‘I heard a long, drawn out me-o-o-o-w’

From our February 2013 issue

By Ruth Towill – Fort MacLeod, Alta.

It was going to be a busy morning as I planned my day: vacuum the house, do the laundry, make lunch for my family, as well as getting things ready for their supper. This was all before I left for my 3 to 11 p.m. nursing shift in the emergency department at the local hospital.

The first load of laundry was in the washing machine and I rushed upstairs, took the reusable bag out of the vacuum and ran outside to empty it in the garbage can. Back in the house and on the run, I jammed the bag into the machine, slammed the end shut and turned on the vacuum, all in one quick movement.

I vacuumed four bedrooms, shutting dresser drawers and closing cupboard doors, all without once turning the vacuum off, until I came back to the end of the hallway. I shut it off and ran downstairs to the basement and put the first load of laundry into the dryer and start the second load of washing.

As I came back upstairs, I heard a long, drawn out “me-o-o-o-ow”. Then another one. I must have shut the kitten in one of the drawers or cupboards, I thought. I frantically checked them all. No kitten and the “me-o-o-o-ows” continued.

Couldn’t locate the sound

Down to the basement I went to check the furnace pipes as the cries seemed to be coming from the hall floor. No kitten on any of the pipes. I came back upstairs, and in utter disbelief, looked at the vacuum that I had been stepping over in my search for the kitten.

There was another” me-o-o-o-ow” and I leaned down and undid the latch. The end of the vacuum burst open and out shot the kitten, every hair on its body pointing in a different direction.

It had crawled inside to investigate while I had the bag out and because I had replaced the bag, locked the end and turned it on so quickly, it had had no time to escape. Our curious kitten was no worse for wear, though perhaps it felt at least one of its nine lives was in peril at the time.

The vacuum didn’t work very well after that. When the repairman came to investigate the problem (they made house calls in those days), as he was squatting by the machine testing it. I told him it hadn’t worked well since I vacuumed the bedrooms with the cat inside.

He did a double take as he looked up at me. “Since you did what?” he asked, then fell over on the floor laughing and laughing. He said I should never sell that machine!

Sign up to our free email digest for more great stories!