Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Cat disaster

I left work a little early today so I could take my cat(s) to the vet. Piper has been living in the litterbox lately; and Megs, my geriatric cat, is, well, old. The appt. was originally for Megs, but I thought I would try to take them both and kill two birds with one stone. Well, HAHA on me.

I started trying to get Piper into her cat carrier about 20 minutes before I needed to leave because I remembered the last time she went in there it was a painful experience for both of us. She was also a lot smaller than she is now. And not as strong. So very strong. After 30 minutes of physically struggling with a writhing, hissing, angry feline with at least 10 limbs with which to block her insertion into the carrier, it was clear she was not going in there. Evah. So I scooped her up and decided I’d just take her loose in the car and cage only Megs, who loved the cat carrier and would in fact live in there if I’d let her. Probably not the best idea — well in retrospect, a really horrible idea — but I was desperate and didn’t want to miss the vet appt. I kept telling myself it was for her own good, right?

You can probably see where this is going. No sooner had I stepped outside when Piper gave a mighty twist using her back claws in my belly to emphasize her displeasure, and I couldn’t hold onto her any longer — she shot out of my arms and flew around my house and over the fence into my backyard. I was thinking, ok, this could be worse — she’s in the backyard at least. But when I walked into the yard after her, she flipped out, doing her best “I’m dying in excruciating pain” yeowl and streaking past me and back over the fence into the front yard. Only after that she disappeared. I ran after her, but she had a good head start and was nowhere to be found.

So my sickly, skittish cat, with no front claws, no collar, and no street smarts, was loose in my neighborhood, just as people were starting to come home from work. I pondered the possibilities for all the open garages in which she could hide. Staggering. I called the vet to say the whole thing was a no-go and went looking for Piper. For an hour I drove around and around my subdivision, then walked around calling for her, then sat outside (in the freezing cold, I might add) listening for her, and felt panic every time I heard the distant sound of dogs going apeshit (as in, oh, Piper just became doggie dinner).

Jess was ever so helpful during the search efforts. Concerned, he followed me around the house as I checked under furniture, thinking maybe she’d magically snuck back inside. As I knelt down and tried to look under my couch, he was very good natured about crawling underneath, peering out at me, then crawling back out, as if to say “nope, not there.” I left my backdoor open this whole time, so she could come inside if she found her way back to the house. I watched as Jess walked the perimeter of the backyard, sniffing every blade of grass and rubbing his face on the fence periodically. I then watched in amazement as he took a kitty shit in my backyard — then tried to bury it. For a while. This is notable only because I’ve always laughed that my silly housecats come inside to use the litterbox, then go back outside to frolic. I was proud that he’d finally figured out that outside = ok to shit in. But I digress.

I also called several friends during this time, who were very supportive for their part, considering they were completely helpless. It was starting to get dark and tonight is supposed to be the coldest night so far this year — the PERFECT night for a housecat to be lost outside. Yeah.

As the sun began to set, I walked into my backyard once more, this time going around to the far side of my house, the side I never go on. I noted how the grass on that side was still green, vs. the straw that was the rest of the yard. I noted the neighbor’s vine/weed had grown into my yard and was destroying the fence. I noted the discarded HEB styrofoam ice chest lying on its side, and realized it had been there for at least two years, geez, how lazy WAS I — when all of a sudden a wild animal propelled itself out of the box and careened past me. I thought it was a raccoon, I honestly did. I ran around the corner in time to see Jess sitting on the back porch looking over his shoulder into the house, like “WTF was THAT and did it GO INTO MY HOUSE???” You guessed it, it was the Peeps. She had the presence of mind to hide in her own backyard and to stay quiet as a mouse while I yelled her name all over the neighborhood. Right now she is under my bed, not speaking to me. In fact, if I speak to her at all, she hisses and growls. But she’s inside, Thank God, and safe. Plus, I have set up an appointment for a mobile vet to come to the house tomorrow afternoon. I’m smart like that.

I’m assuming she will forgive me at some point, maybe when she’s hungry?? In the meantime, I’m going to go tend to my bleeding flesh and begin the emotional healing process.


Crazy MomCat said...

OMG! I was so panicked for you as I was reading that and thinking of her out in the cold. That little Dickens! (That's what I say about nat quite frequently these days too!) I'm glad she's inside and safe and, you know, that mobile vet is a good idea. I will have to remember that if Simba ever gets sick because she WILL NOT go into the carrier.

sarah said...

I would totally freak out if one of my indoor cats made a break for it. You're such a good cat-mama!
Cool about Jess helping you search. Also, he fits under your couch?