Since I moved into my new apartment, Chubby Charles and I have been arguing about her new living situation. Never one to be afraid of the outdoors or new situations (I found her as a kitten on the side of the road), Chubby Charles is a survivor. So it has been frustrating to me that since her arrival, she has refused to go outside more than once or twice to explore her new digs.
Today when I got up from my 20 minute nap that I take between my shower and leaving for work, Chubby Charles darted toward the door as if she didn't want me to leave her outside. Instituting my "stand on your own" policy of making her walk out the door on her own rather than me pushing her out, I held open the door as Chubby Charles cruised slowly past. She looked completely nonchalant, as if to say "I thought I might just see what this was all about today." So I bid her well and left for work.
Before I moved, I fashioned a new tag for her that has her name, my apartment number and my cell phone number. IS2 and I have a disagreement surrounding her collar, as he calls it her "slave yoke" and thinks I shouldn't keep it on her. I always tell him that I don't want to have anyone mistake her for a stray and take her into their house and never let her out again. To which IS2 argues that no one will ever mistake her for a stray since she is fluffy and snowy white. He does have a point. But nevertheless, I keep her collar on, especially since we're in a new place.
So at around 10:30 AM today, two hours after leaving Chubby Charles out in the great outdoors, my cell phone rang. I saw it was an Ohio phone number and didn't think much of it. Then the person left a message so I decided to see what was up.
The message went something like this:
"Um...hi...Rachel, this is your neighbor across the hall, John...um...Chubby Charles was outside and she was...uh...sitting on top of the roof...so I got out a ladder and got her down, and she's fine, don't worry, I've got her here in my apartment...but uh...I am going to keep her here until I go to class at noon...and I uh...wasn't sure if she was supposed to be out or not...so if you could give me a call that'd be great. Thanks."
I laughed for about five minutes. Keep in mind, this John character and I have met. The first or second week, when I was standing out in the hall way with Chubby Charles one evening trying to convince her not to be afraid, he walked out. He saw her and said "That's an awesome cat." This guy is about 5' tall and was wearing all-black, black wristbands, black hair, you get the idea. I laughed and said "Thanks. That's Chubby Charles." He replied "Man...I love that color of cat. (You mean white?) If I got a cat, that's the color cat I'd get. Man...I haven't seen a cat like that in a long time." I told him he'd be seeing much more of her.
Well, evidently the fortune ended up to be true. I can see little John procuring a ladder (who has a ladder that lives in an apartment?), climbing up the ladder to pluck Chubby Charles off the roof, and the Chubstress staring at him like he was crazy. I can just imagine Chubby Charles saying "Um...what do you think you're doing? Do you know how long it took me to get up on this roof? No, put me down, no, no, no...oh, so this is your place, huh? Mind if I roll around on the floor for a while? Pull tufts of my hair out and toss them on your carpet? Oh you like the color white? Here's a souvenir for you, one of my locks."
I called John back and told him that Chubby Charles was indeed authorized to be outside and if that involved climbing on rooftops then so be it. He said "I thought she was okay to be out, I mean she looked like she was just chilling up there, but there was a maid downstairs and she was the one who convinced me that she wasn't supposed to be out. She said 'Look at that cat! That's a house cat! That cat's not supposed to be out. It's wearing a pink collar with beads on it!'"
And so, it is with a heavy heart, I admit defeat to IS2 that yes, the collar is a slave yoke, and no, it will not save her from people dragging her into their apartments and holding her hostage.