That Wacky Cat



January 4, 2000

My day yesterday went something like this:

Wake up at 7:30.
Call the person I was supposed to give a ride to work and tell her I wasn't going in.
Call my boss and tell him I was sick.
Go back to bed.
Drag my sorry ass out of bed around 11:15.
Go to the guest bedroom and check to see if my cat had miraculously reappeared.
Mope around.
Mope some more.
Worry about my cat.
Go to the guest bedroom and check to see if she'd miraculously reappeared.
Go to the guest bedroom and check to see if she'd miraculously reappeared.
Go to the movies with Chuck to see The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Feel sorry for myself.
Go to the gas station to wash the huge bombs of bird poop off my front and back windows the birds deposited while we were at the movies.
Go to the photography store with Chuck.
o home.
Go to the guest bedroom and check to see if she'd miraculously reappeared.
Be generally dazed, mopey, and very teary.
Pick Zoe up from school.
Go to the guest bedroom and check to see if she'd miraculously reappeared.
Cook dinner.
Write an entry about how I'm certain my cat is dead but that I'll never know, never have any closure.
Go to the guest bedroom and check to see if she'd miraculously reappeared.
Surf the web.
Go to the guest bedroom and check to see if she'd miraculously reappeared.
Go to bed.

Chuck came in to comfort me. It was around 10:30. I had really worked myself into a tizzy and was hysterical crying. This went on for about half an hour.

At this point, Chuck, who'd been incredibly understanding, sympathetic, and supportive, decided enough was enough. He was going in.


I can see you all looking vaguely confused. see...we'd both looked at the entrance to the crawl space but hadn't actually gone under the house to see if Natasha was down there.

I'd stood at the entrance (completely grated over I might add) and called to her. But the shit that she is did not respond. Not once of the at least a dozen times I went over there calling for her.

So at 11:00 last night, in the freezing (OK, it was about 40, but it's all relative) pitch dark, Chuck donned his under the house attire, grabbed a flashlight and dove into the 18" clearance crawlspace.

I waited in the warm comfort of our bed. I was hopeful but didn't want to get too excited.

He came back once. To deposit Gable in the bedroom.

Then a few minutes later he came back to see if Gable was still in with me. He was.

Chuck said he heard a cat under the house.

Faster than you can say Rumplestiltskin (or type if for that matter) I was dressed and at the entrance to the crawl space.

He could see her. She was meowing. She wasn't stuck. She wouldn't come to him.

I was sent to fetch a pillowcase and a can of food. He was going to have to lure her with the food trap her in the pillowcase and carry her (or drag her) out from under the house.

Did I mention that there's only an 18" clearance under my house?

Did I mention that the footprint of my house is approximately 2500 square feet?

Or that it's dark, dirty, full of pipes, wires, and assorted creepy crawly things?

Did I mention how much I love my husband for doing this?

Well, the closer Chuck got the further Natasha went.

I abandoned my position at the entrance to the crawl space and went to the other side of the house. Perhaps I could lure her there if I could find a way for her to get out on that side.

Armed with my mag light and a cigarette, I went in search of an escape hatch for my poor stuck, but very much alive, shit of a cat.

There are no entrances to the crawl space from the side of the house I was on now. There are these vent sort of things, about 4 inches high and 12 inches across. They're all covered with half inch metal mesh.

I got down on the ground, shined the flashlight into an opening and called for her.

I heard her. She meowed.

I started crying. Relief this time.

Oh, meanwhile, Chuck had crawled further under the house. He was now so far under that I could barely hear him when I went to the entrance to the crawl space to tell him I would get the cat from the other side of the house.

I dashed into the garage to find some wire cutters, into the house to lock the dogs up, and get some cat food, and dashed back out.

Well, our garage being what it is, I could not find wire cutters. All I could locate was a phillips head screw driver. That would have to do.

I inserted the screwdriver in and started tearing at the mesh. I got a small rip in it and tore it the rest of the way with my hands.

You know how you hear those stories about people, who when in a crisis situation develop superhuman strength? Well that was me getting to my kitty.

I tore that stuff away, shined the light in, and called to her.

I opened the can of food and put it in the little hole. I figured that would tempt her since who knew when the last time she ate was.

She finally poked her little head out.

She was a bit dusty and had a scratch on her nose, but for all the drama I went through she didn't look any the worse for her ordeal.

It took me another 20 or so minutes to lure her out completely and I had to resort to actually pulling her. But I had her. In my arms. She was safe and very much alive.

As soon as we got back into the house she made a bee line for Zoe's bedroom. First she got in bed with Zoe and then went under the bed.

In the melee of locking the dogs up, getting supplies, and the general pandemonium that came with finding Natasha, Zoe had woken up. Oops.

At 12:30 this morning the entire family had a reunion with Natasha.

After eating at least a whole can of cat food and numerous Pounce treats everything settled down.

Natasha slept in my bed with me last night. She was curled at my side, purring, as I fell to sleep. When I woke up this morning she was curled up on the pillow above my head.

Ain't life grand.

Until next time...

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