Fun with cats and seniors on the roof |

Fun with cats and seniors on the roof

Heidi Rice
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“You’ll never believe what happened this afternoon,” Husband-Head reported in his daily phone call to me from work. “Now I’ve seen everything.”

I tried to imagine what it would be, but figured the loss of sleep from a party we’d attended the night before would have contributed.

“You found a bunch of $100 bills floating around in the street like that cop did in Pennsylvania last week?” I guessed hopefully.

“No,” Husband-Head denied. “But if I did, I certainly wouldn’t tell you about it. …”

As it turned out, Husband-Head was taking his daily walk after lunch when someone started shouting at him.

“Hey buddy! Can you help me?” a voice yelled out.

Husband-Head looked around to see who it was, but didn’t see anyone. Finally, he looked up, only to see an elderly man sitting on top of a chimney.

“He was probably around 70 or so,” Husband-Head told me. “He was stuck on top of the roof.” It sounded like a scene out of “Fiddler on the Roof,” except there was no violin involved.

“What did you do?” I asked. “Surely, you didn’t just stand there and laugh and break out into the song ‘If I Were a Rich Man.'”

Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum …

“No, but it was kind of weird seeing some guy sitting on a chimney in the middle of the day,” Husband-Head admitted.

Turns out, the guy had gone up to fix something on the roof and the ladder he had used had slipped, leaving him stranded.

Enter Mr. Good Samaritan – aka Husband-Head.

“I asked him how long he’d been up there and he said it had been about two hours,” Husband-Head relayed. “I think he was glad to see me come along.”

“Well, did you help the guy or did you just leave him up there and continue on your walk?” I demanded to know.

“Of course I helped him,” Husband-Head said indignantly. “I crawled up onto the roof and cradled him in my arms like a baby and carried him down the ladder. …”

Smart ass.

The old James Taylor song came into my head.

“And if this old world starts getting you down, there room enough for two … up on the roof. …”

But somehow I don’t think the James Taylor/Carole King thing was going on here. “I moved the ladder back over and the old guy was able to climb down,” Husband-Head said truthfully. “But then he started telling me all about his whole health history and how he’d had a heart attack.”


In return, Husband-Head relayed his own story about having a heart attack not too long ago.

What part of middle-aged and senior citizen men who have had heart attacks shouldn’t be on the roofs of buildings, was the question running through my head. …

But this isn’t the first time Husband-Head has had to deal with things on the roof.

Not long ago, our cat, Pepper, decided that she wanted to get on the roof. During the winter, the window to our bedroom is closed. During the spring, the window is open. But in the hot summer months, there is an air conditioner unit that blocks the window.

Apparently Pepper doesn’t have a grasp on the different seasons.

We were lying in bed when we heard the cat screaming on the roof.

“What the …?” Husband-Head yelled, not happy by the disturbance at all.

He went to the front door to call the kitty. Then the back door. Then the French doors.

“That’s IT!” Husband-Head yelled in frustration. “I’m going to get her. I’m going to spray her with water until she gets off that roof.”

I pulled the blankets on the bed over my head and pretended I couldn’t hear what was going on.

Between the old guy, the cat and James Taylor, I wondered what the hell was the attraction up on the roof.

And then I re-read the lyrics to the song.

“On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be … and there the world below don’t bother me. …”

Except for old men and cats. …

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Her book collection of columns, “Skully Says Shut It!,” is available,, or at

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