I had last Friday off from work so I could sleep in a little bit, have a leisurely morning, and leave for northern Minnesota around noon. Ellipses unfairly woke me at 5 a.m. and I told him to go away. I awoke again around 9 a.m. to Ampersand’s purring—she wanted cuddles. I should’ve known then that something was up.
I got up, put food in the cats’ bowls, and hopped in the shower. Usually when I get out, Ellipses is dying to get in (I have doors instead of a curtain) and Ampersand is stretched out on the rug. Ampersand was there, but Ellipses wasn’t. Then it occurred to me that he didn’t come when I put food in the bowls, either. Something was strange… but what?
I started looking around the house, calling Ellipses’ name. Not under the bed. Not on top of the bookshelves. Not on a chair under the dining table. Not on the patio… then I saw the window where the cats like to sit: the latch that holds the window shut had fallen out and it was open a crack.
I started freaking out.
I ran outside and started calling his name. I looked around the edge of the house: at least he hadn’t fallen and broken a leg or, worse, killed himself. I looked out in front of the house: no cats in the road. I ran back inside and told Kristi, who had also just woken up. While she put on some clothes to come help, I called Karyn. I didn’t know what to do, but I just had to talk to someone.
Kristi and I spent about 45 minutes or so walking around the block, and then driving around the neighborhood. We saw some neighborhood cats, but no Ellipses. I finally had to admit defeat, so I told Kristi we’d go home, I’d print out a photo and bring it to the neighborhood vet’s office. As we got out of the car and walked into the backyard, Kristi called Jared at work to ask him if he happened to have seen anything when he left a few hours earlier.
He said that he saw something jumping over the fence into the neighboring yard—no one currently lives there. He didn’t connect it and Ellipses and why would he? Why would Ellipses be outside? There’s no reason. I walked over into the yard and started looking around. There was nothing more than a bunch of litter and grossness, then I looked under their short deck… and saw a pair of big, glowing eyes looking back at me. Ellipses had hidden himself in the farthest corner under the dirtiest deck.
I was relieved, to say the least, but I didn’t know how to get him out. I was still only wearing pajamas and was not outfitted for crawling under a narrow space full of rocks, mud, and other debris. I was also worried that if I crawled under, he’d shoot out and run in another direction. Could Kristi and I catch him?
While I watched him and tried to coax him out with a can of tuna and a can of wet cat food, Kristi went into her apartment for a long, outdoor broom and put on a couple layers of clothes. She crawled under and out three times before Ellipses actually came out from under the deck. He kept getting close, but then when Kristi would leave he would lurk back under the far side of the deck. However, when he finally came out I think his little kitty brain recognized who I was (finally) and he sniffed at me just long enough for me to grab him and carry him home.
So I told him he was in trouble but gave the cat food to him and Ampersand anyway. Then I looked at the clock, and I had about a half hour to pack for the weekend.