Over the next month, I made coffee every morning for the two rat men. They showed up each day, except weekends, wearing their uniform of jeans with a plain white tee-shirt that had a huge image of a rat face on the front and a rat tail on the back. I assumed they had several pairs of jeans and shirts because they were always clean looking when they showed up at the Perkins house.
The rat men checked the traps each time they came and the result was always a big let down. The rats were not biting. Just as they had predicted, the smart vermin kept moving around the house, staying away from the traps. I finally had to face the fact that if I wanted to get any sleep at night, I had to bring a cat into the Perkins home.
I had been thinking about the possibility since the rat men first arrived and came up with a perfect solution. I would keep the cat at the Perkins until they came back at the end of the summer. Then I would take the cat with me to where-ever I would call home.
I called Berry at the Cape with my idea and she loved it! We hoped that the rats would leave after a few months with a cat in the house. And then the cat would leave with me preventing any allergic reaction from Berry.
Imagine my utter happiness at the prospect of finding a pet for a friend. This wasn't just any pet. I didn't want to get a kitten. I wanted a big cat that would hunt down and get rid of the rats. So I did my homework and found out about a cat rescue funded by iconic costume designer Edith Head. Turns out the woman who defined cinema style for more than fifty years from the 1940s to the early '80s, left all her money to this particular cat rescue when she died. The legendary costume designer didn't have an heir apparent but she loved cats. She was as famous as the productions she worked on, winning eight Academy Awards, more than any other woman at the time. In the early days of her career, she was contracted with Paramount Studios but later, moved to Universal Studios to work with Alfred Hitchcock, the same man who directed Tony in his famous role of Norman Bates in Psycho. Head was a favorite among many of the leading female stars of the 1940s and '50s from Ginger Rogers and Elizabeth Taylor to Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. She was also a favorite among cats that needed to be rescued.