Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Prodigal Daughter


I solemnly typed up this poster this morning at 3am. But I'm getting ahead of myself. You'll want the complete account. I called in sick for the usual reason. I was boiling some pasta for dinner. The steam produced by the pasta pot inevitably triggers the smoke alarm. This time was no exception. I waved the steam away from the alarm and pulled open the window six inches. jc, weary of the repeat performance, got up and removed the battery from the smoke alarm. I was already having my dinner.

Hours later, we went to bed and looked for Shadow in her usual place. She often settles down on the bed long before we do. She wasn't there though. We thought nothing of it, as she has many places to sleep. jc was soon snoring. I played on the computer and listened to music for a while, then made one last trip to the bathroom before bed. I looked for Shadow in all her beds. When I didn't find her, I began to worry. It was only then that I noticed the window that I had carelessly left open and realized what must have happened.

Shadow is afraid to go outside. She cries and cries if she has to go to the vet. But lately she has been boldly sneaking out onto the back steps and into the yard when she gets a chance. I put on my robe, got a flashlight from the car, and began to search. The house and shed are both elevated above a partially enclosed crawl space that she could easily access. I called and looked, but neither saw nor heard any sign of her.

Shadow is jc's little baby. Finally I had to wake him up and tell him what I had done. He joined in the search. We took her food outside and opened one of the wet food treats that she loves. jc rattled her food dish, a sound that always brings her running. We walked around the neighborhood. A kitty saw us and ran up an apartment stairway. I followed, only to find a black cat. We finally returned home and sat on the back porch steps with me sobbing and jc stroking my hair for a while before jc decided to go back to bed.

I went with him and took some hydrocodone for my increasing pain. I couldn't sleep though. I got out the laptop and typed in "how to find a lost cat", which resulted in several articles. They all said that house cats stay very close to home and hide, afraid to come out. I typed up the flyer, resolving to pass them out door to door first thing in the morning. I walked to the back door and chased a tailless yellow cat away from the food. I tried to go to sleep. I thought about how furious I would be if jc lost my cat.

I finally got dressed, put on a hat and gloves, and took the heavy fleece blanket from the sofa, and went back outside to sit on the step. It started to rain and I moved the food under the eaves. I had the Shadow's fleecy bed next to me on the step. I dozed a little then woke up and called her softly. A cat looked out at me wildly from the shadows in the yard. I looked closely and saw that it was her. I called gently, and she came, and I bundled her up and carried her indoors calling to jc, "Shadow is home! I found her!"

R. Connors


gnumoon said...

Ooh, I'm SO glad this ended well.

Our dog took a little vacation last year, and it was the worst week of my life. We searched 2 counties looking for him, and I cried myself to sleep every night because it was my fault he'd gotten out.

A week later (while I was out looking for him) he showed up at the door and then hopped up on the couch and fell asleep, no worse for the wear.

Myra said...

I'm happy your kitty came home. I had a scare like that this past fall... we were painting a room in the house and left the sliding door open to air things out..then couldn't find out kitty...I was crying searing the whole neighborhood...then later that night I found her sleeping under my daughter's bed.... I'm glad both of our kitties are safe and sound tonight!

ScienceWoman said...

Oh, I was so worried when I started reading this post. I'm glad you and j.c. got your kitty back.