We’re finally adding a garage, including laundry facilities and the second bathroom. The frame went up this week and has been thoroughly inspected by our cat, Velvet. Her sister, Nellie, has no interest in great heights, but Velvet searches out ladders, the top shelf in our closet, or the narrow ledge above the medicine cabinet.
We moved into the house in 2009, as soon as the roof was weather-tight, or at least we slept there–Skus cooked on an outdoor grill or Coleman stove. We didn’t yet have an occupancy permit, but building inspectors don’t work at night and we couldn’t both pay rent and build the house. We would wake up in the morning to see Velvet walking the rafters, jumping from one to another. When the ceiling was sheet-rocked, she would stand on the hightest point, ladder or boxes, and crane her neck toward the ceiling as if demanding, “Where are my rafters?” She’s on the verge of elderly now, and, thanks to a sisterly spat gone awry, probably has little or no vision in one eye. She sleeps more than she used to, and we thought she had given up climbing—until the garage frame went up. As soon as the workmen left she found a ladder leaning on the wall and walked the entire perimeter as well as, appropriately, the catwalk in the center. I think she sniffed at each joint and counted the nails.