twice the smartass, half the laughs
The Four Blogs of Christmas Part 4: The Conclusion
Post Date: 12/24/2006

So, I had to be back at work on Wednesday morning. Of course, because I had just taken two days off, I really wanted to be on time for work upon my return. Getting to work on time recently has not been a running theme with me. Gator can be very difficult to get going in the morning when she wants to be. This particular morning, we were already running a little behind, but it wasn't anything I couldn't make up on the road with my Speed Racer like driving ability. As I packed Allee into the car, I heard the faint, familiar, pathetic mew of my cat Gray. (So named because he's a solid gray cat. Yes, I know... we think it's terribly clever as well.) I looked around and didn't see him and went into my neighbor's yard to investigate further. He once got himself locked in her car overnight. He jumped in while she was unloading groceries, and she didn't notice him when she locked it up. I thought perhaps he had done this again. I checked, and he didn't appear to be in there. Still, I could hear him meowing sadly from somewhere. I went into the next neighbor's yard... looked up... and there he was. He had treed himself (again).

He was about twenty feet or so up in the tree. This tree had no low lying branches, so I figured I'd have to get up there and get him somehow. I went to the car and made sure Allee was okay. She was fine. I'd started the car, and she was safely buckled into her car seat, eating her toast and watching Cinderella. I ran around the back of the house and got my extension ladder. When I put it up against the tree... it wasn't even close. Well, a few minutes (and more than a few profanities later) my neighbor Alice (the one whose car Gray had gotten himself locked in) came out to investigate all the commotion. She assessed the situation and asked if I wanted to borrow her eight foot folding ladder. I followed one of the branches and at it's lowest point I thought that, if I could get Gray to come down on it, eight feet might just be enough to reach him. It, of course, would not be, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Alice went in and got some ham and a can of tuna. Meanwhile, one of my across the street neighbors Heather had come along and graciously offered her help. She steadied the ladder as I precariously perched myself on the top of it and tried to entice Gray towards me. He got pretty far on that branch, but when I tried to pull it down a little to get him closer to me, he got spooked and ran back to where he was and wouldn't come close again. Then Alice had an idea.

She went and got a laundry basket and we put that can of tuna in it. We thought he might jump into the basket to get the tuna. So, back up I went, very nervous and unsure of my hold on the ladder and stuck that basket up in the air as far as I could (spilling tuna juice on me in the process. Delicious, no?). Well, you might have already guessed, but he didn't bite. He seemed interested, but unwilling to get close to where I was. My other neighbor Carla (who Gray is very fond of) had come over and she was trying to help call him down... to no avail. Well, I was certainly late for work at this point, and I was getting progressively more frustrated. Finally Alice told me to go on to work, and they would keep trying. I got in the car and Gator asked me "Did they get Kitty (that's what she calls Gray) down?" "No," I responded, "but they're gonna keep trying." I started up the car and hauled ass. When I got to work and explained what had happened to my boss (a retired fire chief), he laughed at me and said, "Let me tell you something Jim. Do you know why fire departments don't get cats down from trees anymore?" I bit. "No, why?" "Well," he chuckled, "have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree before." You know, I never thought of it like that.

I called Carla later and discovered that Gray had, in fact, gotten down. Apparently, they tied a rope to the basket and slung the other end over the branch closest to him. They put the can of tuna in it and raised it up. He wouldn't get in it with them there, so they tied it off and left. When Heather came back a little while later he was in it and she simply lowered him down. I was glad to know that he was safe.

So, that's it everybody. I hope you enjoyed my four blogs of Christmas. This one ended up being a little longer than I expected, but oh well.. isn't that always the way with me? (I mean except when it comes to the size of my... well, you know. - Just saving y'all the effort of bringing that up.) Anyway, I'd like to send out a super special thanks to my neighbors Alice, Heather and Carla for their help. I'd also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I'm writing this at my in-laws house in Alexandria, and I'm gonna split because the Saints game is about to start...and that beer's not gonna drink itself. Wish me luck in my fantasy football playoffs. Later peeps.

Until next time: Merry Christmas to all...and to all a good night.

P.S. Oh, I almost forgot. The Direct TV line of sight expert determined that there WAS a spot on the house where it could go. They'r coming to install it on Tuesday. Still...I'm not singing any songs about it until I'm actually watching it.
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