When we lived on 90th St, Penny, Yoni and I were very close with a family who lived one floor down from us. Eventually they got a puppy who became one of Penny’s best friends, and the magnetic pull that their apartment had on Penny only grew. If we were walking down the stairs, she would try to go to their apartment instead of going outside; if we went to the second floor, she went immediately to their door and either scratched at it or sat down in front of it, waiting to be allowed entrance.
One day, Penny escaped from our apartment while Yoni was coming home. Our building was made up of 3 renovated brownstones that had been connected on the inside, and while the middle staircase had been turned into an elevator, there was still a staircase on each end. You can imagine the chase that ensued – Penny running down one staircase and up the other one, sneaky enough to outsmart us for a minute. But she didn’t return to our apartment. Instead, she ran to Kate and Christine’s and scratched at the door. Their door didn’t latch very well, and – much to everyone’s surprise – she let herself in! Let’s just say that was not the last time that happened.
That was a long time ago now, and I would have assumed that Penny had forgotten about her cat-burglar ways, but I learned this week that, no, she has not. Over the past few weeks, Penny and I have been spending time with our neighbor Jenny, her 4-month-old son Jeremiah, and her dog Rufio. It’s kind of win-win-win; Jenny’s husband is also away, so she and I get some human interaction. Plus Penny and Rufio get to work out some energy with one another. And, of course, there’s the attraction of Jeremiah. Penny doesn’t have a lot of time around small babies, so Jenny has been lovely about letting me train her a bit with Jeremiah. (She’s not doing so well. I mean, she doesn’t spend every second licking him like she did in the beginning, but I think it’s still sometimes overwhelming for Baby J. Oh well. It’s progressive.) Whether or not she’s well behaved around him, Penny does love Jeremiah – I mean, he smells and tastes delicious, after all.
Penny has always loved Rufio, but since we’ve been hanging out at their apartment more, she also feels at home over there. And then the other day, she (we) made the critical discovery that, just like Kate and Christine’s door, Jenny’s door doesn’t always latch fully if it’s not locked. Penny got out of the apartment (I forget exactly what happened) and ran to Rufio’s door. She jumped and scratched at it, I assume to get his attention, and, well, she got more than she bargained for! The door opened right up and she just ran in. Luckily, Jenny was holding Jeremiah.
It happened again today. We were coming in from a walk, and she heard Rufio bark. She immediately dragged me to their door and scratched until Jenny came to let her in. (Slightly more polite than just barging in, I guess.) It’s a good thing Jenny is really lovely and is always happy for Rufio to get some exercise! Lesson learned: Penny does not forget her sneaky skills. She will always know how to break into other peoples’ apartments. Let’s hope she continues to only use her powers for good.