Where do cats go when they hide? I don’t know. I’ve often looked, and I can’t find them. But during the big move, I spotted my wife’s female cat, Tempura, peeking out from under the coffee table, which was halfway in the dining room. We put it there so we could set Gooma’s table and chair in the living room in an effort to duplicate the same arrangement of the TV room at her house.
It was during a lull in the moving, which included rearranging the living room back to normal, that Tempy stuck her face out to see if the coast was clear. Our coffee table has drawers and an extendable top, so there’s very little room underneath, but she managed to squeeze herself in. It seemed she was staring right at me, but she was probably mainly listening, and I was just part of the background. Cat brains don’t see anything unless it moves. I reached for my phone to take a picture, and she ducked away. But I wanted that picture, so I sat there with the camera function ready, and eventually she peered out again. You know how difficult it is to take a picture of a cat. If you get too close, they want to rub their body against the lens. If you’re at a safe distance, as soon as your finger nears the button to capture that amazingly cute thing they’re doing, they suddenly walk off. However, I was patient and got my picture.
That evening, after the living room was done but my office floor wasn’t, all four cats appeared. You’ve seen the movie Harry and the Hendersons? At the end, a whole family of Bigfoots seem to apparate from the woods. Yeah, the cats did that. But they were hesitant, walking slowly and stopping to raise their heads to sample the air. They approached every piece of furniture as though suspecting that each was secretly alive and had moved itself. They sniffed the floor where things used to be, and explored like they had been transported to a new forest full of unfamiliar trees and rocks and dirt. I called out to them, “They’re the same chairs and end tables and couch you daft cats!” But they don’t speak human. Eventually, convinced that nothing was a threat, they began rubbing their sides against it all, and then engaged in exploratory leaping and alighting for further sampling of scent. They’ve done this before, every time we’ve moved things around or bought something new. They once spent half a day uncertain about the two new end table lamps we bought after they broke the old ones.
I can sympathize a little. My wife used to move furniture around when I was at work, and so when I got home I’d have to familiarize myself with the new arrangement, mainly for the safety of my shins and coccyx. But while I have certainly left my scent everywhere, I don’t deliberately rub against anything and I don’t panic at seeing something new my wife bought. It usually takes me a long time before I even notice it.
My mother-in-law, Gooma, didn’t like living in my house and she doesn’t like anyone living with her, so I don’t know how long her great-granddaughter, Sneaks, will stay. Gooma doesn’t care for new things and she absolutely does not like familiar things in strange places, which is bound to happen when someone else is trying to live their life. Gooma only likes her old forest.