It was the moment she heard me take the basket out of the cupboard.
I had under-estimated the acuteness of her hearing skills, and also her memory of past abductions.
But having removed the cat carrier from the hall cupboard, unfastened the straps, and set it out in the hallway, I was undone.
She was on the alert, hiding behind the sofa.
My plan had been to pick her up first when she was relaxed and unsuspecting.
But too late. the chase was on.
We raced from one end of the room to the other, now dragging the sofa out, then pulling the table forward, reaching to grab her, as she streaked past us, sinewy, slippery and high speed.
Now she was crouched in the small space behind the television amongst the jumble of cables.
I said to my husband “You stand there to cut off her exit, and I’ll grab her from this end.” We both moved into place.
I grabbed, and she shot out the other side past my husband’s flailing fingers.
I snapped, “Stop being so kind and gentle! You have to be tough! You have to grab her by the scruff of the neck.”
Eventually I caught her in the study. She cringed back from me against the wall, I seized her by the neck, held her tight in my arms, carried her to the hall, and stuffed her in the basket.
It was done. Cat Zero. Human beings – one.
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