Friday, June 22, 2007

Searching for a Black Cat in a Coalbin
At Midnight

When Merry and Pippin were about nine months old, I went to California for my annual November trip, leaving them in the care of Richard and Kathy, who were to drop in daily and feed and play with them.

I flew out on Sunday. On Wednesday Richard sat up in bed, realizing that he had forgotten I had already left and my babies hadn't been fed. The first thing the next morning he went up to the apartment. At first the fact that the kittens didn't come out to greet him didn't worry him, as they never had. But when he got upstairs and discovered that the door had blown open, he began to worry. He put out food, but he didn't dare close the door because how were they to get in to eat if he did? He and Kathy spent several days searching for them. Posting photos on power poles. Walking the block and calling. Searching the apartment. Calling the pound. Looking in the paper. Not sure if they should call me and ruin my vacation or not. After all, the previous November I had returned from my vacation to find my beloved Missy had died. How could they face me if they had lost my boys? But, they kept putting out food and water, and it kept disappearing. So, if Merry and Pippin weren't eating it, something was.

Every time they went to my place, they put out cat provisions and sat in the living room to see if the cats would come in to eat. Finally one day they heard little teeth eating kitty kibble. Quickly they sneaked up the stairs, and saw the cats run into the closet. Now they could close and lock the door. And when they looked in the closet it took forever to spot Pippin's green eyes beneath the legs of my navy pants. Merry was behind Pippin, and Pippin is coal black. As near as we can tell, since neither cat tried to get out again until this year, they had been hiding in the closet all along.


Anonymous said...

Cats are the darnedest things, aren't they? I adore them, the little goofs. Good story.

Bridget Magnus said...


Once I "lost" a cat that it turns out had just been taking an extra long nap in a nice cardboard box.

Another time I had a cat get out (let out by then-boyfriend). Cat came back of her own accord 3 days later, and thereafter a huge orange tomcat would come and sing at the window and she would growl at him. She had been spayed years before as a kitten and I think they had an argument to the effect of "you want to do WHAT??" That cat lived to be 23.

Maya's Granny said...

Ally Bean,

Yes, they are such goofs. The perfect word for them.


Your cat story reminds me of the Wanda Sykes bit about how nice it would be if you could just take off your girl part and leave it at home when you went out.

ms. em said...

And, i'm left thinking, "They may have been in hiding, but they were getting their nutrition. Good." Of course, my perception reflects my desire to ensure that every living being (including me!) gets nutrition:)

Thank you for sharing this lovely tale.

ms. em