For some reason she ran over to the corner of the coffee table (the picture below is a weak re-enactment), sniffing at something. Thinking maybe one of the cats had been sick during the night and not wanting Misaki to "clean up," I followed her over to check it out.
She was sniffing the base of one of the table legs (in this pic it would be the one furthest from the camera). There was something small there, so I picked it up and found this.
It took me a minute to figure out what it was: a nut that holds the frame of the table to the legs. Both the frame and the legs are steel and each leg is attached to the frame with four bolts and nuts (the below picture is an upside down look at each corner). That may sound like overkill, but the top of the table simply lays on the frame and is made from a solid piece of slate; it's freakin' heavy.
But now that I knew what the item in my hand was, I was confused. How did it come unscrewed from the bolt? Each of the other fifteen nuts were screwed on tight. The table hadn't moved in a couple years and in that time no one has ever messed with the nuts and bolts. Misaki will sometimes curl up under that table, but not at the corner that was unscrewed (in the picture above it's the corner to the left side of the image). Plus, she doesn't sit and paw at random things.
Oh, and I forgot to mention one other tidbit. See, I didn't even find this nut under where it came unscrewed. No, instead it was nestled at the base of the another leg three feet away.
In the absence of any other explanation, that only leaves these fiendishly clever little felines.
Sera and Moochie: "What do you want?"
Did my cats really do this? Did they figure out how to unscrew a nut that at one time was tightened with a wrench? And how long have they been working on this? Was it just one of them, or a team effort? And what were they trying to accomplish?
So many questions, so few answers. Maybe, perhaps, the biggest questions of all are these: Should I be worried? What are they going to unscrew next?
If you don't hear from me for a while, it might be because the cats unscrewed my office chair and I collapsed. They are pretty sneaky...