Our beautiful boy was kidnapped. Our beloved baby was snatched from us, causing 48+ hours of anxiety and worry, waiting for a ransom call for our feline hostage.
You’d think we’d know better. You’d think that we’d learned from experience. He wasn’t really kidnapped. We ‘misplaced’ Mica, our oldest, and prettiest, Bengal cat. The only time I left the house one night, was at 1 AM, to pick up the newspaper from the driveway. I saw the cat perched on top of the humidifier, at 3 AM. I say that it was the son’s fault.
I went to bed at 5 AM. The night-shift-working son came home at 8 AM. He says that he came in, locked the door as usual, and didn’t go out again. It must have been me. While we think that the cat is gorgeous, he has medical conditions that we dose him with four different medications for.
The son went to bed at 1 PM, which told me that it was time for me to get up. I went to the kitchen and got juice and pills for the wife, and dropped a capsule in a shot-glass with a bit of cooking oil, for the cat. I hold him, and the wife shoves the capsules down his throat.
I went back to the laundry room, where he has taken to sleeping on a pillow that now has to be washed. He was not there. Oh well, he’ll be back downstairs in the wicker basket on top of the storage cupboard. He was not there. I opened closets and cupboards. He might be sleeping in the storage area under the stairs, where I can’t see. He might have taken refuge behind the gas fireplace in the basement. He might have climbed up on the suspended ceiling in the rec-room.
Two of his meds are to keep him from getting hyper. Soon, he’ll be out, pacing and yowling. By 7 PM we had to reluctantly admit that he’d somehow got outside. He has no interest in the deck beyond the French doors. One way or another, he must have got out the front door.
“Lost” cats remain around their home for a couple of days. I put the wicker basket with a cat bed on the front porch. “Put out something with your scent.” The son added a pair of my socks from the laundry, and I shucked a sweaty tee shirt.
I put a water bowl and a plate of cat food beside it. The wife felt that was a horrible idea. Skunks…. and racoons…. and…. and…. hyenas will come to eat it and attack the cat. The next morning, when the veterinarian suggested it and she authorized it, it was suddenly a great idea.
She even thought of a great addition to it. Roll up the garage door a few inches – enough for a cat to get in, but not dogs or neighbor kids – and put food and water out there. I got to check each door every five minutes quarter hour. Now the list of chores begins. Our pets are all micro-chipped, so call our vet. Call the nearest animal hospital, in case someone brings him in. Call the Humane Society and report him lost. Use their online form to add a photo to the ‘Lost’ notification. Get the daughter to put up a notification on Facebook and a couple of other social media sites.
The wife used the above photo to produce a “Lost Cat” poster, and printed a dozen copies. With the help of the son and a roll of packing tape, we plastered 6 community mailboxes within a couple of blocks, and light poles at street corners. Took a copy to the animal hospital.
Not only is he a handsome cat, but Bengals are expensive and valuable. We were lucky to get ours at deep discounts. Anyone who enticed him into their home might want to keep him. The posters said that we loved and missed him and wanted him back. They also added that he had health problems, and required medications. Such a cat is far less likely to be kept.
All day, I wore a rut to the front and garage doors, checking. I finally got to bed at 7:30 AM. At noon, my first action was to open the front door to look. I must have whipped it open a bit vigorously. Something brownish streaked from the food dish, past the end of the garage. Was that Mica?? I unthreateningly followed onto the common driveway with the other half of our semi.
Dogs are dumb enough to come if you call their name. Cats…. not so much. There I stood, like a fool, going, mrowr – mrowr – mrowr. I looked all around, but couldn’t see him anywhere. I got down on hands and knees, and looked under our car – Nothing. I turned my head and looked under the neighbor’s car – and two bright eyes below two perky ears looked back – and answered, mrowr? Mrowr?
I carefully backed toward the garage, constantly talking to him. Slowly, he emerged, and slinked under the door. I quickly went inside, and opened the inner door. He’d skipped the food and water, and was sniffing at the junk along the far wall. I sidled past him, pulled the cord to disengage the door, and pushed it down tight. SAFE!!! Now we have to undo all that we have done – call the vet’s, call the animal hospital, call Humane Society, get them to remove notification, pull down all the posters – I’m too busy stroking Mica.
Two days in the wilds of suburbia to get him all hyped up – two days without medication to take the edge off – he was a bit wound up. After a couple of rounds of fresh food and water, we finally got him back on his meds cycle. Always a bit stand-offish, for the first several days back he was never more than arms-length away. Even now, he’s a far more sociable cat.