Sunday, February 10, 2013

The one with the missing kitten (also flu B)

Last weekend I woke up to my daughter in my bed. No surprise, she usually makes it to our room sometime in the night. What was unusual was I woke up to her throwing up in my bed. This set up the great Bennett Pukefest of 2013. More on that in the bit. Today's drama involves a kitten.

For Christmas, Santa brought the kids gift certificates for two kittens. On December 27, we picked up Donner and Blitzen (Thunder and Lightening in German). Blitzen is black with adorable white whiskers and white sports on her feet. Donner is also black but with black whiskers, some white hairs on her body and a crook at the end of her tail as if it's the top of a bumper car. They're both simply adorable.

After losing two cats in six months, one to a mystery and one to an asshole in a car, we wanted to keep them inside this time instead of inside/outside. That worked for a while until they got out and realized that outside was just way more fun than inside. Since then, keeping them in with the doors open, garage doors opening and kids coming in and out has been like trying to keep sand out my bathing suit while on the beach -- impossible.

Yesterday the kittens got out just as I was hustling to pick up two play dates to take them to the planetarium (which was totally awesome, by the way. I highly recommend). So I let them stay out. We wouldn't get gone long and surely they'd be ready to come in when we got home. That was true except the kids let them out...AGAIN (obviously there's a design flaw in our system). Before we went out to dinner, we had Donner in but not Blitzen. I wasn't terribly worried. Except when we got home from dinner about 11, she still wasn't home. And now there were thunderstorms and/or tornadoes on the way. Damnit.

I looked outside in the mist. Bjorn looked outside. He even went and checked out neighbor's feral cat trap that once caught our bigger cat, Perry. Nada. At 3 a.m. when the thunder and lightening hit (which looked like strobe lights there was so much lightening), I  went out again. I opened the garage hoping she would come home. Nothing. Then at 7 this morning, we got up and still no cat. We walked the creek looking for her. And I started to really panic. Bjorn ranted that this was a horrible mistake and all our fault for letting them out in the first place and that she had surely been eaten by wolves or coyotes or bobcats or teenagers or fire or thunderstorm. CRAP.

I started texting my friends. I posted something on Facebook. As the morning went on, I texted the picture to more people, widening my circle from beyond the block to neighboring blocks. My friends were incredibly sweet, posting pictures and sharing the text picture with other neighbors. And then a miracle happened. SOMEONE HAD RESCUED A CAT LAST NIGHT. My friend called and said she didn't know what it looked like but a friend of a friend's daughter went to a sleepover and found a kitten that they brought home (and likely hoped to keep). Then she called a minute later to say they'd dropped the cat off at her house and could I please hurry as she had it cornered in her garage. The kids and I hauled over there and sure enough, it was Blitzen. She easily came to us and we took her home. Unbelievable. The power of a good neighborhood and social media. So awesome.

Turns out a slumber part of sixth graders came across her, likely by the creek behind our house, and "rescued her." They brought her home and loved on her until the daughter's mother said, "Oh, hell, no" and the kitten ended up spending the night at another neighbor's until we found her. Seriously. Amazing.

Blitzen wearing a cat "harness" that we put on her in the hopes that she won't lose this collar. She is not enamoured, as you can imagine. 
Also amazing, the fact that we all had the flu last week, including Mark who moved to college. We lost several kitchen bowls that served as "puke buckets" during this time. Stay klassy, Bennetts. Stay klassy.

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