Call Me Jean Valjean

Or call me Lester Mizzerabulls. Here’s where I spent the portion of my morning normally given over to surface-dwelling:


No, not to elude Javert, though I was cautious not to draw the attention of zealous inspectors of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. In fact, I climbed down into the bowels of L.A. to retrieve a cat — our stupidest cat, Thomas the Cat — who, evidently lured by the siren sound of scampering rats, had dropped through the curbside opening into the deep concrete drain, and was trapped.

I offered a plank for him to climb out on. He blinked at it a moment and returned his attention to the whispers coming out of a tunnel angling downward into a murky region where the living are envied. Either he did not understand the plank’s purpose, or understood perfectly well but preferred to remain in an environment not at all repugnant to his feline sensibilities. He would not come to me. I had to go to him.

Sewer covers are surprisingly heavy objects, unsuitable for the frisbee fun of mere mortals, but not immovable by a determined man with a garden tool. The problem of how to lower my great self to cat level nagged me until the cover slid aside and sunlight pierced the cloacal depths. Ah!. The manhole comes equipped with a built-in ladder. I used it, once descending burdenless, and once again, this time ascending with a scrawny, imbecilic, protesting cat.

All before breakfast, too. But, to draw a cheerful moral, a day begun in this way can only get better.

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