Emotional babble on finding a lost pet

I’ve spent the day feeling drained because, as I said in the previous entry, it was somewhat of a sleepless night without knowing where Kadi was. The only thing that kept me going through the day was the residual euphoria of finding her curled in a ball in the basement of a neighboring apartment building.

When I saw her, she was all eyes. I had called her name — hell, I had BEEN in that spot hours before — and she didn’t and wouldn’t answer me. I whispered, “Is that really you?” And she held my gaze, like, “What took you so long, Mommy?”

I’ve spent the better part of the past 24 hours between feeling triumphant for finding my runaway cat and feeling like a complete fuckup for “losing” her in the first place … or, at least for not finding her sooner.

Sometime during “The Daily Show” last night, I decided to close up the house. Meaning, call the cats in from the balcony. They love to sit out there and watch the people and the cars go by. They watch squirrels ripping up and down the tree that shades our windows and they taunt dogs being walked past, as the dogs freak out because they smell pussy see kitties and my girls get brave, knowing they are up high and protected by very sturdy rails. It’s like they show the dogs their tails like, “Ha ha, suckers!” I’m so proud of them. 😉

Maddie came in when called, which is pretty unusual but then again, on the last night in our old apartment, I’d accidentally locked her out for two hours, so I’m sure she’s learned her lesson. Kadi wasn’t on the balcony, which fine, whatever. Given my mountains o’ boxes from the move and all the empty cabinets and crawlspaces (as my lazy ass hasn’t unpacked a bit), she’s got dozens of places to play.

I went to bed around midnight and realized that in the hour I’d been looking for Kadi, I hadn’t heard a peep from her. This is not like her. She is always singing and ripping around the apartment and tackling Maddie. I ripped the apartment apart and couldn’t find her. Panic set in. I checked outside, but nothing. Not knowing what else to do and knowing I had to be up early to start working, I unlocked the balcony doors again and waited to hear her little voice.

I figured if I fell asleep, she’d magically appear. She likes to jump on me and scare the shit out of me at ungodly hours, so in my not-thinking-straight state, I was willing to see if that would work.

And maybe it would have, had I been able to sleep. Sleeping pills and all, I didn’t catch a wink. I waited till daybreak and went hunting — I figured that on the off chance that Kadi had flung herself off the balcony, I was never going to see her black fur in the pitch-black night. I wonder, in retrospect, why I didn’t just fucking hop to it, darkness be damned. But I guess I thought she HAD to be in the apartment somewhere — I didn’t want to believe she’d voluntarily taken a flying leap to get away from me.

Which, of course, is what she’d done. Not to get away from me, of course. But I know for a fact that there’s one way outta this place and I keep all three locks on the front door fastened, so there you have it.

I wandered the neighborhood for awhile. Cars and mass transit were sparse at that hour, but plentiful (and LOUD) enough to make me want to vomit every time I heard a horn or an engine. Kadi’s not afraid of anything — I wasn’t certain I could count on her to outrun something that she wouldn’t know to stay away from.

I had a pocket full of treats and extra keys to jingle. I crawled onto people’s terraces and peeked under their hedges. I got so far away that even I had to pause and wonder which way it was to my street. My friends who’ve had runaway pets have told me that if an indoor cat is going to stray, she’s likely to stay within two blocks. Problem was, I had two blocks to cover in all directions. And I couldn’t be loud in calling her as it was so friggin’ early.

I did however call my mom, as the phone number on Kadi’s tag is the phone number I gave her when I put her on my cell phone plan. I needed for her to pick up if anyone called. I also kind of hoped her psychic vibes would kick in and help the situation.

I eventually had to get back to work on my deadline-work (I have an 8 a.m. deadline and need to get started between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.) The work, I was overjoyed to find, was really easy this morning — I knew I could be done by 7:30. BUT … the remote system broke the fuck down and I was tethered to my computer till after 8. At which point I had no presence of mind other than to try to channel her somehow. I felt like she were OK but I couldn’t see where she could be. So I contacted several local authorities and placed lost pet ads and looked up articles on finding lost pets.

