Tuesday, July 07, 2009

That Darn Cat!

As I reported from my visit to Buffalo, my arrival was precluded by the daring escape of one Fritzee the cat, who ran out when some friends of my niece left the door ajar. My niece took a stoic approach, and while they placed a newspaper ad and checked the animal shelter for lost cats, she decided that the cat was gone for good and quickly secured a new kitten to take it's place. This may have something to do with how she processes loss, and could be some insight in to her current difficulties, but that's another post.

Truthfully, I didn't see much chance that Fritzee would survive on the outside very well. She had been de-clawed, which meant hunting her own food would be next to impossible. Indeed, the only time she saw the outside was in a carrier to the vets' office or wherever my niece would take her. Making things more difficult, while my niece has spent many many days and nights sleeping at my ancestral homeland, Fritzee had only been there for a week or two the year before, and was completely unfamiliar to the neighborhood, the smells and whatever visual clues she would need to survive and find home. Although it's not like my old neighborhood is home to coyotes or bobcats, a house cat without claws could meet a terrible end any number of ways.

So it was with great surprise that I learned after a phone conversation on the 4th of July that at 5 am that morning, 13 days after going over the wall, Fritzee the cat found her way back home safe and sound. As my father related, both he and my niece were awakened by a cat loudly meowing. They assumed it was the new kitten, but after locating him they realized it was coming from outside the house. Indeed, the cat was outside my niece's bedroom window. Some trick considering she was sleeping on the 2nd floor. Apparently, there was some debate and disbelief that this could possibly be Fritzee, but when they removed the screen from the window, the cat leaped in to the bedroom. And they quickly realized that miraculously, Fritzee had survived and returned home. Even more remarkably, a cat with no claws had somehow made it up to the 2nd floor roof overhang to find the correct window. Somehow, either by climbing a tree or a fence or up on to the garage, she had made it back. She had obviously been fed, as she wasn't starving or dehydrated, and she was also clean. So a human being was more than likely looking out for her, but what the circumstances were, where she was, or how she came to leave will forever be a mystery.

As it stands now, my niece and her two cats are all living happily with my parents. Fritzee and my niece will probably be returning to her home in time for school to start, and the fate of Cat, the kitten without a name, is undecided. That's because Cat has turned out to be so wonderfully goofy that my father has admitted he's grown kind of fond of him, prompting my parents to consider making Cat a permanent resident. Either way, both cats are now safe and sound and have a nice home. They just don't particularly like each other right now.

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