Warning: the author may meander, bluster, curse, and change course without warning. Except this warning, of course. See, I warned ya that there would be no warning. (I think that doesn't really make sense but I suspect most of you know what I'm talking about, don't you?)
Let us begin. First, there is the mystery of the wet prints on the wood floor. (I bet somewhere there is a ghost story that starts like that. Someone who drowned in the bathtub who leaves wet prints in the hallway, right? I'm Googling it right now.) (See? I didn't warn you and I definitely meandered. The meandering happened. I mindlessly meanderathoned. Then I made up a word. Okay, enough.)
One day recently I walked down the hallway and discovered the floor was wet. It wasn't sopping wet, like OMG the toilet has overflowed and we are doomed, doomed, doomed. But as I was not wearing sockies or slippers first thing in the morning it was, in fact, noticeably wet. And my toes said, "Eww! Gross-buckets! What is that?"
I looked down and saw this.
Truthfully, having had cats before I was both A) glad it was not a pool of urine, and B) it was not a pool of vomit. (Actually this happens with dogs, too.) Yes, there were little wet paw prints leading down the hall. (As some of you know, my daughter got a cat for Christmas, well, just after Christmas, and this is ALL grist for my mill. I am milking that baby for all its worth. And can I come up with another skeezy metaphor? No, I've fried all my bacon. Hahahaha.)
I scratched my chin and pondered on the situation. Hmm. Do I have a big problem? Do I have a small problem? Do I have a problem? (Well, yes, several but that's beside the point.) Here was my actual problem. A smallish feline was wandering the vicinity with little wet paws, leaving obvious tracks down my wooden floor.
But that wasn't really the problem. The real problem was not that the cat's feet were wet, or that the cat's feet were wet enough to leave paw prints on the floor in a trail I could easily follow. (I am not a big game hunter and my idea of hunting involves driving to the grocery store with my debit card.) The problem was that something, as yet unidentified was super soaking wet enough for the cat to wade through and bring it into the hallway. Causes that flashed into my mind included exploding toilets, broken water pipes, my daughter deciding that the bath tub should be a waterfall, and other sundry bedeviltries. (Look, I think I made up another word. Let's all make up words!) (Combine one of these words: miserable, moody, nerdy, or capricious with one of these words: turtle, ho, nerfherder, or cowbag. Then use it at least three times today. Not on a policeman, however.)
"I shall follow the prints!" I exclaimed, wondering if it was too late to get out my magnifying glass and deerstalker hat. (Sherlock Holmes for some of you, and not the ones who saw the Robert Downey Jr. movie. Not that the first one was bad. I haven't seen the second one yet. Anyhoo. Look, I blatantly meandered again. I blame the chemical ingredients in all the Twinkies I ate as a child. Quick, call Erin Brockovick!)
So I followed the prints. Mysteriously they stopped at the bedroom entrance. (I suspect it was because the floor in the bedroom is carpeted but it could also be an alien conspiracy. Meandering again. Maybe it was the Chinese food at the only crappy Chinese food place in the little town where I grew up. Everyone wondered where all the stray cats went. It doesn't all really taste like chicken.) (Someone laughed at that last one, I know.)
Busy with other stuff, I let the wet foot prints go. After all, water was not gushing down the hallway or out of any place water shouldn't be gushing. No one was screaming, shrieking, or making gakking noises. (Or least any that shouldn't have been going on.) (Meandering again, but my house is the fun house to live in.)
So later, after I'd gotten the kid off to school, gotten ready to do some serious writing, answered email, etc, I paused for a bathroom break. I went to my bathroom, and did my thing, only to leap right back up with a shriek.
The entire seat was dripping with water. And thus the mystery was solved. The stupid cat had attempted to gain access to the bathroom counter via the toilet seat, as he has done before. Alas, his little puny brain had not perceived that the seat was up and not down. He'd done a full gainer into the toilet water. Then he'd scrambled for the safety of the toilet seat, made his exit, ran through the bedroom, and down the hall, leaving wet little paw prints as evidence to his anarchy. (And women complain about men leaving the seats up.)
Where's my deerstalker hat, beeyotch?