Thursday, July 31, 2008

You've got mail - no, sorry, that's a cat

Thursday afternoon, Rudy went looking for the Peep. She wasn’t hard to find, as she was in the living room asleep, as usual. “Boy, Peep you sleep a lot,” Rudy said as she woke her up.

“I don’t sleep more than any other cat. Cats normally sleep ten to twelve hours per day. That’s how come we have so much energy when we are awake. Now, since you’ve interrupted my sleep, what do you want?” Peep was fuzzy headed, but was awake enough to get Rudy off of a pick-on-Peep session.

“Oh, right. I got an email saying that the turnip seeds were shipped the same day we ordered them, and the anticipated delivery date is tomorrow. I think we’d better start checking today, just in case, and also to figure out how we’re going to open the mailbox.” This was going to be the hard part. The mailbox was right at the street, and on a post. The whole idea would fall apart if the Daddy got the package and not the cats.

The two cats walked up the driveway, and stared at the mailbox. Peep thought a minute and said, “You know, it would be easiest if I jumped on top of the mailbox and opened it from there. I don’t know any cat who would be tall enough to open that!”

“Sounds good to me. I’m glad you don’t mind jumping up there. It looks kind of slippery on top.” Rudy stepped back, in case Peep slid off. She didn’t want Peep to fall on her.

Peep backed up a step or two and made a spectacular jump. She hit the mailbox a little low, unfortunately, and although she tried to dig in her claws, she just slid down the side of the box, leaving scratches in the black paint. “Oops. I’d better jump a little higher next time.”

Her second try was perfect. She landed right on top of the box. Once up there, it was a little scary, as it was curved on top and she was perched on the curve. She settled herself and turned to see how she could get the top open. There was a metal tab at the top, and she figured she needed to push it away from her to open it up.

“Okay, Rudy. Here I go!” Peep carefully lay on top of the mailbox and stretched out her front paws so that they hung over the front of the mailbox. She pushed the tab very carefully, because every cat knows that for every action there is a reaction. She didn’t want the reaction to be that she pushed so hard that she fell off of the mailbox.

Slowly the tab moved for a second or two, and then the door fell open with a squeal. “Eek. Daddy needs to oil that thing. That’s a terrible noise. As though someone were scratching slate pavers with their claws!”

“Who cares? Is there anything in the box?” Rudy, being farther away, wasn’t so affected by the noise.

Peep crept forward and tried to look inside. “I don’t know. It’s hard to see from here. There’s nothing right in front, but this box is deep. It might be way inside.”

“Well, go in it then, and see if our package is in there.” Rudy was getting impatient. Cars were whizzing by and they made her nervous. She wanted to get back to the house.

“I’ll have to get down and jump in from the ground. It’s a good thing I’m a little cat. This isn’t a very big mailbox.” Peep jumped down and evaluated the best place to jump from. Unfortunately it was kind of in the street, so she posted Rudy as guard to make sure no cars were coming when she jumped.

Her first try resulted in Peep sliding down the open lid of the box as it opened all the way, or maybe more than it was supposed to. It was now hanging straight down. Her second jump was successful, and Peep walked to the back of the mailbox. Her muffled voice came from the inside. “Nope, nothing here yet.”

Peep didn’t hear a reply, so she said, “Rudy, are you there? Please tell me you didn’t abandon me here at the street!” Still, there was no answer. Peep looked at the box and decided that it was just big enough to turn around in, since she was so small.

As Peep finished her turn, which was harder than she thought, she looked up and saw the Daddy peering in at her. “Uh, oh,” Peep thought. “I’ve been caught. I’m glad the seeds weren’t here at least.”

“Are you expecting some mail, Peep?” The daddy carefully grabbed Peep and removed her from the mailbox. He got in his truck, put her on his lap and drove up the driveway to the house. Peep had never ridden on his lap while the truck was moving. It was kind of fun, at least in the driveway. When he opened the door, she ran off to find Rudy and tell her about her ride, and that, oh, the package wasn’t there.

When Jay talked to Mary Rose that night, he told her about finding Peep in the mailbox. “Why do you think she was in the mailbox? Normally, she won’t go anywhere near the street, and I’d actually prefer it if she didn’t!”

“Well, I did just send her a postcard. Well, it was to all of you. Maybe she’s got ESP and sensed it would arrive today.” Mary Rose could believe that Peep could do just about anything, but not even Mary Rose would have expected Peep and Rudy to order turnip seeds over the internet.

Photo courtesy of Holli -

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