Friday, July 15, 2016

Oh What a Night!

My son and his wife had gone off for a week in Hawaii. It will be one of their last chances for them to take a summer vacation as just the two of them since they are expecting their first baby in January.

We are their regular cat sitters. They have three cats. Spyderman is a Siamese and the oldest. I think he’s over ten years old. He is always friendly to us when we take care of them, but with an ulterior motive. He loves water and he wants the sink turned on so he can drink and get himself wet.

Buttercup is close to two years old. She had long hair and is white and butterscotch orange. She generally makes an appearance when we come over, but only at a distance.

We call the youngest Kitten, though her real name is Kona. She just about a year old. We’ve taken care of her since she was small enough to be held in one hand. She’s a lot bigger now, though still a small cat. She’s mostly black with white on the tips of her toes. She is always the greeter when we come over. Parading back and forth with her squeaky meow. Then jumping on my lap wanting attention.

Everything went well for the beginning of the week. My husband would always email them cat reports letting them know that all was well with their felines.

And then there was the night before my son and his wife came home. When we got to their place we noticed some older teenage boys hanging around the alley. The smell in the air made it obvious what they were smoking.

I went inside first while my husband pulled into the garage. They are renting a three level condo and the garage is underneath. I always check around the door when I go into my son’s place as Kitten sometimes hangs around there and I worry she will slip into the garage. She wasn’t there. I went up one level to the dining room where she usually hangs out, but Kitten wasn’t there either. I looked in the kitchen and then a sort of den which has Kitten’s bed and her cat toys. When they first got her, this was the room they kept her in before introducing her to their other cats. Her bed was empty and she didn’t come swirling around my legs. Every time we’d come there since they’d gotten her, she always made her presence known.

By now my husband had come in and I noted that I hadn’t seen Kitten. I went to the top floor which is Buttercup’s domain and Kitten wasn’t there either. I came down and started to get a little panicky. I went to check the garage and then out into the alley, thinking she might have somehow gotten out. I avoided the group of teens still hanging out there, but went up and down the alley. I forgot to mention that it was already completely dark and later than we usually came to feed and take care of them. A small black cat in a dark alley? It made me shudder to think of it. Or that just beyond the alley, there was a concrete channel with water in it that up head met up with the L.A. River.

I went back inside and we moved furniture including the couch in the den that Kitten often sat on. Silence. Not even the hint of a meow. I went upstairs again and checked that the screen was intact in a window that was open a crack. I started checking under sinks. My husband opened every closet door. By now we were freaking. How could we have lost their cat? It didn’t bide well for us as grandparents. What should we say to them? They were getting on a plane shortly to come home and we decided we wouldn’t say anything until we picked them up at the airport.

My husband wondered what he should say in the email to them. Should he lie and say the cats were all present and accounted for and had been fed and given water?

It felt like some locked room mystery. How could a cat just disappear when all the doors were shut and the only barely open window and a intact screen?

We were frantic by then. My husband went outside and despite the stoners started calling out “here kitty kitty.” I can only imagine what they thought was going on. My husband went on the grounds in front of their place and even checked the pool.

Meanwhile inside, I finally sat down in a chair in the den trying to consider my options. The room was dimly lit with the light coming from the kitchen, but my eye caught something moving. When I looked closer I saw that Kitten had just come out from behind the couch that we had moved. She stretched and jumped in my lap. Was she sick or hurt? No, just apparently waking up from a nap.

I went running outside past the stoners calling my husband to let him know the disappearing cat had reappeared.

Relieved, he called my son and told him the whole story. He laughed and said that Kitten hid inside the couch all the time. Like he might have said something to warn us. I guess all’s well that ends well. But geez, what night.


ldosborn said...

Oh wow, what a scare ! They would probably hesitate to leave you with a real baby if you couldn't keep up with the kitten ! So glad you are going to be a grandma--I have a crew of 13, and adore them all !

Linda O. Johnston said...

Yikes! So glad the story ended well but I can definitely imagine your panic. And congrats that you'll soon become a grandma!

Betty Hechtman said...

Ldosborn, We are still talking abut the disappearing Kitten with great relief that she showed up. Wow, 13 grandchildren. What fun.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it's easy to laugh about it now. It is hard to think of being a grandmother when it seemed like yesterday that my son was born.

Miriam Lubet said...

I'm glad you and all the cats are ok. Congratulations on your becoming a grandmother. How awesome for you.

Betty Hechtman said...

Miriam, if you check out my blog this week, you'll get to see what the disappearing kitty looks like. It is pretty awesome to think about being a grandmother. I have so many fun things left when my son was small and I have books from my childhood that I read to my son and now can read to his son.