Since moving back in with my parents, the cats have had to live in the garage. (My mom is allergic.) (And also she hates cats.) I think they’re going a little crazy from being locked in the same space with much less interaction than they’re used to. I’m just glad they aren’t related because it would be getting very Flowers in the Attic up in there.
Early early in the morning the other day, I was woken up by a sudden loud pounding and scratching at the window over the bed where I was sleeping with the baby. It was like 5 am and I was like
half mostly asleep, so I kinda had a heart attack stumbled to cover the baby and me under the blanket to protect us from what I assumed were the zombies or monsters or gangsters who were trying to break in and steal my brains or cute new shoes or whatever.
But the sounds eventually stopped and gave way to meowing. Loud, long, plaintive meowing. Mmmeeeeeooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
So I gathered my courage enough to peek out of the blinds. And there’s Ollie sitting on the patio, staring up at me, crying. I rushed out to the backyard and scooped him up and brought him back to the garage. He must’ve escaped sometime when the garage door was open the night before, and spent the night roaming the neighborhood before deciding he’d had enough of freedom and wanted to come home.
It was only after I snuggled back in bed that I realized I hadn’t seen Miette when I put Ollie back in the garage. But I brushed it off because she always hides these days and she’s too much of a scaredy cat to escape. And also it was 5 am and I wanted to sleep for the ten minutes or so I had until the baby woke up demanding to be entertained.
But by the end of the day, I still hadn’t seen her on any of my visits to the garage. Not entirely uncommon, but when I opened a can of tuna and she didn’t come running out to devour it, I knew she was gone too.
Ollie, I wasn’t too worried about. But Miette? She panicks and pees herself whenever there’s a loud noise. She takes about ten minutes to prepare and practice for the jump up to our foot-high coffee table, and even then she sometimes misses. She sometimes runs headfirst into a wall or falls over while just sitting there. Miette is adorable and sweet, but she barely qualifies as a cat, really. I couldn’t imagine her even surviving a day in the wilds of suburbia.
I left the house—in the cold, in the dark, in bare feet, with a really nasty cough—and wandered up and down the street calling for her with no luck. I called Cris to let him know the sad news and he proceeded to comfort me by pointing out that I haven’t been paying enough attention to her and it was all my fault and I shouldn’t be allowed to have pets if I can’t even take care of them. Or something like that. It was a fun conversation. It may or may not have ended with me hanging up on him and ignoring his “Sorry I didn’t really mean it that way” texts. Whatever, butthead.
But, long story short (too late!), I found her the next morning, hiding deep in the bushes behind the house, letting out the teensiest meow ever after she heard me calling for her for ten minutes. So my cats are still alive and well, and I’m not the worst cat mommy in existence.
The cute part of all this is that I think Ollie got himself a girlfriend on his wild night out. Another neighborhood kitty likes to set outside by the garage door now. They meow back and forth all night. When I let Ollie out to see the kitty, they ran up to each other and nuzzled each other a little bit and sniffed each other’s butts and then ran down the street in what I can only assume was rapturous joy at being together again. Since I’ve never heard of two stranger cats meeting without a major hissy fit, I’m pretty sure this is true love.
Miette might be heartbroken.