CAT ON A COLD WET ROOF
ACT 2 - Scene 1
Setting: Tuesday morning. The missus and mister’s back yard. The cat is still in the tree.
Missus: (On the phone) Hello. Police department? I realize this is a cliché, but can you send the fire department to get a cat down from a tree in my yard?
Dispatcher: (Laughing) I’m sorry ma’am, we don’t do that.
Missus: Really. But I see stories with firemen rescuing cats all the time.
Dispatcher: Only on TV, ma’am.
Missus: Who do you suggest I call? This cat has been up there since yesterday.
Dispatcher: It will probably come down on its own.
Missus: Not so far. Is there nothing you can do to help?
Dispatcher: I can send someone out if you like.
Narrator: Ten minutes later, a nice policeman named Greg showed up at the missus’ door.
Const. Greg: What seems to be the problem, ma’am?
Missus: Cat. Tree. 18 hours now.
Const. Greg: Poor little guy! Not much we can do to help, I’m afraid.
Missus: No fireman up a ladder?
Const. Greg: (Tossing tennis balls into the tree to scare it down.) No, we don’t do that as a rule. We can’t risk our personnel’s safety for a cat. If the animal is hurt or injured, we’d give it a go, but this one looks pretty content up there. Here’s my card. Call us back if it’s still up there in a couple of days.
Missus: Thanks for coming out, Constable Greg – and thanks for not making me feel like a crazy lady.
Narrator: Constable Greg took out his little notebook and wrote in it for a few minutes before driving away.
Missus: (Muttering) Probably writing, “crazy lady.”
Narrator: Feeling a bit frustrated, the missus got on the phone.
Missus: Hello. Humane Society?
Narrator: She told them the whole story.
HumSoc: It should come down….eventually. Not much we can do to help.
Narrator: The missus made a cup of tea to mull the whole thing over and went up to talk to the cat from the opened bedroom window.
Missus: What now, Puss?
Setting: Tuesday evening. After dark.The missus and mister’s bedroom window.
Missus: (Calling to the cat) Puss! Enough already! Let’s call it a day and come on down!
Narrator: Only now, the meowing wasn’t coming from the tree.
Missus: Wait a sec. Where are you, Puss?
Narrator: The meowing was coming from what seemed like three directions all at once!
Missus: Oh, Puss! Are you down from the tree? Wait, I need to get a flashlight!
Puss: Mew! Mew! Mew! Mew! Mew!
Missus: (Searching in the darkness with the flashlight) Puss! I hear you! Come on darlin’! Oh, PUSS! You’ve got to be kidding me! Please don’t tell me you’re on the roof!!!
Narrator: Sure enough. There was the cat looking down at the missus from the high peak of the two story roof. She beamed a light up into its green eyes – big as saucers.
Missus: Oh, Puss. Now what?
Setting: Wednesday morning, early. The bedroom.
Mister: It’s still too dark to tell for sure, but I went out and looked all around at the roof with a flashlight. I didn’t see the cat up there. I couldn’t hearing any meowing.
Missus: Oh, good. Maybe it’s gone. I hope so. It could have jumped to the porch roof and gotten down from there.
Mister: It was so cold last night. Maybe it finally decided to go home.
Narrator: The mister had an early morning meeting and left for work before the sun was truly up.
As it got lighter out, that was when the missus spotted the cat. Perched, like a tiny, waif-like gargoyle at a corner of the roof under the tree branches.
Missus: (Leaning out the bedroom window to call to Puss) You poor silly thing! Why are you still up there? OK, this is getting serious.
Narrator: The missus did what anyone would do in this situation: send out an email to all the neighbors.
Missus: Dear neighbors, is anyone who is not afraid of heights willing to help get a stranded cat off my roof?
Narrator: Within a half hour a kindly neighbor from up the street had called.
Neighbor: Sure, I can help. I’ll be down in a few minutes.
Narrator: What happened next was a scene of ingenuity and bravery, with a result just shy of a miracle. The missus and the neighbor carried an extension ladder upstairs and shoved it out the bedroom window onto the porch roof. The neighbor clambored up to the high peak, but came down again, discouraged when it seemed like the cat was just out of reach.
Neighbor: It really looks like it wants to come down. But I can’t get it. We need something to catch it in. I know! Do you have a laundry basket?
Missus: Absolutely! (Tossing onto the floor the freshly laundered clothing she intended to sort and put away that morning.)
Narrator: Up the neighbor went again. This time with the laundry basket lined with a soft towel and some cat treats acquired for luring the reluctant kitty from its perch.
Neighbor: Come on, kitty! You can do it! Come on, kitty, kitty, kitty!
Puss: Meowr! Meowr! Meowr!
Neighbor: You know you want to. Come on! Just hop down!
Narrator: The poor man’s arms ached. But he held the basket as high as he could. The cat poised to jump. But backed away, too scared to make the leap. It tried again. And backed away. On the third try, it landed softly in the basket.
Neighbor: Hurray for you, cat!
Missus: Yay, Puss! (To the neighbor) OK, hand me the basket and come back inside. I’ll close the window so it can’t get back out there.
Narrator: Riley was safely confined to the kitchen.
Missus: That was fabulous! We got it! Thank you so much!
Neighbor: You’re welcome! Happy we could get the kitty down.
Narrator: The neighbor went home. The missus and Puss looked at each other.
Missus: Well, Puss. What now?
Setting: Later that morning. Riley out in the yard. The cat inside the house. The missus on the phone.
Missus: Hello. Humane Society? I called yesterday about a cat on my roof. Well, it’s rescued now. Can I bring it to you?
HumSoc: No, sorry. We are full. We can’t take any cats.
Missus: Well great, Puss. What do we do now? We’ve got that big dog that chased you in the first place! And look at you, your poor thing. It looks like you’ve been starving and out there for weeks. Here, have some tuna.
Narrator: The missus did what anyone would do in this situation; she called the one person who she knew would come to the rescue.
Missus: Hi, what do I do with this cat?
Rescuer: Just bring it to me and I’ll foster it until you can find its owners or we can find a nice home for it.
Narrator: The missus went out and bought a cardboard cat carrier and popped the poor scrawny little cat in for the journey to the rescuer’s office.
Missus: Don’t worry, Puss. You’re safe and warm and she’s such a nice lady. She’ll take care of you.
End of Act 2
Narrator: The kind rescuer took the cat to the vet who said that the poor little one is only about nine months old and has probably been a stray on the street most of her short life. She has already had kittens – who knows where they might be. Other than malnutrition and a cold, the cat is in reasonable health. It is a sweet natured little soul and very affectionate. The staff where the rescuer works named it Boo. They are looking for a good home.
Missus: Well, Riley, all’s well that ends well, eh? Uh oh, who’s that doggy out there? Is it on its own? Oh, don’t tell me! Wait….oh, there’s the owner! Ha Ha! Whew! Can’t handle another rescue today, eh, boy?
Riley: (That’s for sure, mom! By the way, where’s the cat at?)