To Scale

There were three things the Gray Menace loved more than intimidating things larger or smaller than himself: a good meal of roast beef, playing with his toys, and a good nap. He sought an order in the universe, so he usually tried to keep the three in some order.
Around 1972 I revived an earlier interest in model railroading. Clancy soon discovered that these were toys. He did not toss trains to the floor – that lacked any art. Clancy terrorized the small towns’ inhabitants while walking down the main street like the lead monster in a Japanese SciFi thriller. He carefully used his paws to turn over the small building to peer inside. Yea, it is good to be large, toothy, and have sharp claws.
I successfully restricted his access to the railroad. The room was a combination train room and my office. So he was allowed in only when I worked in it.
One day I decided to add some mountainous scenery to the layout. The only obstruction was the twentyone pound Gray Menace sleeping soundly in the path of geological progress. If I haven’t already mentioned, he was tough to awaken when fully asleep, and picking him up without his consent could be a life-threatening action. So, I took the cowards way out. I covered him up and proceeded to create the mountains and tunnel around, and finally over him.
To make mountains like this, you first create an armature or frame, cover it with screening, and then cover that in plaster. In about three hours, a new landscape emerged, and a sleeping cat became encased. I left the room to begin dinner.
Clancy was never one to miss a meal. Right around dinner time, I began to hear panicked growls and meows from the other room. A hungry Gray Menace was awake and very frightened. It took a few minutes to figure out that the mountain scene’s back was open for his escape. Into the kitchen, he came. Small flecks to plaster in his fur, he was not amused. He was, however, amenable to being bribed out of his anger by dinner.
It was weeks before he went anywhere near my office or my train hobby. When he eventually began to come into the room, he avoided the trains, hopped onto the window sill, and glared at the train layout.
Several months when by. One day I couldn’t find him anywhere in the apartment. After a complete search, I looked under the trains where I stored supplies, with no luck. Then I heard a rustling above me. Looking around the back of the layout, I spied the Grey Menace comfortably sleeping inside the mountain scenery. After that, the mountain was known as Gray Cat. Being that it sounded like a ski slope, we put miniature skiers on it. He liked the skiers, lots.


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