This morning around 4 A.M. I poked my head out the front door for a weather-check. Mama Kitty and Jake were there griping for me to feed them. Well, only Jake was griping; Mama Kitty has more class than that. She is not a vocal cat. However, she does station herself on the porch at feeding time and then follows me, or leads me, to the barn when I go outside in the morning.
Three hours later, I headed out to feed them. Only Jake was there, but I expected to see Mama Kitty in the barn. Turns out she wasn't there, but that isn't unusual either, so I poured their daily portion of Costco's cat food in the pan and stepped out into the rain. I had taken a few steps before I noticed the meows of a cat from somewhere in the barn.
I went to the front of the barn and entered from there into the main portion of the barn, where we used to keep hay; Cliff keeps his latest tractor purchase in there waiting for restoration, as well as the lawn mowers. In front of the tractor (which has a bucket on the front) was a stack about four feet tall of plywood and other assorted useful wooden pieces and poles. The meowing was coming from beneath the stack, back in a corner.
I called "kitty kitty", and she answered. She really didn't sound desperate, and yet she is NOT a vocal cat, so she was wanting some help getting out of there. I looked under the stack and then got on it and peered down in the corner, and saw no cat. Yet she would answer me each time I called. The thought entered my mind that maybe it wasn't her. There's a stray that comes for dinner sometimes. But it's a wild thing and wouldn't likely interact with me like this cat was doing.
I was going to try and unstack the wood, which seemed an impossible task even before I began; turns out it WAS impossible. That stuff was heavy.
When Cliff got up, I told him about it. He asked if I thought she was hurt, and I told him she didn't sound like it. He doesn't like to hop out of bed and start doing things, so I left him alone for a couple of hours, then went out to see if the cat was still trapped. She was. By this time her big old spoiled son, Jake, was starting to act weird, meowing and running around like an idiot.
Cliff moved the Oliver tractor out of the way and brought the John Deere in, putting the forks under the stack of plywood and lifting them. I didn't see Mama Kitty come out from under, and he backed up and then made a stab at a different spot under the stack. I got down and looked. No cat. We both stepped outside for a minute, and when we got back, Mama Kitty was in the process of climbing down from a pole that supports a corner of the barn. At some point when we were looking elsewhere (under the stack, maybe?) she had been released and climbed up the pole to escape her dungeon... I guess. I do know she was UNDER there all that time, because that's clearly where her voice was coming from all that time. She had probably followed a mouse or rat down there and dived into a spot from which escape was impossible.
She followed me into the part of the barn where I feed the cats and began eating, dirty but unharmed. Jake was walking the length of her, rubbing his big old head all over her affectionately and smiling.
All's well that ends well.