Saturday, November 15, 2008
One of our four cats, Gracie, ran away from home. The weird part is that we watched her do it. On Monday, we took three of the cats to the vet for their yearly checkup. When we got home, I decided on a whim to release the cats from their carriers in the carport rather than inside the house. Ed and Frances are both indoor and outdoor cats, so they sauntered into the back yard and started cleaning the smell of the vet off their fur.
Gracie slipped under our neighbor’s fence into their back yard. J and I watched in amazement. In the past, whenever I let Gracie go in the carport, she ran straight into the house. Gracie was strictly an indoor cat. The furthest outdoors she would venture was our screened in front porch. We couldn’t believe she decided to run away from the house.
“I guess she wants to have an adventure,” J said.
Later, J pointed out that right before Gracie slipped under the neighbor’s fence, she looked back and shot us her best “fuck you” face.
We didn’t worry too much about her going under the fence because our neighbor’s back yard is completely fenced in. We figured Gracie would sniff around for a while and then scurry back home. We thought that maybe her little adventure would do her some good, give her some fresh air, and maybe get her to chill the fuck out.
Thirty minutes later, we began to wonder how long Gracie planned to stay out. We asked our neighbor if we could go into his yard to get our cat. He said sure. It wasn’t a big yard and we searched all of it, but no sign of Gracie. I even shined a flashlight under the shed. We did find where Gracie could have gotten out without us seeing her leave.
I didn’t put up signs for our missing cat because they would be a waste of time. Gracie doesn’t just hide from strangers, she hides from us. She won’t let anyone she doesn’t know get near her. Giving her medicine was near impossible because she’d run and hide if I had anything in my hand she construed might be for her. Nobody was going to see her. She didn’t wear a collar because she never went outside.
Gracie was paranoid and bitchy. She hated J and has been known to pee in J’s shoes. A few months back, she decided she didn’t want to crap in the litter box anymore and instead crapped right next to it. I was the only person she allowed to pet her and only when and how she decided. Gracie was so weird that the vet once prescribed kitty Zoloft for her, only it didn’t work because giving her the medicine made her more crazy than she already was.
Gracie was fourteen years old. I got her and her brother, George, from the Humane Society. George died years ago and after he was gone, we realized how much he kept Gracie’s craziness contained. Gracie had respiratory problems and possible kidney problems. She was a major pain in the ass, but she was our pain in the ass. I feel guilty that it’s been so much easier with the other three cats since she’s been gone. I haven’t given up on her yet. I walk the neighborhood every day on the off chance that I see her hiding under a car or scurrying across the road.