Living at Meadow Lake has it perks. There are always people around and things to do. Folks promenade on the walkways and once in awhile someone will stop in to visit. Other times I’ll see a resident strolling in the back at the Bird Sanctuary that Miss M’lu built looking at the birds and flowering foliage.

“Nina?” I was being called. We had all just finished dinner and I wondered what Miss M’lu wanted. I was washing my face but I stopped and went over to her.

“Want to go for a walk?” She was grabbing my leash from off the hook. I looked outside. It was dusk.

“It’s almost dark,” Ringo said.

“That’s okay. I’m not afraid of the dark anyway. Have you ever been out at night, ‘Ingo?”

“Never for a walk. You’re lucky.” Then with a wistful look he continued, “I did get out once and spent hours out in the woods and around Meadow Lake.”

“Did you get lost? Were you scared?”

“Naw, but it did start to rain and I got all wet. I found out the hard way that Miss M’lu had spent a long time looking for me. She had an umbrella but still got all wet. “

“How do you know?” I asked.


“Well, I hate to say this but I saw her once. She passed near and  was calling me but I ignored her. I wanted to stay out more. She headed home and waited up for me. I felt so bad afterwards.

It was 3 AM and I heard her on the back porch calling, so decided I had had enough fun, besides I was chilled with my wet fur. I went home and when she saw me I don’t know if she was going to hug me to death or just simply kill me. She was so happy and mad at the same time!”

“What did she do?” I asked wide-eyed.

“Well, she gave me the scolding of my life and then shut me up in the garage for the rest of he night so I could dry out. No food, no treats, no bed, nothing! Then she went to bed.”

“Oh,” I said with staring eyes.

“Next day she kept calling me ‘Bad Boy’ and spoke to me in a sort of mad voice all the time. I resolved never to put her through that again. It was wrong to make her worry so much because she really does care for us like family.

By the end of the day things were back to normal and I even got some extra treats for being good all day. I think she was sorry.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever run away,” I said. “Maybe it’s because we do so many things I have enough fun and don’t have to go looking for more.”

Miss M’lu brought the stroller in from the garage and I jumped in. Off we went out the front door and headed up the principal street. We didn’t go down any side streets but kept on towards the main building.

Dusk at Meadow Lake’s Main Building

“Well, Nina, it’s time we went inside and worked on your leash walking,” she said. “You can’t expect me to drive you everywhere all the time, now do you?” she smiled.

Once inside she parked the stroller in a corner of the auditorium and took me out. After closing the doors she sat down and let me roam around with my leash attached.

‘Wow, this is a big place!’ I thought as I walked all over, smelling everything. I even jumped up on the piano bench to check it out. After a while, my leash got caught on a leg of the media table and Miss M’lu had to come and rescue me.

“Okay, Nina, time to expand your horizons.”

We headed towards one of the doors and I followed her out when she opened it. I turned to go one way and she started the other way.

“All right, we have a problem,” she said. “Since this is your first time, I’ll let you choose the way and I’ll follow you.”

Sounded good to me. I headed towards the main lobby. Checked out the fireplace, walked around the sofas and chairs and then jumped up on a loveseat for a two minute rest. She sat next to me.

“So, what do you think, Nina? Big place isn’t it.” It sure looked big to me from down where I was looking up.

‘No time to lose.’ I thought as I jumped onto the rug. I headed towards a bunch of small round tables with chairs. Miss M’lu followed holding on to the leash.

“This is the Grill, you’re checking out. It’s open for lunch for anyone who wants a quick bite, or drink or latte.”

I could smell food, but there was no one there. Actually, there was no one anywhere. It was around 8:00 at night and all the residents had hunkered down in their apartments for the remainder of the day. Miss M’lu and I were just getting started.

I left the Grill area and started down a hallway. There was a big room and I walked in. It smelled like one we had at home. It was full of books. A library! I really was fond of libraries! So many books and I liked their smell. There was someone inside straightening out the books.

“Hi Lourene”, she was the librarian. “Mind if Nina comes in to explore?”

“Of course not,” she said petting my head after I walked over to her. “She’s

Me and Miss Lourene the Librarian

welcome anytime.”

She was a fun person and lived across the street from us. I remember the time she gave me and Miss M’lu a ride in her golf cart! Boy did I ever enjoy that, sitting between them as the wind whipped my fur. I’m hoping she’ll take me for a ride again some day.

Miss M’lu dropped my leash so I could explore at will while she sat down and read a newspaper. I jumped on the Miss Lourene’s chair and sniffed the keyboard. I was thinking of getting up on the desk when I heard the newspaper rattle and a “No, no, Nina. You can’t go up on the desk.”

From her tone of voice I figured I had gone far enough. I jumped down and walked towards a long table. There was something on it, but I couldn’t see from my level so I jumped up on a chair. There were a whole bunch of colorful pieces of cardboard all around the table and in the middle there was a part of a picture. It was a puzzle. I put my paw up on the table and touched one of the pieces.

“Oh, look,” Miss Lourene exclaimed, “Nina wants to help!”

“Nina, No!” Miss M’lu called out as she put the newspaper down and came over to me. “Those aren’t toys you can play with!” she said as she took my paw off the table.

I was disappointed. I was itching to swat all those pretty pieces around.

“She’s so cute!”

