There's a scene in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, one of my favorite movie-musicals, where Gideon (I believe it was), the youngest of the Pontipee boys, is sitting by the door of his beloved Alice trying to trick her into coming outside, so that he can kidnap her, by meowing like her pet cat.
I had always had problems with this scene because Gideon's meows were absolutely ridiculously fake. Or so I thought...
...Until this Christmas Eve!
We were up late making our gingerbread creations with the Schillings when we heard a cat begin to meow.
"Meee-ooow!" said the cat, "MEEEE-ooow! MEEEE-OOOOW!"
Cairo is overrun with feral cats and we are used to hearing them fight and holler well into the wee hours of the morning. Cats live in our stairwell, in our yard, under bushes, and pretty much everywhere, so the fact that this cat was serenading the night from our corridor wasn't exactly a surprise, either.
Except that this cat kept getting louder and more obnoxious every time it opened its mouth. It sounded like it was right outside our door.
We were talking about it while we continued to stick candy on our gingerbread pyramids and mosque. At the moment Josh wasn't doing anything so Andrew told him he should go open the door and peek at the cat. So Josh did.
And the cat rushed the door and tried to run inside!
Josh tried to close the door, but the cat kept pushing against it. They had a little push war with Josh finally got it mostly closed...then the cat started really yowling. Its paw was caught in the door. Josh opened the door just a crack further, the cat pulled out its paw, and Josh slammed the door.
The cat charged at the door a couple of more times and kept yowling and meowing and making a huge racket. Our British/Polish neighbours, who are perpetually drunk, also heard the chaos and opened up their door. The cat must have gotten inside their apartment because the next things we knew we heard screaming and banging coming from next door.
We took turns spying through the peep hole. Our neighbour's door was hanging wide open. We could still hear the crashing and yelling. Then we saw her, clad in red pyjamas and armed with a broom, swinging wildly at the cat. It took her a good 5-10 minutes to get the cat out of her apartment.
And after all that, the cat still didn't leave. It stayed in our hallway yowling, though quite a bit angrier than before. We could tell because half its meows had turned to growls.
When we had finished with our gingerbread and Josh and Carolee were heading home, we could still hear the cat. It had left our hallway but was definitely still in our building somewhere. Josh, who had come closest to being mauled by the rabid cat, was quite afraid to venture out. So afraid, in fact, that he made Carolee go first.
They met the cat in the stairwell and said it was huge and angry and terrified all at the same time. It was crouched down low with its ears flattened against its head, shaking in a corner, and growling at them. As soon as they walked past it ran up the stairs. We haven't seen it since.
But it just goes to show that if a cat is meowing unrealistically by your door you shouldn't open it, especially if you're drunk. You could get kidnapped or attacked by a rabid cat!