The slow creaking of the door stayed the hand poised over my eyelid.
Mothers, they say, have eyes at the back of their heads.
It must be true, for I instinctively knew that neither a truant gust of wind nor a stray critter was to blame for the mysterious creaking.
Still as a statue, I peered out of the corner of my eyes at the gaping door...And sure enough, out popped a pair of dainty white feet.
Dark gleaming eyes framed in an inquisitive little orange-white face sidled out behind the feet and widened as it met mine. And then, with an involuntary miark, a furry orange body tumbled right out of the wardrobe.
For a long minute, I stared with feigned annoyance at her now brazen look, which was focused on the kohl pencil in my hand.
And if that was not enough, behind the injury came her carefully delivered insults.
She let her disdainful eyes rove over my still damp form before shooting me an "ugh!!! don't tell me you intend to go out in that ugly blue towel?" look
Another insolent miark to lend weight to her opinions about my intent to self-mutilate in an unfashionable state of near undress and then, the impudent little Missy plonked herself down and proceeded to lick her paw with an air of innocence that fooled none.
With growing apprehension, I made my way to assess the damage caused by my little marauder.
And with just cause.
The innards of my wardrobe was my worst nightmare come true.....
Well, it was not as bad as having my clothes split in public, but it was a close second indeed. The neat, crisp and colour coded stack of clothes now lay in a pile of utter disarray....crushed, crumpled, and speckled with stubborn orange fur.
For once, I truly had nothing to wear.
And, I was already running late!!!
Gnashing my teeth at the fates that had placed me at the mercy of a devious feline, I grabbed the first furry dress that crossed my hands and shook it out with all my might, cussing at the little picture of feline innocence who now sat at my feet grooming herself in joyful oblivion.
The perpetrator of the crime, of course, seemed blissfully ignorant of the glares and muttered
Every once in a way. she shot a hopeful "mommy stay home?" look at me.
It was a good 30 minutes before the dress began to look presentable.
My muttering had given way to little grunts of triumphant satisfaction as each vigorous shake took me a step closer to a picture perfect dress.
Absorbed in my efforts, I was quite blind to the subtle shift in the mood of the truant feline at my foot who, had by now realised that neither blazing hell fires nor roaring high tides was going to deter mommy from going out. Desperate times call for desperate measures and kitty wasn't above a little emotional blackmail in a last ditch effort to keep mommy home for the day.
All at once I found my hand stayed in midst of the last few hearty shakes.
And as I peered down impatiently at the insistent little paw that held the dress, I found myself looking into a contrite pair of eyes that willed me to bend over so that my nose could be enthusiastically licked by a candy pink tongue.
"Stay" pleaded her beady little eyes "We can go walky mommy...And chase squirrels...Maybe even catch and share one for lunch....Or we could huddle under the covers and snooze"
And her face, bright with hope, continued to sketch out one tempting option after another.
With a regretful sigh, I gathered the little fur bundle into my arms and nuzzled her in mute apology, before setting her down on my favourite T for a vantage view of mommy's final touches to her attire and make-up.
A few minutes later, I was all set.
Steeling my guilty heart in anticipation of being accosted by those oh-so-sad accusatory eyes, I slowly wheeled around to face my recalcitrant feline child. But, surprise of surprises, the sad eyes and the accusing face was buried within the depths of her furry self on my T...fast asleep !!!
I crept out of the house on tip-toes....a little relieved.. a little disappointed...And immensely grateful to the powers above for their kind intervention in what could have otherwise been a sticky situation.
Indeed, all's well that ends well.