Not to mention, me + time = grand imaginings. Kadi’s a wonderful little girl but not exactly being invited to the kitty equivalent of Mensa. The more time passed and the more people I saw filling the streets, the sicker I became. I aspired to work from home for the full day but I found out that wasn’t possible and I was so flippin’ upset on so many levels that I decided I WILL FIND THIS CAT. I was NOT going to work without knowing she was locked the fuck in that apartment. And if I wasn’t going to FIND her, then I was not GOING to GIVE UP.

I do function well under deadline. 😉 And being in an emotional furor never hurts.

Now, I count on Mom’s psychic connections to some outside plane, but I forgot to count on my own.

I walked out of my building and stopped for a moment. I closed my eyes and asked for a picture of Kadi, and I saw two visions. I went to the first place shown to me, but nothing. My heart felt like Edward Scissorhands were holding it.

But then I remembered that I had a backup plan. And as I ripped over to the building next-door — where I had checked earlier and didn’t see her — I doubted myself for about two seconds. Because, what if I were wrong? What if the image I thought I’d been shown in my head were just wishful thinking? What would I do if this option didn’t work out? Lord knows I’d been there before and hadn’t seen her.

I tiptoed down the stairs and again saw nothing out of the ordinary. Several doors, all closed tightly. I jingled my keys, partly to attract her if she were there and mostly because I was nervous.

The thing was, when I was at home, every shadow, I thought was her. Every movement, every tiny sound — I hoped it was her just coming out of hiding. Where I stood in that basement, I saw nothing. I felt nothing. But I couldn’t move. “Kadi?” I asked. No response.

I walked under the stairs that had taken me there. And in the corner, huddled in a tiny black furry ball, were two huge onyx eyes staring up at me, terrified and hopeful. I scooped her up in one hand and held her close to my heart, where she likes to be held.

Kadi doesn’t like when you hold her. She will put up with it for exactly five seconds before scratching the fuck out of you. But I’ve learned that if I let her curl in a ball over my heart, I can hold her there for awhile. And I admit, I like it. I am much like her in a lot of ways — I don’t let anybody hold me for long. I am always looking for a way to squirm off and do my own thing. Which is probably why Kadi and I get along so damn well. 😉

In any event, she allowed me to hold her there until I got to my door. At which point she jumped off me, scratching my chest along the way, and headed for the open (of course) balcony door. Which I beat her to, BTW. She’s grounded for a loooonnngg time to come!

I called my mom immediately. She answered without a hello but a, “Why didn’t you call me when you found her?”

I was like, “Mom, I just got her.”

Her? “I saw you bend over and pick her up in a corner five minutes ago. It took you five minutes to call me?”


Welcome to my life. I can’t get away with SHIT when I’ve got friggin’ “Medium” for a mother!!!

But, alas, her gift may not be as strong in me — it’s less a gift than a pleasant surprise when my ESP kicks in. But it might very well have saved my life — and Kadi’s — when it spoke to me today.

In any event, Kadi’s quiet, docile. I made sure she ate a special breakfast before I went to work. She’s fine — I think she fell and maybe enjoyed her freedom for a minute before realizing that she was so royally screwed, as it’s not like she knew to go up the steps. She didn’t know which door to go to. So she went next-door to a similar building. And thank god it was clean and that no one scooped her up before I did.

I had an OK day at work. It was a Wednesday, what more can I say? But, and this is strange, I couldn’t wait to get home to see Kadi. Even though I knew she wouldn’t much have me up her ass (metaphorically, kids!), I needed to prove to myself that I had found her and that she was still there.

And she’s here. Pissed off that I’ve barricaded her portal to the wild unknown, but here. Calm and sweet and definitely different, but in a good way.

