Georgie’s tail of woe

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2024

We don’t often lose power here at the farm and when we do, it’s usually for minutes, maybe an hour. The timing, however, seems to always coincide just as I am about to step into the shower after a long, dusty (or muddy) day with the horses. And because we’re on a well, that means no water.

There are occurrences in life that can make one smugly feel the stars are aligned in one’s favor and God is surely smiling down: completing the mowing before it rains, washing the car before a run of sunny days, and for me, it was being fully immersed in a hot bath—just before turning on the tap to increase the heat only to find no water was forthcoming. Ha!! At least this time I finally beat the power cut! Victory!

Wait a minute…the bathroom light was still on. This wasn’t a power cut, this was the well having shut down. The same well that had had its pump replaced not even four years ago. The pump that was nearly four grand. 

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“Pauuuuuuul!” I hollered. “The well’s not running!”

Paul ran through the obvious checklist of inspecting the circuit breaker and fuses. The report was bleak. He called the well guy, who, good Christian (or whichever religion) he was, promised to be on our doorstep at 8 am prompt. I allowed myself a few minutes more luxury in the tub, calmed by the notion that the horses had plenty of water. As I finally rose, I heeded Paul’s suggestion not to drain the tub as we could use the water to flush toilets until the following morning. 

Getting out of the tub and redressing, all that remained was dipping a couple of buckets from the field trough to top up the water in the horses’ stalls. Paul joined me in the relatively short distance of lugging the 5-gallon buckets and, feeling victorious, we returned to the house.

Coming through the mudroom door, I stopped dead in my tracks upon spying a large puddle of water on the floor.

“Did you do that?” I asked Paul.

“Are you asking if I peed on the floor?” He replied. 

“Don’t be ridiculous, I just wondered if you had spilled—wait, what’s going on—” I cut myself off as more water was seen soaking the hall and into the very bathroom I’d vacated.

Paul stepped into the bathroom and exclaimed, “I thought I said not to drain the tub!”

“I didn’t,” I replied. We looked at each other.

“CAT!” We said in unison. 

It was abundantly clear that one of them had jumped into the tub, completely unaware of its contents, and had sprung out like a Jack-in-the-box, one paw pushing the stopper from the drain, not only overturning the bath caddy (and my book) but bouncing from the bathroom floor, to the hall, to the mudroom. 

“Welp,” I said. “It won’t be hard to figure out the culprit.”

We located with ease Tippy, Bernie, Mia and William, all in their favorite chairs or sun-soaked spots on the rug. The trail of water convicted Georgie, who was found soaked and seething under the bed. As Georgie has done some very naughty things in the bathtub before (I’ll leave that up to your imagination), it was both fortuitous and deserving that karma had taught him a lesson he would never forget. He yowled as I rubbed him dry with a towel and looked so stricken with indignation that I gave him a spoonful of tuna before releasing him to tell his tale of woe to the other cats.

Fortune smiled upon us as the well guy, true to his declared arrival, proclaimed that the well pump was fine, only “the switch to the bladder” had to be replaced. I don’t know what that is but I do know it was a couple of hundred bucks.

Think I’ll treat myself to another hot soak.

Cat free.