Phurball likes to sleep on top of my van. It’s a good spot, from a feline point of view; it’s high enough to be out of reach of even the biggest dogs, and large enough that there’s usually some in the sun and some in the shade. Plus there’s a convenient ramp at the front he can use to get up and down.
Problem is, he’s getting to be a crotchety old man, and sometimes when I want to drive somewhere, he doesn’t want to get down. At first he would reluctantly trudge to the edge so I could lift him down to the ground. Then he figured out that if he stays in the middle, I can’t reach him. So he’d lie there and meow smugly at me when I told him to get down.
A couple of squirts with the water bottle cured him of that attitude.
Yesterday I brought my mate’s car home from the shop; I wanted to pull the van out to the curb and put his car in, so it wouldn’t be parked behind the van. I pulled up to the curb in his car, hopped out, trotted down the driveway to the van, thinking I also needed to run up to the drugstore and maybe stop somewhere for some lunch and oh yes I need to go by the grocery store too…
I hopped in the van, started backing out… heard the usual patter of low-hanging branches on the roof… and then a louder clatter, and out of the corner of my eye saw something large and dark drop past the passenger window.
I immediately realized I’d forgotten to check the roof for cats. I stopped the van and turned it off—her butt was protruding into the street a little bit, but I was afraid to pull forward in case Phurball had broken something and was lying in front of the tire, unable to move out of the way. I jumped out and ran around the front of the van, calling his name. Phurball ran around from his side to meet me, meowing in alarm, but he didn’t seem to be limping or bleeding. I scooped him up and checked him over. Nothing damaged, just one very startled cat. Looks like he jumped off rather than getting knocked off, and still has pretty good reflexes for an old codger.
Hopefully this will encourage him to be a bit quicker in getting down, or at least to say something when he sees me approach so I know he’s up there. I’ve located a nearby emergency vet clinic just in case he doesn’t.
Like the kids don’t give me enough heart palpitations.