As you might know, the cottage was a decade-long work in progress. Many advances in degree of completion took place in the past two years, most notably siding last year and significant headway in drywall this summer. However, there were many years when it was way far from finished.
We took possession once the exterior framing was complete. There weren’t any exterior doors but most of the windows had been installed, with the exception of the top two windows in the great room. I don’t know how I got convinced to make use of the cottage in its skeletal state, but we pitched a tent in the bedroom-to-be and practically froze to death on the May long weekend.
One night, a bat flew in and decided to camp out in the rafters of the loft. The bat had a great time flying in and out of the missing windows, chirping away happily. When the windows arrived later in the summer we didn’t know if the bat was home or away. As it turned out, the bat was inside when his escape route was sealed. Or so we thought. Probably because of the cracks in the exterior plywood you could drive a truck through, the bat figured out another way to get in and out.
The bat lived happily in the rafters for about four years, until Lucy and Ricky came to visit for vacation. Neither Ricky nor Lucy were very happy travelers, especially when the horror of a car ride is combined with the trauma of a boat ride. Lucy expressed her displeasure loudly for the entire trip.
Once at the cottage, she was too scared to come inside and ate most of her meals on the front step. Eventually she did venture in and started hanging out in the loft, the highest point in the cottage. She liked to sleep right at the top of the stairs. One night we awoke to a huge scrambling racket and that was the end of the bat. I don’t think Lucy’s shots were up to date but luckily there was no sign of rabies.
Lucy eventually died of a lung problem. She was at the vet for treatment in the hospital over the weekend when she died. I paid for her unsuccessful treatment when I went to collect her carcass. The vet asked what we wanted to do with her – apparently getting ashes back is an option. I had no desire to add to the fruitless bill, so opted to take her home frozen in a garbage bag where she had been stored in the vet’s freezer.
I put her in my own freezer to await the next trip to the cottage. That at least was a meow-free trip. She is now buried just in front of the septic bed, oblivious that her final resting place is the dreaded cottage.