When we were housesitting for Michael in Chapel Hill, there was a typically elaborate choreography involving the four animals. The two cats would come down early in the morning demanding, with expectant reproachful looks, to be fed. (That look sends your average abject cat-servant into a frenzy of propitiatory can-opening. Why we can't just say "Oh, go away and come back when it suits me" is a mystery.) The dogs would have to be put outside so they wouldn't rush in and scarf down the cat food. They, especially the pug, would start barking (yapping, howling), waking up the whole neighborhood. The cats would not-finish their breakfast at their own leisurely pace, whatever they left for later would have to be lifted up above dog level, and then, while I scrambled to fix the dog food to shut the dogs up, Dick, the deliberate, baleful, asthmatic, diabetic male tabby, having had his meds, would go to the front door and, if you didn't let him out right away, scratch on it loudly till you did. (I must say, though, the dogs made the cats look like oases of cool.)
I'll spare you the rest of the circus.
My instructions said Dick was allowed to go outside whenever he wanted, and that I might have to call him in before locking up at night; he'd probably be waiting under the front porch. (Imagine how ridiculous I felt going outside and calling "Dick! Dick!") He spent large portions of the day outside, and I'd often find him lounging on the porch settee when he'd finished his rounds. It got very hot, and one day when we had to drive somewhere, Dick demanded to go out just as we were getting ready to leave. I went, "Don't want him out when we're not here. -- Oh well, why not. We won't be gone long," because he was giving me That Look that cat-servants are post-hypnotically compelled to obey.
Fortunately (Michael will say unfortunately), it occurred to me to look under the car before we drove away. Something triggered a memory that cats often choose to lie under cars to stay cool. Sure enough, there was Dick, reclining in the shade right behind a back wheel. I picked him up and carried him protesting inside, and didn't let him out again when a drive was in the offing.
I wouldn't be telling you this rather pointless story, except that yesterday three photographs arrived in an e-mail from my sister's family, all five of whom just succeeded in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. There were two photos of them, bundled and be-goggled and almost unrecognizable, near and at the summit. And then there was this: (Click to enlarge.)