It was really lonely at first. I was the only ‘pet’ and there weren’t any other humans living there. From the stories Larry told his visiting neighbors and friends (I sat on a rug near the wood burner in the kitchen) I learned that our house was almost 250 years old. There were several additions over the years but, the original structure was built with logs from nearby forests. Even the floors were logs. And the wide plank flooring was beautiful, too cold to nap on during the winter, but, in the summertime sleeping on the cool planks was, well, excuse my French, the cat’s ass. There was a ground cellar that many years before had a fresh water spring running through it. We surmised that the folks who lived there back in the late 1700’s kept butter and milk fresh down there. I rarely was allowed in the cellar and that was just as well. It seemed spooky to me.
We were really proud of our house. It had been vacant for 25 years, had no indoor litter box, I mean toilet, and very primitive electric and plumbing. Larry’s family and friends thought he had flipped when he bought the broken down structure even though he assured them it was worth saving.
He relished telling the story of evicting the raccoons and snakes which had taken up occupancy in the walls and the attic. I believe he was exaggerating when he told people he had cleaned out at least 30 large garbage bags of dried raccoon feces from under the attic floor, but, whenever I ventured up the attic steps I could smell something that definitely was not produced by my species. The attic was spooky, too, and I did not go up there often.
He says he poured 2 years of heart, soul and sweat into the restoration installing 3 bathrooms, a completely rebuilt kitchen, new electrical wiring throughout (one of my favorite playthings was what he called a tube from the primitive knob and tube electrical system), plumbing, TV and telephone cable to every room, and a central vacuum system. Larry still swears a blue streak when he tells the story of cutting through solid logs to run the pipes for the vacuum.
But the most awesome thing he did was to make sure when he did the wiring that each window in the house had an electrical outlet nearby. I questioned that when I first moved in with him and did not know the reason until a week before Christmas. He gathered me up, took me out to his truck and we drove over to the highway which was about ¼ mile away. When I turned around to look at our house, every window, even the attic windows had an electric candle in it. It was beautiful. What a guy!