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A calico cat with a genius for hiding

March 8, 2011 - Andrea Johnson
The score is Agatha and Archie, one; Andrea, zero.

Agatha is a skinny calico cat with a hatred of car rides and a preternatural ability to discern when I'm about to take her on one. Yesterday morning, after a weekend spent out of town, I was carrying items out to my car to prepare for a trip back to Minot. When I got back into my parents' house, I saw a multicolored tail vanishing in the direction of a spare bedroom.

'Fine," I thought. "Be that way. I know your usual hiding spots."

More than an hour later, I threw up my hands in disgust. I had looked under every bed and every dresser, behind dish cupboards and long mirrors, shined a flashlight into dark closets and into kitchen cupboards, rummaged through laundry baskets and checked for rips in the lining of sofas and beds in case someone's sharp little claws might have fashioned herself a new hiding place.


Meanwhile, my other cat, Archie, a fat orange tabby, had also vanished. He chose a narrow hiding spot between the wall and three china cupboards. There was no way I could get him out unless I moved the china cupboards out from the wall and risked breaking dozens of my mother's prized antique dishes into thousands of china shards. He had me beat and he knew it. I could swear I heard him purring contentedly as his green eyes gleamed in the shadows.

But Archie is a sociable cat and he's easier to fool than Agatha. I sat down to watch television. A few minutes later he crept out of his hiding place and sat on my lap. He gave me an accusing look when I crammed him into the cat carrier. But Agatha was still hiding and she eluded all of my efforts to find her.

Eventually, with my parents' permission, I decided to leave the cats at the farm for an extended vacation and headed back to Minot without them. When my parents came home from work, Agatha was still nowhere to be found. She only emerged from hiding after they'd spent an evening going about their regular activities and she must have decided they weren't going to take her somewhere. They still don't know where she was hiding.

I hear they're having tests for the organization Mensa this Saturday at the Minot Public Library. Maybe I should sign up Agatha.


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Agatha, escape artist extraordinaire.