Friday, July 19, 2013

Cry Wolf

I'm looking out a window right now,  at my neighbor's roof. Specifically, a vent on the roof, that I once embarrasingly mistook for a cat.

In my defense:

The previous evening, there was a cat on my neighbor's roof. It was lightly raining, slightly foggy, and the cat was on the roof seemingly not knowing what to do or how to get down. I cared for my children, made a meal, did chores, watched TV. Every time I glanced out the window, the cat was still on the roof.

I went to bed and the cat was still on the roof. By now it was dark, of course, and still rainy, but I could see his little shape right there on the roof.

Or so I thought.

I decided if the cat was still there in the morning, I'd call the fire department. Morning came and produced a thick, gray fog - and it was still raining. In other words, visibility was nil. In a courtroom, this is when the lawyer would question the viability of my eyewitness testimony. Nevertheless, still seeing the little gray shape on the roof, I called the fire department.

Did you know that if you call the fire department and report that there's a cat on the roof that can't get down, they send a full sized fire engine to your house?

And four firemen?

I did not know this, either. It was apparently a slow fire day in my town.

Also: funny how the fog can lift with the timing of the most well directed play ever.

As soon as I stepped out into the driveway to greet the four firemen and their massive vehicle, I could see that the cat wasn't a cat. It was a roofing vent. A cone shaped vent - and there were four of them spread out over the roof.

I looked at the roof. The firemen looked at the roof. We all saw the vent and no one saw a cat. I said that it must have found its way down after I called them to report that a cat had been sitting on the roof all night.

They all looked at me, looked at the vent, and smirked at the unlikelihood of a cat spending fourteen hours on a roof and then suddenly climbing happily down. It was much more likely that the witness couldn't tell that the cone shaped vent was a vent because of the fog. Also, it was clear that the witness had not bothered to go outside and actually confirm that there was a cat on the roof before calling in the militia.

The firemen left. And now I hope sincerely that we never have an actual emergency requiring fire fighting services.

Especially if it's foggy.

PS It looks exactly like a little sitting cat from this angle. Still.


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