A companion piece to The Milano Effect
Pettigrew has never been allowed into our bedrooms on the second floor. Occasionally, if the gate at the bottom of the stairs were left ajar, he would slip up.
Sometimes we would be in our rooms and the distinctive clicking of his claws on the hardwood floors would give him away. Other times, it would be a round-shaped indentation in the center of the bed, graced with a few short, black hairs that would reveal his unsanctioned visit. See The Grass Is Always Greener on the Second Floor
And, there would be the rare, exuberant thunderstorm or fireworks display that would cause us to bend our rules. But, in general, the first floor was a shared domain, the second floor, ours exclusively.
What changed? I can’t really say. But about three weeks ago, Pettigrew climbed the stairs again. There had been nightly fireworks in our neighborhood and the noise might have been too much. Pettigrew’s go-to solution of a solitary sojourn in the powder room might not have been cutting it that night.
First we heard the jingle of his tags, louder than expected. It sounded surprisingly close.
I looked up from my book and found myself gazing into his deep, brown eyes as he rounded the corner at the top of the stairs and headed for our room.
A pause. Should I lead him back downstairs as I usually did? For whatever reason, I held out my hand and softly said his name.
He padded forward, rested his head in my lap for some ear rubs before curling up at my feet.
It was as if a switch had been flipped. Every night for the next 10 days he would come upstairs and sleep in our room. Sometimes on my side of the bed, sometimes on my husband’s side, sometimes on the carpet or the beach towel I had put down for extra padding.
Pettigrew’s joining us on the second floor was just part of the new normal in which we find ourselves these days. Or so I thought.
But last night, and the night before, Pettigrew didn’t climb the stairs.
Today, I finally realized, it must be The Milano Effect.