[continued from pt. 1]
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009
I get up and get ready to head into work. My landlord promises to be here when they come to spray, so I don’t have to wait. All I have to do is lock my cat Capri in the bathroom so she’s out of the way. I do that, knowing that I will pay for it in the form of cat retribution when I let her out that evening. I head into work.
At 4:30pm I call my landlord to find out what’s up. They came and sprayed around 1pm. They also left an industrial strength fan in my room to help dry things out. They will be back to pick up the fan on Thursday evening (so they say). The floor should already be mostly dry, it’s just the walls. Still, it is recommended I shut the door to the bedroom to keep the cat out. No problem. I head home.
I get home, change, and shut the bedroom door. I then go to let Capri out of the bathroom. She’s not there. She’s not anywhere in the house. PANIC. I discover that she escaped via the bathroom window. I had left it cracked due to the heat, and she pushed the window open farther and got out. The screen in that window wasn’t secure. It needed to be fixed. I reported this to my landlords LAST YEAR when I moved in. It was never fixed. So she escaped. Because ONCE AGAIN they didn’t fix things in a timely manner (or, in this case, not at all, which is also not unusual…there are several other things that were never fixed too). Clearly basic maintenance is not something they actually do consistently, if at all, and now it’s caused two major problems: flooding and my cat escaping. I am livid. And terrified. I have no idea how long she’s been out or where she is. She’s an indoor cat, just over 2 years old, and I’ve only had her about 11 months now.
What’s worse I took her collar off of her before locking her in the bathroom. Why? Because the last time she caught herself on the corner of the cabinet and freaked out (fortunately I was home so I freed her promptly). I didn’t want that to happen again, so I took off her collar. So now she’s outside, running around gods knows where, with nothing but a microchip. MORE PANIC.
I call my friend Plum and freak out. She comes over and as soon as I see her I start crying in the middle of the sidewalk. I’ve been walking around the blocks near my place calling for Capri, meowing (she actually answers to my meows, really), and shaking a treat bag. I can’t find her. Then we hear her meowing. I meow back, and she responds (typical, we have regular “conversations” in meows). So we start trying to follow the meows. Plum and I start looking in the neighbors’ backyards and Plum spots her up a tree. OhMyGodsThankTheLordShe’sOK. I coax her down, and right as I’m about to grab her (I even have my hands on her), a car alarm goes off and she bolts. SH*T!! Plum and I take off after her, cursing the car alarm as we run. Capri runs for the street. Fortunately a nice woman out for a run (happens to be running in our direction) heads her off and the landlords’ kid (elementary age boy) keeps her from going into the street and she turns around and runs back into the yards behind my place. Whew. She goes back up the same tree, only even higher this time, clearly scared and now panting slightly. DAMMIT.
So Plum and I camp out in the yard where the tree is. My ankles are a buffet for mosquitoes (really, they are now polka-dotted with bites and I’m using anti-itch cream like lotion). We wait. I try tempting her down with treats. No dice. So I try milk which she loves and is notorious for trying to trip me when I get the carton out of the fridge and shake it. Also no dice. Capri sits up in the tree, and looks at me, quite comfortably, meowing periodically, from her branch (a good 20 feet off the ground). After a bit, Plum goes to Fu-Wah Mini Market nearby to get tofu-hoagies for us to eat for dinner. I continue my stake out of the tree, fighting a losing battle with the mosquitoes. [Side note: the tofu hoagies from Fu-Wah Mini Market are fantastic. Definitely recommended…it’s a vegetarian banh-mi sandwich!]
After waiting for over an hour, watching Capri move around on the branch 20 feet off the ground with no movement downwards, we give up around 7:30pm. Plum heads home to take care of her own 4-legged furry brood, and I head inside. I go back outside to the tree to check on her at regular intervals, and she keeps refusing to come down out of the tree and back inside. I try tempting her with wet cat food (a major treat) but still no dice. At one point when I look up the tree she’s descended to a lower fork in the branches (now only about 10 ft. off the ground) but still looks far to comfortable. I am also alarmed to see a raccoon in a neighboring branch. They are ignoring each other and quite calm. I’m freaked out. I decide to not try another food temptation for fear I’ll get the raccoon instead of my cat. Yikes.
Around 10pm when I check on her she’s out of the tree and lying on the ground, but as soon as I walk towards her she runs from me. She climbs another tree, this one right in my backyard, and meows at me. For the next 3 plus hours we have regular conversations of meows, her in the tree and me on the ground, but she won’t come near me or come inside. I call my mom and freak out at her on the phone for 2 of those hours (good thing she lives in Australia where it’s mid-day…I can always call my mom at midnight and not worry about waking her up!). At nearly 2am I finally give up and try to get some sleep.
Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009
I wake up after only about 3 hours of sleep, and still no sign of her and now no meowing. She hasn’t tried to come in. It’s also raining. I head into work, hoping that when I get home later she’ll be waiting to let in where it’s dry and there’s food. I spend the day surprisingly productive, fueled by coffee and worry.
I get home shortly before 5pm, and look for Capri. She’s nowhere to be found. I meow. No response. I let my landlord (the father who owns the property) know that I’m extremely displeased with them because my cat got out because they never fixed the screen on that window that I reported a year ago. He looks shocked. I explain again that she got out because they never did a repair I reported several times and I’m really really upset about that and it’s inexcusable on their part.
[Side note: I also notice when I get home that the Stanley Steamer people haven’t been back and their fan is still in my bedroom. Wonder when they’re going to come get that…]
I go inside and retrieve the milk carton, take it out back and shake it, hoping to tempt her. Nothing. No sign of her. I try shaking the treat bag. Again no sign of Capri at all. I meow. Nothing. I decide to walk around the block once, shaking the treat bag and meowing. There’s absolutely no sign or sound of her at all. OMG. I’m afraid she’s decided to go exploring farther away from home, has gotten trapped someplace, or someone has trapped her. I can’t stand it! I just want my cat back home and safe!!
Now there’s really nothing else I can do besides wait for her to come home. And it’s killing me. I also print out signs to put up on the corners near my house, hoping people see them and if they’ve taken her in they’ll call me.
My landlord (my regular contact) comes by to measure the bedroom for the carpet. She tells me people are supposed to be coming tomorrow to actually lay the carpet and then they’ll put my bedroom back together. I also take the opportunity let her know about the window screen (since she’s my “official” contact), and how upset I am that pretty much all of the recent problems could have been prevented if regular and basic maintenance/upkeep was done on the property, such as cleaning the drains/gutters, repairing exterior windows/screens, etc. All the little things you have to do when you own a house just to keep it standing. And I tell her I hope that they can see that specifically the flooding, etc. that’s happened this week is an indication that maintenance is needed and I hope they use it as a learning experience and start doing said regular maintenance. We shall see. I’m not holding my breath. But I’m *this* close to putting a hex on their entire family, I swear.
I know all I can really do is hope and pray that Capri is OK and comes home soon. And try to get some sleep despite how worried I am. She’s got to get hungry eventually, right?