Either way, Rutter made himself comfortable in the front room and I went to bed. I couldn't sleep though, not with Rutter in the next room, the door open and waiting for Beastie to do something.
The hours ticked by ... eleven o'clock ... twelve o'clock ... one o'clock ... two o'clock ... three o'clock ... and then I gave up and got up. I crept into the front room and saw Rutter was awake too. I ambled over and sat beside him, feeling despondent and tired. There was a chill in the air, which is how I like it at night when I'm asleep, but not so pleasant when you're awake. Rutter must have seen me shiver because he sat up and wrapped the sleeping bag around my shoulders.
"She's not going to do anything, is she," I whispered to him.
"There's still time," he whispered back.
Strangely, now out of bed and snuggled up on the sofa with Rutter, I fell asleep, but not for long. A gentle nudge roused me. I looked up and could see Rutter's eyes fixed rigidly upon something. Beastie was up!
She ambled nonchalantly into the front room and turned her head to look at us. We both snapped our eyes shut, pretending to be asleep and waited. After a few moments, Rutter nudged me again. I opened one eye cautiously to find Beastie was now sitting in the bedroom doorway studying her surroundings. A few more moments passed and she got up and began to wander into the front room, stopping and sniffing various things on the way. She looked as though she was bored and preparing for mischief. I was right.
She came and sat in the middle of the room and looked at us again. Once more, we snapped our eyes shut and waited. Opening my eyes just a tiny bit, I waited until Beastie looked away and then gave Rutter a little nudge.
Beastie wandered over to the comfy chair on the other side of the room and jumped up onto it. She circled in the seat as though preparing to nap. Suddenly she dropped down to attend to an urgent cleaning matter at the end of her tail. Then she looked up again, towards us. I was convinced she was checking that we were really asleep because she settled down with her paws tucked under her chest and stared at us for ages, but we didn't give up. Even when my foot, curled underneath me, began to go numb, I didn't move.
Finally, she got up again. She stretched, jumped off the chair, crossed the room and jumped up onto the table. From there, she leapt onto the top of the shelving unit which stands about four feet away from the door. She walked to the end of it and then crouched down, preparing to jump. Her bottom wiggled as she took aim—and then she leapt!
With typical feline grace, she landed on the chair on the other side of the door. Immediately, her head whipped round to look behind her, but I couldn't figure out why.
Her tail lashed the air in annoyance and then she jumped down, crossed the room, jumped up onto the table, then the shelving unit and crossed to the far side. Again, she prepared herself to jump, her bottom wiggling and her tail quivering. She leapt, but it was the same result. She landed on the chair and looked back to where she had come from. I don't know if cats can scowl, but it sure as heck looked like she did!
Again, she got down, crossed the room, mounted the shelving unit and leapt. Each time, she took a little longer in her preparations before making her leap, and each time her jump seemed a little more awkward, as though the leap had to be made precisely, in just one way, but whatever it was she was trying to achieve, she failed time and again. Four, five, six times she tried.
Come the seventh, she stood on the edge of the shelving unit and took even longer in her preparations. She crouched, bottom wiggled, then stood up straight and paced the top of the unit a couple of times before assuming the position again. She did that three times and then on the fourth, I could see she was determined to make the leap. She did. Paws outstretched she flew through the air. As she hit the chair though, the door slid open. In the same instant, she turned and fled.
Somehow, as she had leapt in front of the door, she had managed to hit the sweet spot that activated it.
"Good grief!" exclaimed Rutter. "If I hadn't seen that with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it!"