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The Slice: For every door that closes, Chloe gets hungry

By the time you read this, the problem will have been addressed.

But as I write, the back door at my house is out of commission. The lock broke. And the door cannot be opened.

This is an inconvenience, but not a huge one. We just have to use the front door.

The person who really regards this as a pain isn’t actually a person. It’s our neighbor’s gray cat, Chloe.

She is accustomed to coming in through the back door to supervise preparation of her snack. Then she exits the same way once her plate is ready to be served out back.

This has been going on for years. It’s a familiar dance.

She will see one of us out by the garage, appear from out of thin air, and head immediately for the back door, anticipating access and pointing the way.

Lately, of course, we haven’t been able to open that door. So Chloe, who usually plays her cards close to the vest, clearly is puzzled.

I can’t honestly claim to read her feline mind. Still, I have guesses.

“Poor old fools. They can’t even remember how to get in their house.”

“If they are no longer capable of using a key, perhaps we could get someone to install a humans door back here – something they can get through simply by butting against it.”

“If this is some sort of payback for that harmless little bite a few weeks ago, well, I never.”

“Oh, for the love of … it’s not enough that I point out the door for them? Now I have to show them how to open it, too?”

“It’s as if they are now afraid to go in. I don’t get it. What’s in there? Remind me to let them go in ahead of me.”

“I guess I’m going to have to start calling over here and ordering delivery.”

“Break it down! Use a battering ram, if you have to. There’s tuna in there!”

“Uh, oh. Their minds are gone. That’s how it starts. They’re probably going to be put to sleep any day now. That’s too bad. I wonder what sort of snacks the next people will provide.”

“Good grief. If the key no longer works, why can’t they install one of those ‘Star Trek’ transporters back here?”

Today’s Slice question: How many bad things have to happen before you compare yourself to Job?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email There is no “r” in “Washington.”

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