The roofers finally showed up after many failed attempts due to uncooperative weather. Once the work got started it got real noisy, real fast and Oliver, my cat, literally vanished.
I called for him and looked all over for more than an hour and couldn't find him anywhere. I began a systematic approach starting upstairs, going from room to room and closing each door afterward eventually ruling out the upstairs level after three run-throughs.
On the main level, other than the laundry room, there are no doors but very limited hiding places and I checked several times, called him, and still no luck finding him.
I did a very thorough search of the basement despite the fact that the basement door was not opened and as far as I know, he can't pass through solids, but I did two very careful walk-throughs of the basement and found no trace of Oliver.
After more than an hour I was getting pretty concerned. On a whim based on an experience from his wee little kitty days, I took a peek up in the fireplace chute, fiddled with the damper, and much to my delight a pair of the bluest eyes of all time came peering out. The noise calmed down briefly, but long enough for him to come out after seeing me and when how jumped down and into view, I could see that he was full of soot. While I must confess it looked super cute, he is mostly white and needed to be cleaned.
I brought my boy up to the bathroom, locked the door, and carefully proceeded to give him a shower. While it was evident that he hated every minute of it, he was quite patient and handled it all like a champ right down to the towel drying process.
When he was all clean and semi-dry, I took him down to the basement and brought his food, water, and litter box down there and let him be until it was all over. As of now, he's back to his normal rascal-ly self as if nothing ever happened and the new roof looks quite nice.