Monday, January 10, 2011

Where has our little cat gone?

After years of swearing we'd never be pet owners (dogs need too much attention and Rob's allergic to cats) we broke down. Maybe it was the day I stepped on the mouse outside on the front porch. Or maybe it was the day we discovered a mouse chewed its way into our van. Or maybe it was the first day we heard critters inside our walls (they turned out to be chipmunks, not mice). At some point Rob decided we needed a pet. Something low maintenance. Something that could earn its keep.

So we start looking around for a cat. I had lots of cats growing up and come from the school of thought that cats shouldn't really cost anything. Sure you have to feed them and get them their shots, but they're pretty inexpensive as far as pets go. We looked at the humane society, but thought maybe the perfect situation would be to find someone with a young cat (not kitten) that they just needed to find a new home for. We got so lucky.

We found a guy on craigslist who fosters cats. He had a couple of them, but the one who seemed best for us was a two year old black and white cat he called Oreo. He was all up to date on his shots and had a sweet temperament. We were sold.

When we went to pick him up, this cat ran right over to me to say hello. I'm not a cat person, but he showed his sweet personality from the beginning. The kids were so excited that not only were we finally getting a pet, but we were getting one that was named after junk food! At home the kids were so excited to show Oreo his new home: one of the kids shared Oreo's bowl of cat food. Another followed the cat around with his scratching post, calling "Here's your scratching post Oreo. Don't you want your scratching post?"

Oreo seemed happy to be with us, though he showed an obvious preference for Rob. He would jump onto our bed at night, crawl onto Rob's chest and stick his little kitty nose right into Rob's face in an Eskimo kiss. We loved that cat more than we thought.

About a month after we got him, the cat (who insisted he be an outdoor/indoor cat) got hit by a car. He then took off, hiding in the woods nearby. We figured he had gone off to die, but he came limping home around dinner time, obviously very hurt. We took him to the vet the next morning, anticipating that Oreo had a broken hip or internal bleeding or something. Nope. That lucky cat was just banged up and the vet sent us home with a bottle of kitty Advil. Less than a week later, you'd never know that anything had happened to him.

Typically Rob lets Oreo outside when he leaves for work in the morning. Today I was up earlier and let him out, so he came back inside when Rob left for the day. The big kids went to school a couple of hours later and I assumed Oreo had sneaked out the door. There was no sign of him around lunchtime or even when the kids came home from school. When he didn't come home at dinner, I started to worry. We kept whistling out the door for him throughout the evening, but he didn't come. Finally I went upstairs to put on my pajamas and looked for a fresh pair in the dryer.

And guess who popped out?

Our cat spent the day in the dryer. Caleb had opened the dryer to get a pair of jeans and the cat must have gone in there while the door was open.

It must have been cozy and snug in there, but I certainly am glad no one turned the dryer on today!

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