think to turn on the entryway light, I wasn't going to be there long. Just outside the front door was said cat. He'd apparently been considering coming home.
Trying not to scare him away, I squatted down to try to coax him in. I had one foot on the doormat and one on the tiled floor.
Mr Bumpy took one or two steps in, but once he was half-way through the door he turned to go back out again.
I grabbed for the cat, not wanting him to run off into the darkness.
The next thing I knew I was lying on the tiled floor in a tangled mess of arms, legs, cat and doormat, with my bad hip and shoulder both making their pained objections quite clear.
There was only one thing I was certain of: if I let go of the cat before I got that front door closed, I wouldn't be able to catch him for hours.
I thought of calling for help, but my son was in his room at the back of the house, and if I called too loudly, I would wake my toddler grand-daughter upstairs.
I lay there for a moment, trying to gather my thoughts, and discovered they were as hard to catch as the cat had been. Eventually, I rolled the entire ball of cat, me and mat fully inside so I could lean on the door to close it. Done. I could let go of the cat.
Now, I was in the dark, on the floor and in pain. I slowly rolled over on to my hands and knees. Sadly, my left hand was on the corner of the mat, which was now upside down (so the stuff to make it stay in place was on top, not on the tiles), and it shot out from under me. Have I mentioned that my bad shoulder is the left one? I almost screamed.
I made it back to my hands and knees, making sure no part of me was on the mat. I stopped for a moment to recover and make sure nothing was actually broken, before I got completely to my feet.
I opened the door back into the rest of the house. Just at that moment, the cat darted under my feet, and I fell against the wall. (It was my left shoulder that hit the wall.) At least I stayed basically upright.
There were no real consequences, other than that my bad hip and shoulder hurt a bit more than usual. But I can tell you, fatigue, brain fog and basic clumsiness are a very bad combination.
Oh, the washing machine's just finished. I have to go and hang out another load.
You can read the same story, from the point-of-view of the cat here: http://www.mrbumpycat.com/2016/04/mr-bumpys-version-of-certain-events.html