Henrietta and the President’s Day Weekend of Doom
So guess what people who come to Key West for President's Day weekend like to do (you know, besides drink, shop, lounge by the pool, go boating, eat, and visit Pat Croce's new pirate museum)?
That's right. Check out the local real estate market, and tour homes that are for sale!
Which means I got to spend my President's Day Weekend on edge, never knowing if we were going to get The Call from Captain Bob—you know, the red alert, that someone wants to see our house, and that I've got to hide Henrietta's litter box (the number one turn off for potential buyers is pet odor–I know this from watching HOUSE DOCTOR) and then vacate the premises—with Henrietta–for half an hour.
The reason we have to remove Henrietta from the house whenever someone comes to see it is that
1) We learned our lesson from the Open House, and
2) If we're not here to stop her, she will attack whoever enters our bedroom.
Henrietta has absolutely no respect for the fact that these people might actually buy the house. She doesn't care. All she knows is that she is seeing a pair of strange feet walking around the bed, under which she has established her most recent Fortress of Solitude, where she has hidden her stash of ill-gotten gain, which includes, in random order:
1) Her banana-shaped catnip toy
2) Her collar which she will not let me put back on her, and
3) The tweezers, which fell on the bathroom floor sometime ago, and which Henrietta has confiscated as her own and now guards as jealously as if they were made of pure solid gold.
She keeps these objects in a pile beneath the bed, and growls if you come near them. Or the bed under which they lay. She knows my husband and I have no interest in the catnip banana and have given up on the tweezers, etc, and so no longer gets upset if one of US walks by or sleeps on the bed, under which they are stashed.
But she believes everyone else is after her loot, and swipes at them ferociously from beneath the dust ruffle when they go by.
This is not the worst thing she is capable of doing to potential buyers, either. I know this because a few years ago, when I bought my apartment in New York, the landlord of the apartment I was renting before I moved in to the new place needed to start showing the old place to new prospective renters, while I was still living there.
This was no problem. I mean, I had no difficulty vacating the place for an hour or so while they showed it. I figured I would walk around the neighborhood, or do my grocery shopping. No biggie. I knew I'd find lots of ways to occupy my time.
Until the first time the realtor arrived to show the place. Not ten minutes after I'd left did I get a phone call on my cell.
It was the realtor. She sounded strangely nervous.
“Can you please come back and get your cat? She has currently trapped us in the bathroom, and she won't let us out.”
This was alarming, to say the least. I ran home to find Henrietta guarding the bathroom door with all of her fur raised on end, refusing to let the realtor and potential renters in the bathroom out of it, and making these weird, threatening, ninja noises. I had to grab her and remove her from the apartment before they could leave.
Needless to say, they did not take the apartment.
So we learned the hard way that when we are showing our home to potential buyers, and we are not going to be there to keep an eye on her, we must remove Henrietta from the premises.
So you can understand how fraught with tension this past weekend was. Every time the phone rang, I knew it might mean we were going to have pull Henrietta out from under the bed, stuff her in her Sherpa bag, and drive around town with her.
Let me tell you, Key West is a very cat-friendly town. There are cats EVERYWHERE.
But there are very few places you can legally take a cat in a bag. I can't let Henrietta out of the bag, of course, because all of those Key West cats will kick her ass. They don't take kindly to fancy pants city cats like mine.
Back in New York, when we were showing our old apartment, we used to take Henrietta all over New York City in her carrier. She has been to restaurants, on the subway, in taxi cabs. Once we even took her to buy mattresses at Bloomingdales.
I have to say, once she is actually in her bag, she's quite calm about it. She didn't utter a peep at Bloomingdales. It was like she'd been born to shop, like Paris Hilton's Tinkerbell. And not to brag, but all the staff at the Key West airport say Henrietta is the best behaved cat who ever goes through there.
But that's just when she's in the carrier. If only they knew how she is when she's out of it.
Or how she is when we're trying to put her in it. The last time I tried to put her in the carrier, she was so enraged that she opened her mouth to bite my hand, until she was actually resting her teeth on my skin…but she didn't bite down.
I know why, too. Because she was thinking, in her little cat head, “If I bite her, she might take away my new tweezers. She Has That Power.”
So she didn't bite me.
But I could tell she really, really wanted to.
I'm not sure how much longer Henrietta is going to be able to take this house-selling thing. Or me either, for that matter.
I will keep you posted.
PS Don't miss tonight's season finale of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEEN! Reviews of it and the past two episodes, including the infamous HART episode—also of The OC and Charles and Camilla's surprise wedding announcement–coming to this blog soon!!!!