Sunday, May 31, 2009

From a Happy, Honeyed Home!

I've tried to do my best to shout this from leafy treetops and local coffee shops (and Twitter!) but in case you have not heard my hoarse, empassioned hymns, HC is home!!!!

After going missing on May 21st and the most devastating week+ that I can remember, I carried her 5 blocks down Milwaukee Ave on Friday night. For nine days I went to sleep and woke up thinking she was eating out of dumpsters or worse. Streets/Sanitation AND the pound on speed dial. Eighty fliers. Twelve phone calls from neighbors. Ten friends on active search and rescue duty. Seven local businesses with in-window fliers. Three heartbreaking false alarms. Two days of Jaimeson-led, Navy Seal quality ground coverage. One HoneyCat now home safe and sound.
So what happened? The details as best as I've bee able to put them together are as follows. A woman (Liz) several blocks north had a tortie housecat who ran away two weeks ago. Liz's leg was broken and was not even able to search for herself. Her friends however were scouring the neighborhood and came across HC, on her regular rounds. They mistook HC for the missing pet and brought her to Liz.

Now Liz is a cat lady (like myself althought I prefer "animal person of current feline persuasion") . She knew HC was someone's pet but dear girl was not wearing a collar (stabbing self emphatically in heart with air-knife) and she couldn't conceive of just returning her to the street (though she likely would have meandered home, beside the point). So she kept her and HC used her missing cat's litterbox and ate canned food (TURKISH DELIGHTS!) and slept with her at night (considering this as a necessity like wartime lovers, I cannot take this personally and am comforted). Company for a cat-less gimp, as it were.

And because Liz's leg was broken, she did not see these signs. The signs that appeared to stop neighbors in their tracks like a shattered bottle in the sidewalk. So many calls. So many people who just wanted so badly to help.
(J carving his famous roast chicken for Wed. dinner. It is an HC favorite)

Meanwhile, I wrote the missing Honey post on Tuesday morning. It was a bad day. Jaimeson had two days off tour and was already flying in. On Tuesday night I arrived home to find him making meatballs. I started crying (again) into my pie crust. We watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The next day he made 50 more copies of HC's flier and he went everywhere. And to local businesses like Milk and Honey Cafe, Alliance Bakery and the like. I need to get the full list from him- good to give animal people your business. He took care of me for a couple days which is frankly not very easy and at the end of the day, he's HC's hero.

I say that because a flier at one such local place caught the attention of one of Liz's friends. She brought it to her on Friday evening. Friday evening, the day after Jaimeson left. The evening I was preparing for an annual celebration when I didn't really feel like celebrating. So I was trying make myself more festive by getting through 3/4 of a bottle of rose` with Molly and my next door neighbors.

I may have been a little tipsy. When Liz called, I asked her to describe the cat. She just goes "It's yours. She has a stripe down her nose, a gut, massive green eyes, a tail that thwaps and she sleeps with me at night."

And I just started running. No cat carrier (jinx). No wallet. Just running up Milwaukee on a busy Friday night. Rosy from the rose` and feeling like this might really be it. Liz hobbled down the stairs with her broken leg and HC in arms. And do you know what I did? Guess.

I started crying. Go figure.

She handed off HC who tucked herself right back to her normal spot on my shoulder, though not terribly happy with the busy streets. And we walked home. People would stop and tell me what a cute cat I had. I would hiccup at them "She'smy (heave) catandshe'sbeengonefor10DAYS (heave)andwe'regoinghomeRIGHTNOW(sniff sniff, frightening smile, heave)!!!!!"

HC and I have been relatively hard to separate since then. Even during the Garden of Good and Evil Party yesterday (more on that later), I couldn't help continually going to say hi. She even watched the Evil portion of the party intently from my window.

Fast forward to today and moving forward with new house rules. Even though HC was keeping up her end of the coming home bargain but was effectively "cat-napped." She is now not out at all unless I'm home and outside. No more commute, successful or not. She also has some new jewelry she'd like to share with you...the Dolly Parton of cat collars, of course. Turquoise with rhinestones, a bell and a license with her name and my number on it. Lesson officially learned the hard-way-with-a-happy-ending.
This (below) is from the garden this morning. I think all the good thoughts you were sending our way had a lot to do with the way things turned out. Karma and all that. A hearty, loving, purring Namaste` from both of us.


adriana said...

I'm so glad your cat is home safe! When I read that she was missing I was sad for you - yay to her being home!!!!

Joy @ Big Time Fancy said...

This post made me a little misty. SO so glad for you that HC is safe and sound. :)

Lori aka A Cowboy's Wife said...

Awwwwww, I'm so happy you've been united with the kitty:) What a purrrrectly cool story too!! {{giggle}}

Jamie said...

Ah! I'm so happy she is home safe. I can't even imagine how you were feeling when she was gone!

Jonk said...

And now, let's everybody sent out good thoughts for Liz to find her own tortie cat again.

