Yael looks between the cats all sitting near or around him and then he looks at the door at the top of the stairs, leading to the garden. It has been weighing on his mind, he’s been wondering if he should simply take the leap, chance everything and let the cats go up there with him when he’s up and about.
Of course, he would keep a bag of catnip by the door to call them all back once he is ready to head back down. He just doesn’t know why it has been on his mind at all since the new year. Perhaps for that new of a new resolution, something new to try to add to his life. It certainly wouldn’t hurt anyone though he doesn’t know how the cats might react.
He sits on the stairs, still looking down at the felines all mostly looking up to him as if waiting for him to give them something. He reaches for the container of cat treats and throws a few out, knowing the two oldest would go after them. Then he sets a few out here and there not far from him for the other five.
“The worst that can happen is that they decide to mark everywhere though that might very well just destroy a lot of the more fragile plants. I know they can all get down from high places on their own so they could climb up. What if they go for the cacti? The rose bushes?” He mumbles to himself, shaking his head with a sight as he does. This has been on his mind and he isn’t sure what to make of it at this point, no matter how much time he spends thinking about it.
“No one is forcing you to let them up, Yael. If you’re that worried about them being up there, it’s more than likely because you’re not ready. This is the garden, you work tirelessly to make it yours and make it work. It’s beautiful and there really are no words to describe how I feel every time I go up there.” Quentin’s voice startles Yael out of his thoughts. Thankfully, at least so he tells himself, he’d already closed the treat container, else they would be everywhere.
“I just keep on telling myself that I should trust them, that I know they might just well be able to handle discovering the garden. I don’t know.” He almost throws his hands to the air in frustration but doesn’t. He simply closes his eyes with a sigh and rubs a hand over them. He knows his confusion is from overthinking.
“What about, over the course of the week, we bring them in one by one? One cat per day, just for an hour or so to see how they handle it. Then next week we can pair them up, and by three, four and so on until we try one morning with all the cats together. We can stop at any point if one of them displays a behaviour that could be a problem for the garden and that’s it, we’ll have tried.”
Yael studies him for a long moment, as if trying to weigh carefully everything he’s just been told. He nods and stands, the cats easing slightly away from him to avoid being walked on. They had been quite close to the bottom of the stairs, after all. “That might work, I’m just, I don’t know why I want to do this. I guess I want to be able to leave the doors open though I don’t even understand why. It’s not like these doors slow me down much when I go in and out of the garden.”
Quentin shrugs gently but offers his hand. It still is early in the morning and his stomach is reminding him that he should eat. He can only imagine that Yael hasn’t eaten yet.
“We were both pretty panicked when one of them went up there and got caught up in the tree, I’m sure that notion, the one to let them in and out as they wish, has been there, growing in the back of your mind ever still.” He laughs softly at the moment and Yael chuckles as well. They had been so absolutely worried, he could remember that rather well. Now he could have a chuckle at it but most certainly not on that particular day.
“I’ll draw up a calendar. Write down who goes up when until we’ve tried with everyone up, at least, that’s the goal.”
“That sounds like a plan, we can set it up just down at the bottom of the stairs and we can add little checkmarks to every day that has gone as it should.”
It doesn’t take him long to get that calendar drawn up. Names set out in alphabetical order for the first seven days and then paired up with first and last, second and second-last and so on until he had one last day where all seven cats would be allowed up in the garden. He really hopes that the whole thing will work out. He wants the cats to have free rein of everywhere in their home and that does include the garden, after all.
Once he’s done, he pins the paper up on the wall right next to the stairs leading up to the second floor. He looks at it for a long moment and nods. Quentin looks at it from the side, studying it for a moment before he chuckles. “So no one today, we start tomorrow?”
“I don’t know why, I felt as though I had to gather my courage one last time before we begin this experiment.” He pauses and shakes his head with a soft chuckle. “Saying experiment makes me feel like I’m a scientist trying to create something evil that might just try to take over the world.”
“Nope, just letting some very playful kitties learn their way around the most beautiful garden in the world, that’s all. I know I don’t tell you often enough how amazed I am at the beauty of what you’ve created up there and I know it’s not right. You work when you’re in there and I know I should help you more often.”
“It’s not so much about needing help, Quentin, it’s about knowing you do enjoy the garden as I hope you do and that’s mostly that. It’s not that much hard work lately, just gathering the veggies and fruits and when it is time for that, you’re always there to help me.”
“I’d be failing at some point in my life if I didn’t help you, Yael. When it’s time for harvest, we usually come out of there with huge, overflowing basket and it’s not a single person’s job. I’m not going to let you do that alone.” He rolls his eyes and chuckles, this whole experiment amuses him to a point.
“Come on, let’s have ourselves a swim, you’re tense from all this worrying and fussing and preparing. You’re overthinking and that’s just not good for either one of us. I want us to have an absolutely there relaxing day before we start with this whole thing.”
“I always overthink everything I worry about, you know this.” Yael shrugs, a sheepish smile offered as he moved away from the stairs and let himself be led back towards their bedroom so they both could change into the proper bathing suits.
He isn’t against a swim. He knows it will get him to focus on other things and that might just be the best course of action at that point. He knows he needs to stop thinking about the ‘what if’ of things. “I’m a worrier, I guess. It’s in my blood. Though I might try to fight against it. I think, though, that giving the cats a chance to explore the garden is just one of those things, it’s a chance we’ll have to take. If anything happens, I’ll plant over again to cover anything that might have been destroyed.”