Gussie bolted under the bed the minute we unlatched his crate at the Hilton in Melbourne. Well, he tried, but was too fat, so he rammed his head under the bed and gradually stuffed himself into his hiding place.
In the middle of the night, we heard scratching in the litter box. Two visits, lots of scratching. He ate and drank and ran back under the bed.
We figured we had outsmarted him because we attached his leash to his harness. So when it came time to leave for our next stop in Tallahassee, I pulled on the leash. And pulled, hoping to pull him out from under the bed.
I pulled and pulled…..and out came the leash with the empty harness dangling on the end.
“Uh oh…” my mom and I chorused.
I tried to reach under the bed and tried not to think of all of the people who had slept in that bed and all of the various things that might still be under the bed. That were probably now sticking to Gussie.
We called the bellman. In a few minutes, there was a rap on the door and a linebacker in a black Hilton bellman uniform with a gold curli-Q “H” on the pocket answered. He smiled. He had a space between his teeth and tattoos peeking out from under the sleeve.
We explained our predicament and the bellman got down on his hands and knees and said “Here kitty, kitty.”
And to us: “Got any catnip?”
Gussie didn’t budge. He was out of his harness–going commando. And nobody was telling him what to do.
“I think we need a broom,” my mom said.
So the bellhop/linebacker/probably former convict went to get a broom, returned, and got back on his hands and knees, poking the broom under the bed while Gussie dodged it.
“We’re going to have to pick up the bed,” he said.
My mom and I looked at him. We?
He pulled all the bedclothes off the bed and pulled up the mattress and the box spring with one powerful lift. Once again, I tried not to think of bedbugs and lintballs from the 1990s and grabbed a cowering Gussie.
Who slipped through my grasp and shot under the other bed.
So the bellman put down one of the beds with a thump and pulled up the other bed. I didn’t care anymore about lintballs from the 1990s and fossilized condoms. I grabbed the little bastard and hung on. (The cat, not the bellman.)
Gussie’s feet hung down, claws and furry white tummy exposed. I launched him into his carrier as quickly as I could and shut the door. We all breathed and I thanked the bellman.
The bellman in the dusty coat started to load the suitcases onto the metal dolly. Then he said:
“He made another break for it.”
Gussie had worked open the cage latch and had once again shot under one of the beds. The bellhop prepared for yet a third bench press of a queen-sized bed, but Gussie scurried behind the curtain, sealing himself into a corner.
I gathered him up one more time, he gave me a swipe on the hand that drew some blood, and this time I locked the crate more securely.
Then I said to my mom, “Hand me my purse. I need to give this gentleman a much bigger tip.”
Gussie was a good boy all day, sleeping in his crate until we reached Tallahassee and wheeled him up to the hotel room on a dolly. We let him out of his crate and once again, he rocketed under the bed.
Here’s hoping for another bellhop who works out.