He rushes doors. Any door, any portal, any open window is fair game. I had thought that this tendency to run straight for an open space was confined to those open spaces that were vertical, but I was wrong.
Today he went under the house. Not just under the house, but under the house while Felipe, Juan, Frederico, and Alberto were working on it. (Query: Why is every jefe of every leveling job named Felipe? Is it just the crews that work on my house, or what?)
Felipe is a short, taciturn guy who refuses to be shaken by anything. Alberto is young, voluble, and tended to giggle. I heard his giggles all morning through the floor whenever anything struck him as funny, which was about every thirty seconds. Frederico is a sharp-dressed vato with designs shaved into his beard and buzz cut and sparkly fronts on. And poor Juan was the guy over whose back Notamus ran to get under the house. The first I knew of it was a choked scream from the access hatch. Somehow the door to the office had come open, and Notamus had obeyed the Prime Kitteh Directive: If it's open, go for it.
After reassuring Juan that that enormous grey thing that ran past him was only a gato, and a friendly gato at that, I spent five minutes on my belly, head down in the hatch, calling here-kitty-kitty to no avail. I finally said the hell with it and got under the house with the boys, crawled to the very furthest corner of the very furthest row of piers, and played here-kitty-kitty there for twenty minutes as they worked around me.
I gave up after that and figured Notty would come out on his own. Which he did, thirty minutes later. I found him angry and freaked out, hanging by his claws on the outside of the kitchen screen door.
Poor Felipe handed me out of the access and, after taking a look at my front (I'd crawled under there in capri pants, a t-shirt, and sandals) said "Oooohhhhh my God." I think he saw angry letters about open access hatches in his future, but it wasn't their fault my cat went berzerkers.
It's not a bad crawlspace, as crawlspaces go. It's short, of course, which makes turning around and doubling back difficult--especially if you're more than four feet tall and busty and assy into the bargain. It's dry, I only saw one rat skeleton, and it's pretty well-ventilated. There aren't too many pipes to crawl over and nothing dropped down the back of my neck, thank God.
The best part of all of it was this: When Felipe helped me out of the hatch, my pants didn't fall off. Almost, but not quite. I was pleased that I was able to get out of there with at least some dignity intact.