I hope to give them balcony privileges again. Maddie was cute — she watched me from her perch. And she’s a little pudge bucket, so only her head fits between the slats of the deck (you can see her hips going out of either side, like a little Weeble. And that’s where SHE takes after ME!). So my goal is to fatten up Kadi so she can’t squeeze through anymore, either.

I have always known that I’ve loved her, but right now, she can do no wrong. I know that losing a pet — even temporarily — doesn’t matter to anyone outside of the person who’s in a panic and her wonderful friends who pop up with resources and advice — especially if they’re pet people as well. Nobody else gets it, but when we lose an animal, it’s exactly like losing track a child, only we don’t get to send out an Amber Alert. We have to look at the amount of time we have to spend searching and notifying people and choose which is most important and maximize what little time/resources you have. And when you get lucky, as I no doubt did, you don’t question it — you are simply grateful and you resolve to fulfill all the promises you made to yourself when you didn’t know what the resolution to the situation was going to be.

I don’t expect anyone to sit through this blog entry, but I needed to capture it for me. Because while I knew that if I didn’t get her back, or get her back alive, I would never have forgiven myself for not solving the puzzle in time. But maybe, just maybe, she’s looking at me like, “Well, it might’ve taken you forever to figure it out, but I’m happy you did.”

Glad to have you home, little one.

9 Responses to Emotional babble on finding a lost pet

  1. Chris :

    Glad she’s back….nothing worse than losing nice pussy.

  2. Lachlan :

    I’m glad you found her, too.

    We had a similar near miss tonight. Sumi got out the back gate an high-tailed it towards the busy street a few blocks away. She took off so fast, so come-hell-or-high-water, that Bayou and I jumped in the car after her- a first.

    Thank GOD, two gals were walking their dogs, and Sumi crossed our less-traveled street to go meet n greet. I was able to hop out of the car, call her, and she came right to me, smiley and UTTERLY OBLIVIOUS to how much she scared the hell out of us.

    Here’s to safe pets!

  3. The Goddess :

    It seems like there’s been a rash of critters going AWOL. My friend Shan’s cat Kenya disappeared. The neat thing, though, that her other cat Kaioro realized Kenya had been gone way too long and he went out and brought his brother back. Maddie wasn’t exactly THAT worried about Kadi that she’d give up having the bed and the food station all to herself for as long as she could! *cough* Anyway, then Guinness (Tiff’s cat) took off for a couple of days. Now Sumi and Kadi. Sheesh. Brats!

  4. Tiffanni :

    Oh wow! I can’t even tell you how happy I am to hear that Kadi is back and safe. I was paniced just reading it. My kitty cats mean EVERYTHING to me I know how heartbreaking it can be to lose one. SOOO SOOO SOOO Glad you found her. >^..^

  5. trouble :

    This happened to us when we moved to Florida 6 years ago. Our cat has always been an in-and-out cat by her choice. When we got here, after 4 days of driving, she was freaked out by the newness of it all. And what with the movers in and out, I couldn’t keep her in the house. I think she got scared up a tree by a dog and was gone for 5 days. It was hideous. I was sure she was dead.

  6. kristen :

    nice post.

  7. Melissa :

    I am so relieved you found her. I am a devotee to Maddie’s blog, and a mom to 7 kitties who are my everything. I can’t even imagine the anguish you went through. No more wandering Kadi!!

  8. Bri :

    I have just lost my cat of 5 years, and cannot find him. He is an indoor cat, very shy, but loves to sneak out on my back porch. He never goes far, for I grab him quickly. Well, he must have snuck out when i went to cover my grill, and now I am in hell wondering where he is. I have looked everywhere, put out flyers, called and went to the SPCA. What else can I do????

  9. kay lee :

    I feel you fear and pain.
    Short of haveing a real child lost, there is nothing
    I am soooooo glad you found her.
    kay lee
    and Emmie the cat who thinks she is a kitten