Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Raining Cats!

The work on my house seems to go from one disaster to another - today's was cats falling through the roof. The cats like to sun on the roof of my former pool room - the light wall of the house reflects sunlight onto the black roof that absorbs heat, so the cats sun themselves all day long. Yesterday, I heard a huge ka-boom noise and thought it must have been ice falling off of the roof. When I went outside to see, all I found was a pile of the tin shingles I had placed in the space where one of the roofs meets the side of the pool room roof. The tin filled a gap that I then shingled over. I didn't know that Joe the builder had removed the tin.

I didn't learn until today that removing the tin let the cats go deeper into the tunnel created by the shingles covering the gap. When Joe insulated the roof, he couldn't figure out how to deal with that section, so he put some 2x4s across the length of it and tacked some insulation board to it. Apparently the weight of the too many cats brought the temporary fix down. Yesterday's noise was that ceiling section crashing to the floor with some cats - and more cats fell during the night. I woke up several times thinking I was hearing the dogs making a lot of noise going out the doggy door - but it was cats. This morning, when I was in the bathroom, I heard a crash that sounded like it was right next to the bathroom wall - so, I finally went into the new room - and it was full of cats. Now, much as I care about and care for these cats, they are still barn cats and most of them are basically feral cats. Very few of them will come to me and even fewer will let me pick them up - and none of them will respond to me when they are already terrified. So, cats here, there, and everywhere, and no way to get them outside. I finally blocked the outside door open, put the dogs in the car, and left for a while. When I returned, the cats were out of the room, but the roosters were going in!

I thought the problem was probably solved and Joe said he would come out tomorrow to do some repairs - but then I started hearing booms and bangs and little meows. Upstairs. Over the dining room. Over the living room. Up where I don't go. UGH.

The open space created by the wall that melted away while the house was deserted had worked it's way up the wall to the second story. The dining room ceiling is barely six feet high, so the second story isn't very high up and part of it falls into the new room. There is a giant hole through the old board and batten and plaster going into that room. It's a funny little under-the-eaves kind of room that I never use - in fact, I piled stuff in there when I moved into this house in 1972 and I've never looked at the stuff since. I took a flashlight upstairs, found the door to that room open, (it opens into the "master bedroom") and the rooms were full of cats. I don't know how many because they all scrambled away and hid into, under, and behind all the stuff I haven't looked at in decades. I have no idea how to get them out of there.

Years ago, I expanded my bathroom to include the hallway that used to lead to the upstairs. So, I have now closed off the bathroom, opened the door at the bottom of the stairs, and opened the window into the pool room. If I was a self-respecting cat, I'd go down the stairs, see that open window and jump up, walk down the board I placed against the window sill, and get into the pool room. I haven't yet decided whether or not to leave the outside door open since I don't want to let more cats in...

I hear cats moving around, but no more ka-booms like they're raining through the roof...

2 comments:

Miz T. said...

You write so well Phyllis! I can just picture the feral cats causing a ruckus and running from you as you break up their party. Perhaps a trail of kibble will lead them out before it leads another critter in? I hope you enjoy a quieter sleep tonight!

Mr. Taylor said...

Okay, it's probably not funny, but it sounds really funny. Are the dogs opposed to doing some housecleaning...in a gentle way, of course? You'd think feral cats would steer clear of the dogs. Maybe a dog visit, on a leash, would encourage them to move on. Dogs are usually the answer to any problem :)