Curiosity killed the cat

Before the introduction of our “coonpanions”, our cats were allowed to
play free in the back yard. Her majesty Queen Ashley took good care of all things: with iron paw’s she kept dog’s away from our garden, cats from other kingdoms were loudly warned not to enter and her own feline subjects were kept well out of trouble. She had really a smooth working system… until the arrival of our little Tom.

Although basically a shy and timid little guy, the type that causes no trouble at all, at the age of one (in the middle of cat-puberty) he entered the stage of “testing, crossing en renewing boundaries”. One of his new dare games was: chasing through the garden with a twist in his tail, his ears flat in his neck and his eyes wide open, almost as if he was possessed! He used to race straight to the cherry tree and up to the first branches. After some practise (every time a little bit higher), he moved up to other trees: the old willow at the end of our garden, the big pine tree at the neighbours and so on. Ashley had given up scolding him constantly, so the little rascal got cockier by the day…

Until that one summer night, when Tommy did not appear for the evening roll-call… Well, you must know the drill: cat owner rattling with a candy can, whistling and calling all the time, peeking underneath every bush. But whatever I did, wherever I looked, I could not find Tommy!
Around midnight I really began to get scared. To make things even worse, Edwin was on a business trip that week, so I was all alone! In one last, desperate attempt I picked up Ashley, put her in the middle of our garden and asked her humbly to find Tommy for me.

I could not believe it, but she actually put her little nose in the air, sniffed around and started walking: out of our garden, through the neighbour’s garden, over the parking place to the next block.

And there I heard a soft, sorry little meowing! After a closer look,
I could see a light shadow in a very high tree in some people’s garden. This shivering shadow was my little Tom, who obviously was stuck up there in that high tree since seven o’clock!

And all the begging and seducing I could do could not convince him to come out of that tree. So I woke up our good neighbour (who fortunately found the whole situation rather amusing) and with his help and a high ladder we managed to free Tommy! Safely on the ground he took a sprint and ran home as fast as he could. It took him a whole week before he dared to get outside again. And he has never climbed a tree since!