The following is a true story, tho the details have been slightly embroidered to protect the innocent.


Most mornings begin with a visit from one to all three of our cats. We keep them shut out of the bedroom in the interests of a good nites sleep but have a joyous reunion in the morning; especially as they re hungry.


The morning of the Newark pipe show dawned as most do except it was earlier and still partially dark. The cats heard us quietly talking and began politely tapping the bathroom door. When this failed to elicit the customary response one of the sweet things began an inharmonious yowling. Rather than listen to it for any length of time , I shrugged on my voluminous robe and went to let her in. This morning as it turned out only one had come to greet us. As is her custom she darted in ahead of me and I left the door open for the other two and headed back to bed. Tho for some reason this morning was a little different, maybe becasue it was earlier, I don t know, for as much as we try to get into our cats' heads some of the things they do are mysterious.


At this point I d like to take time out to consider closets. Closets can be a metaphor for life. Some people keep parts of there personalities compartmentalized and in the interest of unity often try to break out of them. Other uses are: where we put our clothes, or shut in the extraneous parts of our lives with the door firmly behind them. Some closets come with regular doors, some have sliders, and the most nefarious of all are bi-fold which is what we have in the narrow hall way linking the bedroom to the bath.


These type closets are similar to pipes in that they have tenons which hold them in runners that they slid and pivot on. Like the tenons in pipes, they often wear out or break. I ve had lots of experience fixing tenons in pipes as does my wife. But these particular closets have us licked. I ve tried removing the worn ones, redrilling and tapping in new ones but after a while the same problem occurs. They slip out of the runner and the bifold doors just kind of float in our hall way. As it s narrow, one is always banging into them especially on routine nightly recconaissance missions to the bathroom. Fed up with my inability to effect a permanent solution to this problem, my wife tied a loop of string between the two knobs of the closet and by twisting the string until tight manages to hold the doors closed and secure. As unfortunately , the offending doors are to my closet, I have to untangle and re tangle this mess everytime I want to get something out of there. Which I ve come to accept as one of lifes little burdens and have lived with the last 3 years.


I was following the cat back to the bedroom as she flashed ahead of me and for some strange reason she stopped, right in the middle of the narrow hall just between the juncture of my bi-folding closet doors. As i was hurrying back to bed, my voluminous robe swinging, I neglected to see a sudden halt in her promenade and I stepped square on her . She emmited a loud screetch , which startled me, and darted out from under my foot, upsetting my balance .


At this point you ve probably guessed what happened next. Standing on one foot trying not to put any more weight on the cat, I tottered precariously into the aforementioned bi-folding doors that were if you remember were held together with a piece of string. But they didn t hold together for much longer as I crashed thru them! The worn tenons chose exactly this moment to permanently give way and the doors followed me into the closet, further complicating my predicament.


Nothing else was to be done except to yell for my now startled and very awake wife to come get me out of the closet. Which she did.