I was working in my office this morning - first at the computer, then practicing my fiddle. Ed and Frank wandered in and out, trying to get my attention, batting the fiddle bow around, perching atop the computer and gazing down at the screen upside down, vulture-style. Their usual early morning high energy wild time of the previous two hours had past, and they were just being normally curious and cute. Ed was walking on my keyboard, so I picked him up and put him out in the hallway. Frank, I noticed, was downstairs at the time.
About a minute later I was watching a French TV news team opining about the significance of Tuesday's Hillary/Obama primary results when I heard a tremendous CRASH, followed by a scurry of kitty galloping. I rose to look over the rail to the first floor. Ed was rocketing from the woodstove area to under the couch where he froze. Frank was on the stair landing, his tail the puffy equivalent of a chimney sweep brush and a crazed look in his eye, as he viewed his brother with saucer-eyed alarm. He too froze.
It was a level and quality of sound we don't hear much at all: Ed had clearly fallen from floor two to floor one, landed somewhere near the stove or woodbox, been terrified and scurried under the couch to hide from further disaster. Frank had apparently witnessed it, viewed his brother's actions with terror and remained statue-like on the landing.
Ed wouldn't come out. I tried coaxing him with the kitty treats (and shaking the plastic container, a sound that - in normal times - gets them racing from anywhere to retrieve these candy treats). But Ed stayed put. Which was a worry, and I began to think he might have broken a leg...
Finally after about two minutes he slowly crept out from under the couch, limping noticably and clearly favoring a pained right leg/paw. I checked him over carefully over the next 1/2 hour or so. He began walking with somewhat more confidence, putting more and more weight on the leg. Another hour passed and it became clear that he was not seriously wounded.
Physically at least.
Now he reacts to every sound, action and shadow with startled alarm, reminding me of poor Jack many years ago being hit by Karen Kelly out in front of our house on Jenkins. Hopefully, this experience will keep Eddie off the railing in the way it kept Jack fearful of cars in the road.
Frank, meanwhile, having so far avoided this life-altering experience, is currently sitting on the railing washing his rear end.