It has been one year since Benjamin Bunny discovered the leak above the French doors that open onto the porch outside my bedroom. Since that time, our house has been the temporary residence of numerous reconstruction crews consisting of engineers, masons, framers, and painters. Both porches - upstairs and downstairs - had to be removed from the house. Siding was ripped off. Large areas of rot repaired. Inside walls torn apart, and baseboards removed.
But last week, it looked like life was finally going to return to some semblance of normalcy. I was informed that the leak had been repaired at last. My porches were back in place. The drywall inside was repaired and painted. And, a big black tarp no longer covered the entire back side of the house. For a few brief minutes, my feline friends and I breathed a sigh of relief. THEN....it started to rain with the force and fury of a tropical storm. And that is when I heard that horrid noise again - DRIP, DROP.
So, I have decided to republish the post that describes how Benjamin Bunny first discovered what we now refer to as our "indoor waterfall". It is my way of honoring his heroic efforts to stop the liquid invasion into our house.
Here it is:
Drip, Drop! That is how it all started. The annoying sounds of a leaky faucet – except these drips and drops were WAY too loud. So much so, that they sounded only about two feet away from my bed. “Impossible,” I mumbled sleepily to myself but rolled over towards the sound anyway.
I slooooowly opened one eye to check and make sure nothing was really wrong. All I saw was a blurry image of Benjamin Bunny. He was sitting upright in between the drapes and the French doors that open onto the upstairs balcony. I opened the other eye, sat up, and put on my glasses. That is when I realized Bunny was bobbing his head up and down next to the glass part of the closest French door.
Now, odd behavior is nothing new when it comes to Bunny. I am convinced his “drummer” isn’t even playing sometimes. But, it is always a good idea to discover what my eccentric cat’s latest fascination is – for my sanity and his safety. So, I dragged my tired old body out of bed and shuffled over to the French doors.
As I got closer and closer to the French doors, I realized that it was raining pretty hard outside. And, the drip drop sounds were definitely getting louder the closer I got to Bunny and the doors.
Beginning to get a little anxious, I swiftly pulled the drapes away from Bunny. To my surprise – and horror – Bunny was licking LARGE drops of water off of the inside of the French door. Bunny’s head bobbing was the result of his constant attempts to slurp up as many water droplets as possible before they escaped and landed on the rug below. The harder it rained – the faster his little head bobbed. I was sure his tongue was going to be permanently damaged if he didn’t give it a break soon.
It took me a few minutes to really register what was going on. But finally all the muddled information swirling around my itty bitty brain came together. My newly purchased house was leaking! This was SOOOOOO not cool.
My next thought was to alert my husband who was downstairs working on his computer. Remember, he was the one who decided to buy this house. So logically, he should be the one to fix it.
Despite our combined efforts, the stupid drip drops couldn’t be stopped - at least not until my husband could inspect the doors from the outside. The combined effects of severe lightning, ferocious wind gusts, and driving rain was going to prevent that from happening anytime in the near future.
Damage control became the only available option left. It was pretty clear by this point that Bunny could not be counted on to lick up every drop of rain that now ran down three of the French doors. We could see that his little tongue was getting tired by the slowing slurps and strained head bobbing.
So, I dashed for the garage and grabbed every large Rubbermaid tub lid I could find along with a single under-the-bed size large plastic container. Meanwhile, my husband pulled out towels from the linen closet. I lined the rug directly behind the French doors with towels and layered Rubbermaid tub lids on top of them. I put the under-the-bed container beneath the most severe leak. It began to fill immediately. Without knowing it, we had just made Bunny’s day.
With joyful abandon, he leaped into the under-the-bed container and splashed around with glee. The faster the water dripped into it – the happier he was. Gracie, on the other hand, sat on the bed and watched the whole scenario with a look of disgust. As I have mentioned in the past, bath type activities are NOT her thing.
Unfortunately for Bunny, I did have to put a stop to his water games once his splashing got too out of hand. It took several attempts to remove him from his indoor "pool". His soaked fur allowed him to slip right through my hands and plunge back into the container.
After cleaning up both Bunny and his indoor "pool", we closed the door to the bedroom and proceeded to check for leakage elsewhere in the house. It was only a matter of time before Benjamin discovered that the downstairs French doors were letting in water too. The moment he spotted the tale tell trickle, he leapt from my arms and bounded to the offending door. Immediately, his head started bobbing and tongue started slurping again. There was nothing I could do but locate more container lids and towels, line the floor next to the doors with them, and hope the rain would stop eventually. It did 20 inches later.
As with all things, there was a positive side to this adventure. Benjamin Bunny had a great time playing in his indoor “pool” and was fully hydrated. I now have a first rate leak informant. And, my French door windows have been washed from the inside. I am sure that in a few years I will appreciate all of these positive points properly.
How did Gracie entertain herself during the deluge of rain? She found a frog that had sneaked into the kitchen and played frog ball. I think she enjoyed it way more than the frog, especially since the frog was both opposing player and ball.
Of course, my husband rescued the frog after discovering what was going on and released it outside. Gracie still stands by the front door occasionally hoping for its return. Apparently, the game was not quite over.
The sky is leaking!!!
Somebody left a towel in MY POOL!
Until next time, remember…
Perhaps it is because cats do not live
by human patterns, do fit themselves
into prescribed behavior, that they are so
united to creative people.
- Andre Norton