Cat on a cold shingle roof
Saved from the arduous life of an alley cat when we lived 10 minutes outside New York City, she is still partly feral deep inside and demands outdoor privileges. She's also incredibly smart. As soon as it gets dark, she sits on the front step and waits to be let in. She knows that with the dark come predators (fox, raccoon and maybe even a coyote) that would love to either beat her up or have her for dinner.
However, if no one lets her in immediately, she climbs up onto the roof of the house for safety.
Now, our house is a ranch, so sections of the roof are not very far off the ground. She has no trouble getting up or down, but once she's up, she'll often sit up there, stubbornly, until
I'm not a tall girl. Five-three at best. To reach her, I have to stand on the wrought iron railing on the front step and balance there, holding the edge of the house with one hand while I fish around on the roof with the other trying to grab hold of the cat. Fishing around for her is not easy. She likes to make a game of staying just out of reach. This is really great fun for her. We're talking about an animal who tends to entertain herself by licking her own butt and chasing dust bunnies, so watching me do this is probably the equivalent of reality TV or the Superbowl for her.
Every time I do this - EVERY. TIME. - I think about how incredibly stupid it is. I'm balancing on a railing that's only a couple of inches wide. It really wouldn't take much to slip and take a nasty fall, breaking an arm or cracking my head open on the cement step below me.
I KNOW THIS.
I also know I could potentially lay out there bleeding for HOURS before Mark noticed I was gone, especially if he is
I THINK ABOUT THIS EVERY TIME.
I can even see the headline: Woman bleeds to death on front step while husband surfs web
The subhead would be: Cat found unharmed
And yet, I cannot stop myself from climbing up on that railing. I don't know why. Probably because I've never even come close to losing my balance and falling. Also probably because I am a SUCKER when it comes to the animals and will do anything to get them inside the house where it's safe and warm at night.
What I probably need is a good scare. A near miss if you will. A slip that sends my heart pounding, but doesn't result in serious injury. Then, and only then, might I think twice about perching myself back up there. Right? Right?
OK. OK. We all know I'd still climb up there even after a scare. Maybe not immediately after. But at some point.
Maybe, instead of a new iPod I should ask for a ladder for Christmas. And then keep it right by the front door.