She's still, she's still Dorfy from the block. She used to have a little, now she has a lot.
No matter where she goes, she knows where she came from.
Case in point:
It all started with bugs. I would go downstairs to scoop the litter boxes or do some laundry and see Dorfy, crouched on the ledge at the bottom of the foundation, right by the back basement door. Watching the shallow hole in the wall next to the floor.
"What are you doing?" I would ask. "Why do you like it there so much?" Then I started to notice these, in various spots around the basement. Dead, of course, and sometimes de-limbed.
I see now.
This was her spot for a long time. It was her pastime, her hobby, her armchair activity. Then a few months ago, I started to notice concrete crumbs on the top of the washer, and a collection of nice-sized rocks of concrete and a growing pile of smaller crumbs on the makeshift wood shelf beneath the washer hoses.
I would sometimes hear a bang like something heavy hitting the top of the washer, but when I'd go down to investigate, I didn't see anything.
Wait a minute...Let's look at that picture again.
From what I could piece together, Miss D jumps up to the washer, then jumps from the washer between the two pipes to the ledge at the top of the foundation beneath the first floor, and I'm guessing she needs to scrabble her way up a bit judging from the dip in the foundation, right between the pipes.
Nice job, D.
"I wonder if I could shimmy over to that pipe and walk it like a tightrope."
Yeah, that sounds awesome.
So about three weeks ago, I realized I had squirrels in my ceiling. I called over my handyman to put a trap (humane) up there. After he left, I couldn't find Dorothy. I looked everywhere. Under the pleather chair in the living room, under the bed, under the sofa, behind the hamper in the bathroom, in the bathtub, behind all the boxes and crap in the basement, in her perch above the washer.
Naturally, I freaked out and worked myself up into a good frothy panic. I called my handyman in tears to ask if he'd seen her run out the front door when he left. I was right there when he left and hadn't seen her, but you never know: she is small and she is fast. She actually usually runs and hides when the front door opens, so I would've been surprised if she'd gotten out. He said he hadn't seen her, so I took to the yards. Front yard, under the porch, back yard, under the deck, behind the steps.
I went back inside and got serious. With MagLite in hand, I walked the length of the basement, shining it up into every beam and along the length of the top of the foundation. All the way down the basement I went. Turn at the corner, up through the main water pipes.
Oh. Brilliant. I called and called that damn cat for 20 minutes, opened up a can of food, shook a treat bag, riled up ALL the other cats (and then had to actually give them a treat so I wouldn't be a jackass) and all the while...
Notice the paw curled into her chest. She is perfectly content.
Last week, I heard what sounded like the furnace turning WAY on, more than the normal furnace bang. Nothing else seemed out of the ordinary and I didn't hear it again, so I forgot about it. I heard the same noise the following morning, and then more metal/banging/air duct-type ruckus and immediately thought Dorothy had gotten herself stuck IN an air duct. I mean, look at the evidence here...you never know. I knew to take the MagLite with me. This time I walked all along the ductwork, shining the light on top of it. I got to the middle of the basement and saw a torbie tail hanging down from a beam. New spot.
Look at that little ****. She is way back there. When I yelled at her to get out of there, she knew she was in trouble. Right, she always knows she's in trouble, but she still finds trouble to get into. The thing is, the way she gets to this spot only works one way. She has to jump from an upper basement step before they turn, but trying to jump back to that step is a bit of a problem.
I'm considering having the handyman put in a drop ceiling.
So Dorothy loves the basement. She loves loves loves the basement. She loves the bugs, she loves the boxes, she loves the 100-year-old beams with their cobwebs, she loves the old pipes. She's even transplanted Mr. Tabby Spots down there to attack.
Why? To anthropomorphize her, I like to think she sometimes wants to remember her mean-streets life before Robyn's and here. Who knows what happened before 7 weeks. How did an itty bitty kitty survive on her own? It drives me nuts that I don't know her history. Apparently, she learned a lot, though.
I've also considered that she's seen Sarah McLachlan's unwatchably sad ASPCA commercial and continues to find ways to be rescued.
Which is, of course, OK.