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Posts Tagged ‘Comet’

How Comet Came Home

In my last post, where I described Comet’s little excursion,   I mentioned that he had probably not been raised as an indoor cat.  This is the story of how Comet came to live with us in the first place.

It started very late in the evening of January 1, 2009.  Steve and Abby had been visiting Steve’s sister, who lived in Baltimore.  I was at home, doing something or other online.  Dottie was asleep.  I got a call from Steve, about a stray cat…

Apparently he had stopped to get gas, and as he got out to start pumping a cat jumped onto the hood of the car.  He went to shoo it off, but it had already jumped into Abby’s lap (we found out later that he had had a little help), and curled up there.  It was a really cold night, and what could they do…?

So Steve called me and said he was bringing a stray home.  I told him no, that wasn’t about to happen.  For lots of reasons, one of them being that years before  we had brought a stray in who had FeLV.  Our vet had eventually given the ‘all clear’ for bringing a new cat in, but I didn’t want to go through that again.  So while he was driving I did some frantic web and phone searching, and got hold of animal control  services (this was about 11:30 at night, mind you)  I was told that we could drop the cat off at BARCS.  So I gave Steve the address and made him drive across town.  Then he couldn’t find the place, so I pulled up Google maps and navigated for him.

Of course, there is no 24 hour animal shelter in Baltimore.  He brought the cat home.  By this time Abby had named him ‘Comet’, I should have known then that the story was done.  We did our best to keep him quarantined in the girls’ room (poor Captain really wanted to say ‘hi’).  He ate a lot, drank a lot, and slept a lot.

In the morning Abby and I drove back up to BARCS.  there is a perfectly good shelter nearer to us, but I figured that this cat was so friendly and socialized to people, someone must be looking for him.  I made a point of telling the woman at the desk that if his family didn’t find him he had a home with us (by this time Abby was thoroughly bonded, of course).  She told me that in three days he would be ‘up for adoption’, and that we would be at the top of the list.  As we left, I heard her telling the complaining cat that ‘it’s OK, they’ll be back’.

So three days later I called to see if his family had shown up.  I was told in no uncertain terms that I “should come in now“.  So Abby and I did.  It turned out that the card on the cage which said ‘adopted’ had fallen off, and someone else had gotten in ahead of us to take the cat home.  The woman I spoke to on the phone was the same woman who had signed Comet in, so she just made the executive decision that we were the official ‘first takers’.

So there you have it.  The cat pretty much adopted us.

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Comet’s Big Adventure

We’re not sure how Comet got out of the house. We know it must have been sometime Saturday night.  Steve and I each opened the door once, and each is convinced that Comet didn’t slip past.  There’s no telling.

comet-croppedI was in a funk of anxiety and guilt, plagued by memories of Ginger (who got out on my watch years ago and never came home).  Mad at myself for getting so upset about a cat who actually was an outdoor cat (we believe) in a previous life (but that’s a story for another day). Basically, it just wasn’t fun.

Yesterday morning I got a FB message back instructing me to call, which I did.  I gave the very nice woman on the line all of Comet’s particulars, and told her that I’d put a photo in the FB pages messages.  She didn’t have access, so she suggested I email the picture, which I did.  I got a nice email back with some useful information about finding a lost pet.

Last night, feeling headachy (still again and yet) and bad I opted not to go to our weekly pub trivia competition.  I stayed home and played computer games, and occasionally got up and called for the cat.  At about 9:00 I thought I heard a reply, but it was almost drowned out by the crickets.  I grabbed my keys and flashlight, and went out into the chirpy evening to see if I could hunt him down.  I saw a neighbor sitting outside, and asked if he had heard a meow, but he thought it was just crickets.  I was still hopeful, and kept calling.  I was certain that I was hearing a response – I high, thin, chirpy mew off in the distance.

I’m terrible at finding things by sound.  I often don’t get to my phone in time to catch the call, just knowing it’s ‘over here somewhere’, but I was pretty quickly able to hunt down the sound.  Soon I spotted him.

He was stuck in a tree, just across the parking lot from out townhouse.  I had searched that area the day before, but I hadn’t looked up.  Not that I think he was stuck in the tree the day before, but he had to have been somewhere close by.

comet-adventure-2

He was clearly glad to see me.  His meow changed timbre, he was kneading and rubbing against the tree, but he wouldn’t climb down.

There was no way I could possibly get to him, and, try as I may I couldn’t coax him down.  I thought about going back to the house and getting the step ladder, but it seemed too cruel to make him watch me walk away.  So I called Steve (trivia was over, we came in second) and told him to come home and help me retrieve the cat.

While I waited there was nothing to do but talk to the him, and try to calm him down.

I referred to Steve as Comet’s ‘daddy’. It’s official, the girls are right, I am the crazy cat lady.

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