Lately, I'd been finding bits and pieces of drywall scattered around my apartment. They started out small, probably the size of a quarter. I didn't pay it much attention. I figured Bailey was just pulling them out from under radiators. Or something. I made excuses and ignored it.
The pieces started getting bigger. One morning I found one the size of my palm, sitting on the kitchen floor. I started getting worried that whichever wall these pieces were coming from would collapse if this kept up, so I began to hunt in the apartment for a wall that could be missing a chunk of drywall. I didn't see anything, except an area right behind my toilet. Two tiles had fallen out, leaving the drywall exposed. It didn't look like any drywall was missing, but I accepted this as the source.
Since I didn't want to go through the trouble of caulking the tiles back on the wall, I taped the gap up with packing tape.
I figured the problem had been fixed (even though there were a few more pieces of drywall). Then, one day, while getting out a pair of shoes from my closet, I found a Smuckers jar lid. This truly perplexed me, seeing as I didn't ever have a jar of Smuckers anything in the apartment.
I figured Bailey had once again dug it out from under some radiator (at this point, I was convinced the space under my radiators was just a Mary Poppins bag of goodies for my kitten) and batted it into the closet while playing with it. I was confused, but nothing looked out of place, so I put it in the back of my mind.
Two nights ago, I found the answer. To the drywall. And the jar lid. And the small pieces of drywall even after I taped up my bathroom that I decided to ignore.
At 1AM, I woke up to the distant sound of what sounded like someone clicking their nails on a metal surface. I didn't pay attention to it, because Bailey is usually doing this if my door is closed:
After about 10 minutes, I heard a pathetic mewing sound, the kind of sound that Bailey makes when we give her a bath. The sound that, if translated into words, meant "Why are you doing this to me, what did I ever do to you, I may die at any moment."
(Why do cats hate baths? Isn't having someone clean you better than cleaning yourself with your own saliva?)
I figured I should at least get up and see what was going on. Whatever she was doing, Bailey stopped when I opened my door. I couldn't find her anywhere.
Five minutes of walking around later, I decided to just stop moving and see if Bailey would start making sounds again, even though I fully expected to just find her like this:
She did make another sound. When I heard it, I realized it was coming from my kitchen. Behind the stove. If you knew how my stove was positioned (about 3 inches from the wall), you would also think, as I did, that this was impossible. But Bailey made the sound again, that pathetic "Is this really what my life has become" sound. So, in my pajamas and state of confusion at 1:15AM, I did some heavy lifting and pulled the stove away from the wall.
What I saw was Bailey's back legs frantically kicking the air. There was a hole in the wall with cracked pieces of drywall (the pieces of drywall!) hanging along the sides and lying on the ground. Bailey had not only somehow found a way to get behind the stove, she had wedged herself halfway into the hole leading to nowhere (Kitten Narnia, judging by how determined she was to get there) and was stuck. On the floor, there were about 6 jar lids, a wooden spoon, a long stick of some sort, and one of those jumbo Lego pieces (it was blue).
Oh, and dust and dirt and grime that had been there probably since 1960.
Yes, it was disgusting. And Bailey was stuck.
So I grabbed her back legs before she could actually contort herself to fit into the wall any further, but she was somehow stuck, or willing herself not to be removed from the space she had apparently created for herself, escape-from-Alcatraz style. It took me about 5 minutes of pulling and prying to get her out, all the while listening to her pathetically mew at me. As if this was worse than getting a bath.
But, in the end, I got her out. She was covered in grime, so in addition to the trauma of being stuck in a wall and then being pulled out by her back legs, she got a bath as well.
We ended up just taping a piece of cardboard over the hole in the wall (sometime around 2AM). I cleaned up all the grime and random assortment of kitchen utensils/Lego piece/jar lids from the ground. We made sure the gaps between the stove and walls were smaller when we pushed it back. Bailey can probably still get back there though. At least it's not filled with toys anymore.
Bailey is fine now. Here she is playing, like nothing ever happened. Which, in her mind, probably nothing ever did. Except that she lost her entrance to Kitten Narnia.