Yeah. I know. It’s early for me (except in about two weeks, this will be normal again…ugh). It’s been a rough 24 hours. So many of us who create have pets, furry beasts who stand on our stuff, headbutt our hands as we’re drawing that crucial line, creatures who mess up or throw up on or eat what we’re working on. I’ve always had cats and dogs in some combination or another, although at the moment, very few of them are actually MINE. I still take care of them though. My current household contains the fewest furry beasts it has since…shit…early marriage? Two cats: Midnight (who is my daughter’s notionally) and Kitten (who is most certainly mine). One dog half time: Calli (most definitely my daughter’s). When girlchild goes to college, the thought is that Calli will have a change in living situation, certainly not trading houses every other day like she does now, but we haven’t determined what that situation will be. There are factors like her undying wiggly love for the man who sticks his fingers in her ears (that is NOT me) and who will be home the most (that IS me). I mean, Calli loves me…but she doesn’t OMG LOVE me. Which is fine.
Anyway, the point of all this is that sometime between 3:30 AM Thursday morning and about 6 AM that same morning, Kitten escaped. She was devious about it, using her claws to pull a screen corner out of the frame, not ripping it, but pulling the spline out of the groove. So even though she didn’t wake me up by headbutting my boob and face and hurdling me 1700 times while meowing, I figured she was asleep in a closet somewhere. She does that sometimes. We didn’t think she could have gotten out of the house. There were only two windows open, and because of how she pulled the screen, we didn’t notice it until 11 AM. At that point, all three of us had searched the house, opening cupboards (she’s gotten stuck in those before).
I took this the night before…
She was sitting so happily while I cut stuff out and Midnight was happily next to me on the couch and I thought, you know, even though both my kids are going far away to college and I’m going to be terribly horribly alone on the human front for the next four months (which alternately sounds wondrous and horrifying), at least I have these two sweet cats and some of the dog and that will do.
So when we couldn’t find her outside either, realizing that the last time she got out, I found her cowering on the deck, frozen like a bunny in the lights, we all pretty much panicked. She doesn’t come to anyone except me, and that…well, not all the time. We knocked on neighbors’ doors, put a Craigslist notice up, made fliers, posted them all over, then went to every vet and shelter and one pet store. Because the little beast won’t wear a collar, and when we got her, microchipping was bloody expensive. Now it’s incredibly cheap. So if someone found her or brought her injured to the vet (or just to the vet because she was lost), no one would know who she was. We cancelled all the appointments we had yesterday and did random walkarounds, but mostly sat around depressed, because what can you do but wait? She’s a hider.
At night, the kids went to their dad’s and a friend came over and helped me look again. No sign. I finally tried to iron at about 9 PM after getting absolutely nothing done all day. The night before, I managed a bunch of trimming, because I was too tired to stand any more (the doctor’s visit kicked my ass…driving plus stairs plus giving blood. Crazy shit). But all this is cut out…
That’s about three hours’ worth I did there. Doesn’t look like much, but there’s about 60 black triangles for the damn snake.
Here’s what was left to cut out after all those hours…
I have Netflix on while I iron, but I heard noises on the slope behind the house and so I paused it and started to chirp for Kitten, thinking it was probably a skunk or coyote or raccoon. But she answered. Or I thought she did. I grabbed shoes and a flashlight and ran out there and called her and walked around through all the spiderwebs, but no more mews. I figured I imagined it…we have hawks and owls that can sound like cats and god knows what else was out there with me. Or she was in a tree or hurt or trapped or hiding or I didn’t know what. So I came back in and ironed some more, and there’s more noise outside, and I chirp again, and dammit if she doesn’t meow again (or so I thought, because I really did go to bed thinking I’d hallucinated the whole damn thing). I was out there and all around the yard, the house (I have over half an acre of mostly wild untamed jungle), flashlight, I swear every spiderweb wrapped around my body, and I can’t find her. Girlchild is texting me from her dad’s, wanting to come over, and there’s no point, because when I’m standing out there, dead silent for 15 minutes, then chirping and calling, there’s not a sound.
If she’s out there, she doesn’t want to be found. Yet. There’s nothing I can do. Worst feeling ever.
So I went to bed. Not well. Not sleeping much. She sleeps with me every night. At that point, I’m sure she’s been gutted by a coyote and I just can’t find her dying body (trust me, I tried) or I was hearing things, and I would be sleeping without my baby (ah, sigh) for EVER. Not a good night.
Here’s what I got ironed last night.
More little stuff. I’m missing an artery (kind of a big thing to lose, yes). And those raindrops are still MIA. Bastards.
I organized the fabrics finally…before I started ironing (they’re a mess again now)…
I woke at 1:30 AM and 4:10 AM and then at 6 AM I hear yowling. Holy crap, where is that? A mom’s adrenaline rush would probably restart the walking dead. I opened doors and called out and listened, and then found Midnight growling, half yowling at the window where Kitten had escaped (now closed, due to screen issue…we left it open all day in case she came back, but didn’t want Midnight escaping). I went out the front door…there’s a ledge on the front of the house (apparently for rat races…or lost cats) and there she was, Kitten, meowling at me (yes, that’s a word…it’s that weird meow they make when they’re hurt or scared), but terrified, won’t come to me at all. I try inside at the screen; I try the deck, for the other side of the ledge. I’m sure my neighbors were amused, because I did not get dressed for this (I don’t sleep totally naked…it’s OK…and honestly, I don’t fucking care.).
No luck. She won’t come; she’s frightened even of me. I bring food out and she comes close and I almost get her, but she bolts. SHHIIT. Then Midnight is guarding the screen, so I try to shoo her off, but she’s determined to protect me from intruders (funny how the mouse that came in that same window one year did not get the same treatment). I pick her up and she bites and scratches me (seriously?), so I drop her and yell at her until she runs to her mom’s room and I shut the door.
It takes another 10 minutes of coaxing and then waiting, and Kitten comes back in…the same way she went out…through the screen. And she’s dirty and skittish as hell, but goes straight for the food bowl and lets me pet her and feed her and holy shit.
She’s back. She’s fine. She’s not hurt.
Blurry because she is cleaning herself…
And I don’t know if escaping again is on her agenda, and yes, she’ll be chipped as soon as I can get her in (although I don’t think that would have helped in this situation), and now we have to take signs down (that’s a good consequence), but my baby is home and I am slightly more sane than I was yesterday.
No sleep, very little food, kinda weepy, but slightly more sane. Hopefully ironing today to make up for yesterday.