Friday, June 10, 2011

The summer house

One day a few weeks ago LT was lying on his pile of pine needles.  It was very comfy and afforded a nice view of the yard and they smelled heavenly.  Unless it rained, of course.  If it rained, as it had been doing a lot, the needles were soggy and didn't smell quite so good.  There were other places to lie if his pile was wet, though.  He could go inside, or if the weather was particularly foul he could go into the little house Daddy had made for him years ago.  It was really more of a winter house, but it certainly protected against the elements.  LT dozed off, enjoying the rare day of sunshine. 

LT awoke to the sound of boards hitting each other.  He looked around groggily to figure out what was going on.  Daddy was pulling lumber from his truck and stacking it in front of his work garage.  It looked like he was going to build something.  LT shifted so that he could watch without having to turn his head constantly.  It left his back to the side of the house with the door, but he didn't think anyone would sneak up on him from there, except perhaps Rudy. 

Daddy got out his noisy saw and proceeded to cut the lumber into smaller lengths.  He measured and mumbled to himself as he did it, holding up lengths of wood singly and in pairs as though he was trying to figure out what to do with them.  Next he found a large piece of plywood and proceeded to make it into small pieces.  Humans were daft, thought LT.  Cut up wood, nail it back together.  Or in the case of the yarn lady, cut up pieces of fabric and then sew them back together into almost the exact same size and shape piece.  Daft. 

The noise was loud enough to attract Rudy and Peep's attention.  "What's up, LT?  Is Daddy fixing a wooden truck?"  Rudy snickered at this attempt at humor. 

"No clue, Rudy.  I woke up to him fiddling with the wood.  Watching him isn't a bad way to pass the time, though, and it's better than being put to work myself."  LT stretched and yawned.  Cats have a poor view of work, at least the type that humans did. 

Peep sat down and scrubbed at her eyes.  "I hate the sound of the saw.  Is he almost done?" 

All three cats were now watching Daddy as he finished cutting up the wood and started reassembling it.  First he made a rectangle out of four of the pieces and then attached  upright pieces, making kind of an open-sided box, thought LT. 

"Maybe he's making a hutch for some baby rabbits," offered Peep. "Maybe he found them without their mother and wants to protect them from predators." 

"Like me," Rudy answered.  "I love baby rabbits for breakfast.  Not enough meat on them for a full meal, unless of course you get the whole litter." 

Peep glared at him, although she was as fond of rabbit as Rudy was.  When one is thinking of rescuing baby animals it is in poor taste to discuss eating them. 

Daddy started attaching plywood to the frame, and then oddly enough grabbed some shingles and started shingling the slanted top.  Last, he made a small platform with short legs and attached it to the roof.  He carried it into the middle of the yard, near LT's pine needle pile and started filling the short enclosed part at the bottom with the needles. 

It sure didn't look like a rabbit hutch, thought LT.  It kind of looked like his winter house, but with open sides and a top perch.  As he started to consider whether it might possibly be for him, Daddy put a small soft piece of cloth on the top platform, picked up LT and plunked him on it. 

"There you go, LT.  Pine needles for comfort, a roof for shade and a platform on top for when you feel the need to survey your kingdom.  A summer house fit for the king of cats, LT."  Daddy smiled and stroked LT's head. 

Rudy and Peep looked on jealously.  "No one makes houses for us, you know," grumped Rudy.  "You've got a winter house and now a summer house.  We've got bupkis." 

LT looked down from his high perch (well, not all that high, but higher than Rudy and Peep were at present).  "Daddy knows that I love to be outside, and he loves me.  I was the first kitty here, and I am the king of cats."  He settled down on the soft cloth and let Daddy love him some more before he drifted off to sleep.  

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