The hammering was so loud it drowned out the sound of cars speeding past on the highway near our house. But I didn't mind. After months and months of waiting, the extensive damage done to our house because of a building defect was getting repaired. Siding was being put back on the house, framing for new porches was being prepared, and the possibility of finally removing the enormous black tarp covering the entire back side of the house was actually being discussed.
Benjamin loved having the construction workers back at the house. He followed them from window to window whenever possible, peering longingly at the abundance of tools just waiting to be used. When he couldn't see them, he would find a cozy spot on the floor or table and listened attentively to every sound they made.
Gracie, on the other hand, was not so thrilled. She stalked around the house with her tail puffed up several sizes and fur sticking out like porcupine quills. Every so often, she would hiss her displeasure at having her morning routine of continuous catnaps disturbed by the offensive level of noise.
By about noon on Friday, a week after this set of repairs began, the men finally started to work on the back of the house covered by the tarp. The depressing piece of plastic twisted and turned as construction workers moved it around so they could climb atop scaffolding to attach flashing and strips of siding. Bunny bounced from door to door downstairs, pushing his face against the glass to see what was happening. Gracie, exhausted from using up so much angry energy, retreated to the safety of her tower bed above the refrigerator.
A text from the framer in charge of repairs sent me flying up the stairs to the master bedroom, currently closed off from the outside world by that horrendous black tarp. It covered the two sets of French doors that used to provide us access to the second floor porch from the bedroom. Benjamin followed close behind, taking the steps two at a time. Gracie watched us leave, peering down with disdain from her tower bed, happy to put as much distance as possible between herself and any more commotion.
I reached the bedroom door first, just in time to experience the removal of the menacing black tarp that had turned my bedroom from an airy safe haven into an oppressive cave. The sound of plastic tearing and the sight of sunlight beaming through the clean glass brought tears of joy to my eyes. But that was nothing compared to Bunny's reaction.
He dashed to the doors on the far left of the back wall and leaped to catch a speck of dust now visible in a sunbeam. Then, he threw himself down on his beloved blanket, still lying parallel to the doors after all this time. Now, however, it was engulfed in a sun puddle instead of shadow. The look of complete happiness on Bunny's face as he drifted off to sleep is a memory I will cherish forever.
Eventually, Gracie made her way upstairs to the master bedroom. She surveyed the scene and hopped onto the top of her climbing tower positioned parallel to the small section of wall separating those two sets of French doors. After a quick grooming session, she settled down for a much needed catnap, positioning her head so that a few errant sunbeams could massage the furry space between her delicate ears while she rested.
I know there is still a long way to go before both the outside and inside of my house are back to normal, but the memory of this moment will definitely help me persevere through whatever issues arise.
Until next time, remember...
Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia." -Joseph Wood Krutch