I knew from observation that the people of the house always left a window open upstairs. I shimmied up the post of the wrap around porch, and scrambled across the roof. The raccoon was old, and I could hear him wheezing as he followed closely. We came in through the bathroom window.
I carefully levered myself down into the sink, then down to the carpet. Ralph hesitated and grabbed the faucet lever for support as he swung down into the sink. This turned the water on, and a few minutes were wasted with his jubilant frolic in the water. Boring quickly, he left the water running and joined me on the floor, shaking vigorously to dry his fur. What I didn’t know at that time, was that somehow he had closed the drain.
The jewelry cabinet was standing in the corner of the bedroom. It was about four feet tall, and held seven drawers. Together, we rocked it until it fell over. Ralph made short work of collecting all the pieces that were sparkly and shiny. We filled a pillowcase with his treasures and went back to the bathroom to leave the way we came.
To my dismay, water was cascading from the full sink down the front of the cabinets and pooling in the soft pink carpet. There was no escape that way.
We exited out the bedroom door into the hall. There, we could hear something. Voices in the language of my people. They were behind a closed door at the end of the hall.
The search for bling had changed to a rescue operation. I ran halfway up the door, trying my best to turn the knob with my body. When Ralph saw what I was trying to do, he yelled, “Stand back!”
Then he did the most remarkable thing. Standing on his hind legs, he stretched until his front paws reached the doorknob. Looking straight up at the ceiling, he gently felt all around the brass knob until it turned and the door swung open.
Five small black and white tuxedo kittens exploded out of the room and were gone. They resembled my siblings and I so much, I instantly knew they had to be my mother’s next litter. But I didn’t want their recognition yet; Ralph must not know the connection. George would be happy to hear this bit of information.
I ran down the stairs while Ralph slid down the banister, leaving deep scratch marks in the wood with his claws. As we turned the corner into the kitchen, his nose went into the air. The smell of salmon thawing on the kitchen counter enticed both of us. Together, we wrestled the package onto the tile floor and unwrapped it. A not-so-friendly game of tug-of-war ensued, and the salmon was soon ripped in half.
Ralph disappeared as I was digging into my piece. When I heard a loud splash, I looked around the cabinet into the family room. There, in a small alcove was a hot tub. In the middle of the hot tub sat Ralph, washing his pilfered salmon before devouring it.
I could hear a car coming down the driveway, and I struggled alone to open the window. Some of Ralph’s bling had settled on the bottom of the hot tub, the bones of the salmon floated on top. Ralph grabbed what bling he could, and we squeezed through the window and ran like hell down the hill into the woods.
From the house we could hear the scream, “Bad kittens!” We didn’t turn back.
Next Thursday, watch for Episode 5, in which Pepe Witnesses a Weasel Interrogation