Orginally Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Many years ago I purchased an older home with the understanding that the neighborhood was in some what of a renaissance. The house was built in 1928 and my house like most of the homes in the neighborhood, were at one time owned by young families. But as the years had gone by so had many of the residents. Now what remained were mostly widows and senior seniors. Many of the homes once proud and cheerful were sad looking as was evident by the many deferred maintenance items.
So when I wasnt fixing my own home I would help my much older neighbors. Tighten a door, add a little paint here, some caulk, fix a loose handrail, rewire repair a door bell and even install a few deadbolts.
In the in early light of a spring Sunday morning, Alice my next door neighbor rang my door bell. Her hair in curlers and clutching her house coat she looked frightened.
"Something dreadful has happened" she explained as her look of terror surprised me.
"My sister has been staying with me and well I don't know what to do but there's a cat stuck in the commode"
"A cat" I asked trying not to act to shocked or surprised.
"Yes" said Alice "and it wont go down and we cant get it out"
I told her not to worry, that I'd be over in a minute and take care of matters.
Now I knew Alice was not fond of cats. She had a terrier of some sort that was terrified of thunder, squirrels and of course cats.
She would tell me. "I dont have any use for any nasty cat"
But the fact that she'd kill one and try to stuff it down a toilet came as a shock. Perhaps is was simply an unfortunate accident. Maybe the cat had slipped and fell into the toilet and was stuck or maybe just scared to death.
I retrieved a cardboard box out of the garage, a couple of old towels, a flashlight, a couple of wrenches and a hammer in case I had to break apart the toilet to free the terrified feline. As a last thought I grabbed a pair of heavy duty leather gloves in case the cat wanted to put up a fight.
The whole episode seemed surreal, after all Alice was a kind little old lady in her late seventies. She worked part time at the Presbyterian Church up the street and looked after her husband every day even though he was confined to nursing home.
When I rang the door bell to Alices 1935 bungalow both Alice and her sister met me at the door.
"Oh thank heaven you're here" Alice's sister exclaimed.
"We are so embarrassed, we just dont know what to do" said Alice
"Please don't tell anyone" they both said together.
I promised not breath a word except to maybe the police and PETA!
Holding my box and my hands safely inside my leather gloves was ready to do battle with the hapless cat
"It's in there" They both stated as they pointed toward the bathroom door like a twin grim reapers. Their silver blue hair in tight curlers made them both look rather sinister in the light that filtered though the fifty year old lace curtains.
I stepped quietly toward the bathroom, expecting to hear at any second, the mournful meow of a stuck cat.
The two sisters huddled in the corner and clutched their robs as they both repeated,
"We are so ashamed, we just want it gone".
I carefully placed one foot into the tiny pea green tiled bathroom, it was in definite need of a face life. The cat containing toilet sat next to an old ball and claw tub, further to the left there was a pedestal sink. I peered over the edge of the toilet, my heart raced but, there was nothing in the commode.
I thought to myself, I'm too late it's lose in the house
Suddenly Alice spoke up, "NO it's not there it's in the commode pointing to the sink".
I looked at the empty sink with obviously no cat.
"It's down in there" said Alice.
"See in the drain, there see it's stuck" she said
Looked into the sink down the drain and sure enough there in the drain was a tiny white ....
CAP!!! A toothpaste cap!!!
Perhaps her lack of dentures or maybe just a sudden case of my own bad hearing but it wasnt a CAT it was a freaking CAP!
I carefully extracted the cap with a pair of long nose pliers and placed it in my cardboard box. I might have laughed but I most likely I just smiled. As they thanked me, I thanked them for not stuffing a cat down the commode.