“Yeah, but if she got on the table she would do a Katrina on the puzzle! Can you imagine how upset the residents who are working on it would be!”

“I guess it’s time to go explore elsewhere. Come on Nina, let’s go. See you later Lourene.”

She picked me up and put me out in the hallway.   I walked ahead and eventually came to a big door.

“Well, Nina, let’s see how you do in an elevator,” she said.

‘What’s an elevator?’ I thought.

She punched a button on the wall and it lit up red. Soon there was a “Ding!” and a big door swished opened into a small room.

‘I get it! An elevator is a room with an automatic door!’

Miss M’lu walked into the room. “”Come on, Nina,” she said gently tugging on my harness.

I wasn’t sure about this. I hesitated and began smelling the tracks. Suddenly the door started to close and I backed away.

“Nina!” she exclaimed as she shot her hand out to stop the door. Just in time, too! The door slid back open and without thinking I just flew into the room! 

Click here ➡➡ IMG_7091

“That was close! Gosh, I’d hate to think what would have happened if the door had shut with the leash caught in it!” she exclaimed. Then she punched another button and the door closed.

I felt a small vibration and spread my legs a bit to balance. It was a nice sensation, like a mini kitty massage. Before I knew it the room stopped and the door opened all by itself onto the second floor. Miss M’lu walked out and called to me to follow with a slight tug on the leash. This time I didn’t wait and went right out.  Click here ➡➡ IMG_7092

“What a good girl you are,” she praised me and then started walking down the hallway.

I hesitated, but started to follow. I had never been down this way before and found so many smells crossing my nose.

“Nina, come on! If you keep stopping every minute to smell something we’ll never get to the end! You’re acting like a dog.”

‘That’s right, dog,’ I thought. ‘That’s what I’m smelling!’ I figured there must have been dogs living in some of the apartments because there were different dog scents.

We kept walking and stopping, passed by a pool table and finally turned the corner. This time I saw two of those silver doors, more elevators.

“Let’s try this again, Nina,” she said as she poked the black button.

“Ding”, the door opened and she walked in. This time I went in with her. We started to go down and when it stopped we were back on the first floor, only it was not the same place where we had started. We had to walk down another long hallway and this time passed a ping-pong table. I liked ping-pong balls. They are so light and airy and super great for bating around.

We passed by a room which I just had to explore. I tugged on my leash and Miss M’lu followed me in.

“Nothing much in here, Nina, it’s just the craft room.”

I begged to differ. It was an unusual room with unusual smells. She dropped my leash so I could check it out. I could smell paint, various paints, chalk and charcoal. I saw jars with colorful beads and baubles and there were beautiful paintings on the walls which had been done by the residents. There was one I especially liked of a basket filled with flowers and an orange tabby sleeping in the middle. Satisfied, I headed for the door.

Miss M’lu picked up my leash and out we went. As we neared the end of the hallway I saw the elevator we had started out in and then knew where we were.

“Time to go home,” I heard. We went back to the auditorium and retrieved the pet stroller. She picked me up and put me in.

“I don’t know about you, Nina, but you sure tuckered me out with all your stopping and going and exploring and now we have to walk all the way back home, too.”

I would have liked to have walked home myself, but instead of 10 minutes it would have taken an hour or more. I couldn’t help it if I was so curious and had to check everything out. Aren’t cats supposed to be curious?

We got home and walked through the front door, then headed to the garage to leave the stroller. Ringo followed us. After my harness and leash were taken off I jumped down.

“Boy that was a long walk,” he commented.

“We went up into the main building.”

“Oh, I hate those front doors! They scare the bejeebers out of me! They make so much noise when they open I just want to run away! That’s probably why Miss M’lu doesn’t bring me up there anymore.”

“The doors didn’t bother me. Even the elevator doors were okay.”

“What’s an elevator?”

“It’s complicated. I’ll tell you later.”

M’ster Doc was in the kitchen looking for something to nibble on. “How’d her first time in the building go?” he inquired.

“Actually, much better than I had expected. She was fine with the front doors. She didn’t panic at all like Ringo does. Really, none of the noises bothered her. After a scare on my part she adjusted quite well with the elevator. She walks in and out with no problem.”

“What happened?”

“The first time I went in and instead of following right away she had to smell the door tracks before crossing over. In the meantime the door started to close and she backed away stretching the leash between us. I jumped forward and stopped the door from closing with my hand. Imagine if I hadn’t!”

“So now she’s good?”

“Yeah, all’s well with the elevators. But, boy, it takes forever just to go down one hallway! I swear, she has to stop and smell everything! A little bug, a chair, a door frame, invisible whatnots on the carpet, it’s endless. It’s enough to try my patience!

She’s such a curious kitten and she does seem to be enjoying herself.”

“So, what do you think?”

“Well, so far so good. I’ll take her up again once more when there’s no one around so she can get the hang of it and then I’ll start to bring her when the residents are around.”

“Hey ‘Ingo, what do you think of that big building?”

“Can’t say much. I only went there a couple of times and I was so scared after we passed those front doors that Miss M’lu had to bring me back home. I didn’t want to stay.”

“That’s too bad. You don’t know what you’re missing. I like it up there and I hope I get to go again lots of times!

I’m tired now, so I think I’ll take a nap before dinner and dream about more adventures.”



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