Unwelcome Adventure

I had thought my 2 a.m. adventure on the way home from work would start and end with the crazy icicles on the outside of the building.

But the icicles were just a hint of the cold yet to come.

When I got home, I noticed a glow in the snow outside my door, before I could see the actual door.  I was relieved when the snowplow passed by, taking its lights away, but the relief was short-lived, as the glow was still there.

Apparently, I had not shut my door tightly when I locked it on the way to work  The door was wide open, and a 2-liter bottle of diet Pepsi was frozen and exploded in the entryway. There was dirty snow on and around the cat’s scratching post. A shrill squealing noise was coming from the living room. After a couple of minutes of frantic searching, I discovered it was coming from my exercise bike. I hit a couple of buttons and it went away.

Then it was time for heat. I have two excellent space heaters, thank goodness. I pulled my bedroom one into the entryway and turned it on. The display read 32 degrees.

I turned the one on in the living room. It also read 32 degrees, even though the living room was warmer, so I figured 32 must be the lowest it registers. The actual thermostat on the wall in the entryway only goes down to 40, so that was pointless to consult.

The living room heater read 34 almost right away, then 38, where it stayed for a while, creeping up as time passed, one degree at a time.

I had encountered my regular visitor, the stray cat I call DK (short for  Dumpster Kitty), on the way in. Obviously he had let himself in. He and my two cats were wandering about, acting a little odd — probably that shrill noise had scared them, I figured.

But after I set the living room heater and turned to the other end of the room, I saw another reason.

There was a FOURTH CAT, a smallish black short-haired cat, sitting in the corner next to my couch and looking up at me.

“Well, that’s great,” I thought. I already have one stray cat I don’t want to keep. Why not another?

And one by one, my cats came to greet her.

She and Max touched noses, and Max then climbed up on the arm of the couch to peer down at her.

Zelda came nose to nose with her, too, which surprised me a little.

It was pretty obvious the new cat was terrified, too.

Then along came DK, who growled at her. Yay — the stray cat is getting territorial with a new stray cat.

The cat did not want anything from me — not food, not treats, not petting, but she did want out. At some point, she made her way to the other end of my apartment, screaming at one, two or all three of the cats along the way, and entered my bedroom, where she sat on a cat pillow in the window and started trying to claw her way out. When I tried to befriend her so I could show her the door, she ran back the other way, down to the spare bedroom. I was about to go open the outer door and grab a broom to shoo her outside when I saw she had gotten halfway down the length of the apartment again. I maneuvered her into the entry way, walked past her, opened the door and watched her make a beeline for outside. She ended up under the neighbor’s truck, so I am hoping she is the cat I see often in their window.

It’s now 5:30 a.m. The temp in the living room is 58. The entryway warmed up to 38 half an hour ago and now has hit 44.  I’m still wearing my jacket, and I added a pair of snowpants  and an extra pair of socks. My blanket and comforter from my bedroom are warming up on the floor in front of the living-room heater. The spare bedroom that I will sleep in is the farthest part of the house away from the door and will probably be OK to sleep in.

And there’s cat puke on the top sheet.

So much for a top sheet. At least the puke was dry and easily scraped off.

On a more positive note, I am eating klub (from a mix, not homemade, so not nearly as good, but still tastes delicious). It was exactly what I’d planned to do when I got home, although it was going to happen three hours ago while sitting back with my feet up watching an episode  of “Wire in the Blood” from my Netflix Instant Watch queue.