Wasn't there a near miss or two in the HC search when a different tortoise cat was spotted?

My family had a calico cat when I was little. This cat was named after a calico that my mother had when she was little. As such, though I have never met HC, I have a special affinity for her. So glad she's back, and I hope Liz has the same special luck.

ANG* said...

and now i'm crying...
i was so so sad for you darling. SO happy it all worked out!

TKTC said...

#1 Thanks friends...heart happy weekend!

#2 Jonk points out something I left off. Liz has all of my leads and I've sent her HC's flier via email to adjust as necessary. I'm also going to help put them up once updated. And she got a strawberry rhubarb pie. Which is not a catbut is helpful for thinking when trying to mobilize a search. Karma should definitely transfer!!

Anonymous said...

Oh how wonderful!! I'm so glad that HC is home :) Keep us posted if you hear that Liz's cat comes home too.

Molls said...

I'm so glad she made it home! I have been very worried.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

thank god for the happy ending!

moosh in indy. said...

I more happy about you getting Honey Cat back than I am about most of my friends being pregnant.
Yeah, pretty much best news ever.

Rachel said...

I love animals and I am soooooo tearing up at this post.

YAY Jessi!!!!!

melissa said...

i'm so glad you got your cat back!
that is the most horrible feeling!
when i was a few months pregnant with my favorite cat...a himmie named boris...ran away. not an outdoor cat, i was so worried. he was gone for 3 days! he doesn't have vocal chords so he when he meows, all you see is his mouth moving. yet, around 4 in the morning, i heard a hoarse meowing at the french doors that lead to the backyard...
i went running downstairs, as fast as i could considering my condition...
and there was my boris. all muddy and gnarly. but home. safe.
he never ran away again!!
so yeah. i totally get how you felt!!!
yay for the homecoming!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

What a story!!! SO glad you have her back!


mom2nji said...

aww. I am glad HC is home safe!

Genie said...

My cat Isis disappeared for two weeks and I was a *wreck* so I feel your pain. My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) went out with me every night to call for her and on one rainy evening as I was roaming the streets calling "Kittykittykitty" and starting to cry from despair, she came booking down the street at me meowing up a storm and flew into my arms!

We think she got in someone's garage and was trapped when they closed it up. She was about 3 pounds lighter when she came back but was fine otherwise. And now she is an indoor cat that goes in our backyard only under adult supervision. I learned my lesson too that I can't go through that heartache again.

So glad HC is home!

Heather said...

such a heartwarming story.

now I have to ask, Did Liz ever find her girl?

Lisa said...

So glad you got your kitty back. That is a great story. I always love a great kitty and owner reunion story, really makes me smile.

TKTC said...

Sue, Molls and Alexa: I don't believe in much, but I sincerely believe in the power of positive thoughts. Y'all are awesome, thank you for thinking of us!

Moosh: When does the cherub get her own kitteh? When you move in? I saw LOTS of cute little bits at the pound last week. I think we send you home from BlogHer with a door prize that purrs.

Rachel: I have cried more often in the last 3 weeks than in the past 3 years combined. Sad tears, Happy tears, Elated tears, Tears that recommend maybe changing my birth control pills. Thanks for yours :)

Melissa: Wow, you really have been there. I have a mental picture of a gorgeous Himalayan that just went through the ringer- I'm so glad he came home too!

Adventures and Mom2: Thanks ladies!

Genie: Those big ole men who wander around making kissing noises looking for our kitties? Definite keepers.

Heather: Not yet, but there are some sightings that she was going to check out today. We're keeping our fingers crossed and emailing a lot!

Lisa: I had honestly stopped expecting it. I'd washed her dishes that morning to put them away and all it meant was that they were clean for her to come home to. Amazing.

The Charming Hedonist said...

I am late to the party, but so happy she's home! There is nothing worse than not knowing. So glad your girl is home.

Linda said...

Imagining you running down Milwaukee and then finding your cat a few blocks away. I'm incredibly happy for you that your dear Honeycat is home. And in time to enjoy the summer solstice, and hopefully lots of time in the sunny garden as well.

James said...

That's great your kitty is back! My best friend lost her cat for about 7 days last summer. She was an inside cat, but when they moved into a house with a fenced in yard she would occasionally let her out. Well apparently there was a hole in the fence somewhere and the cat got out. We put up fliers and made calls but heard nothing for days. Then one day she heard a faint meow, she called her name and then the cat responded with a little louder meow. This continued for a couple minutes until the two came running up to each other in a dramatic reunion. The cat was skinnier than when she left and covered in leaves and sticks. My friend thinks she got lodged in a bush (she is a somewhat larger cat and long haired) and couldn't get out. It was one of the saddest and funniest things I had ever heard.

She never lets her out anymore.

Long your blog by the way!

Janine said...

OK, I am behind on my reading and just seeing this post! Even in the country my cats stay inside -- Dexter has been known to not come home for dinner and I'm afraid of the local predators. So glad the sweet one is back.

And it was great to see you Saturday!