Thursday, January 05, 2006

Of lost cats and grogblogs

This morning I lost my cat.

Possibly he was pissed off and trying to make a point, more likely it was just curiosity that led him onwards and upwards.

He is an indoor cat. Burmese are incredibly smart in certain respects, but they have the survival instincts of lemmings. Also, they really are beautiful and exceptionally friendly, and tend to get picked up and carried away. So it's recommended that you keep them indoors.

Ours is an indoor cat, cutting a dashing figure as he flies from upstairs window-ledge to kitchen floor, skids as his little legs work into the turn and whistles back upstairs again. He has toys. We try.

But of course cats are still wild animals, deep in their hearts.

We got a brace thingy and a leash, but he doesn't like walking; he freaks out at the road or once he is out of eyeshot of the house. Home is where the heart is. To a point...

He gets regular out-times where he runs around the front garden. He likes these, he goes nuts one minute then flops in the grass the next. And what fascinates him the most is the bit where the garden joins the outside- the wall, the shrubbery, the herb garden where we found him mewling and crying when the idiot cleaner let him out the front. The bit that's just off-limits.

We got a new BBQ. I let him out for his morning stroll. I thought it possible he'd jump up on the BBQ and over the wall while I was upstairs getting ready for a few minutes, but assumed he'd end up in the herb garden.

I came down and peered outside. He was not there.

I looked around, into the laundry where his food and litter tray are. No cat.

I went outside and started calling.

I went through the house and out the front, and immediately did a walk around, peering into the herb garden, twice, and along the front of the wall (and on the road...). Nada.

I ran upstairs, peered under the bed, in the cupboard, under the visitors' bed, in the study, under the fucking study table, in the bathroom, I was calling, he usually comes when called.

I got louder, I got his can of salmon casserole and started tapping it loudly with a spoon. I did another round outside, peered next door, down the back of the block of units, walked across the road, looked under 2 cars nearby. By this point I was ill, so ill, and so angry at the stupid fuckwit who wasn't watching him properly.

My mouth was full of paper glue and my gut locked up with nausea. I am, to quote many a right wing blogger, a fucking dickhead.

I ran up the stairs, aimlessly sprinting through rooms. A thought crossed my mind that this is what a parent must feel - OK many times worse again - but the same, horrible, exponential rising fear when their child isn't where they thought they'd be.

I pelted back out the front and down the driveway and there he was. Just in front of the bins, looking slightly stressed, pottering back towards the front with a "dad, what took you so long, I was lost" look, tail bushy and up.

I almost cried, I gave him half a can of salmon. Now, late in the evening, he's passed most of it into his litter tray and the whole house smells. I care less.

He's my boy, and I love him.

And while he probably won't be at MoggBlogging tomorrow night in person, I, and possibly Mrs 'Gnac, will be there to share a drink with all comers and accept salmon on his behalf.

See you there after dinner, post 8.30pm, for an Armagnac at the bar...

UPDATE: Your nice comments are greatly appreciated.


Shelley said...

Oh! So much empathy, I've often had major freak outs when a cat has done a disappearing act [I think they do it for the extra food].

I didn't know Burmese were supposed to be friendly. My cat's half Burmese, loathes people [I swear she was born that way; I didn't do it!], and was completely psychotic as a kitten.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I read the first line of this and nearly had a heart attack. Had to scroll down quick to see the end. Thank God you found him. On the (rare these days as I have wised up) occasions when the bold one sees her chance and streaks out the front door, she runs straight into the middle of the road, lies down and rolls over. I think she enjoys the noise I make.

Armagnac Esq said...

Thanks for the empathy.

Polished, maybe it was the other half? But mine definitely has a slightly psychotic streak mixed in with his friendliness. He's male, which in cats at least makes them more social on average, and I picked him out of the litter because of the curious way he sat up and looked at me, and then I bought him when he wrapped his little arms around my neck. He still does that, over a year later!

Pav, I'd die of a cardiac arrest if I saw him in the middle of the road...

Zoe said...


We're thinking of a new cat. We have a new mouse that needs company.

Ron said...

I held my breath until I got to the end of that post! I was sick with worry it mightn't have a happy ending.

Now I'm off to take half a Valium tablet.

phil said...

Similar emotions to pavlov and ron. We have lost 2 darling baby abbysinians in the last 3 years to this kind of very (insert adjective here)behaviour. No more until we live somewhere quieter. Please pass our love - and some food - to your cat in question!

R.H. said...

Golly. The suspense. But something told me it'd be okay. Still, I wasn't sure, and wanted to scroll down, but didn't. I'm good like that. Good at keeping still.

boynton said...

Been there with cats and dogs, so I'm so glad about the turn of this tale.
If I was to be a cat custodian again, I think I'd go for a catnip type of solution.

miaballerina said...

I'm so glad you found him!!!! I almost cried reading the first half of the post :(

P.s. - I'm back.

Sunburnt said...

Man, know how you felt. I belong to a Burmese that has escaped a couple of times in middle of night and I have been forced to search neighbourhood in dark.

Worst was last time. GF woke up about 0430 and noticed no cat. Dragged me out of bed and we searched house. No open windows or any other sign of exit but turned house upside down and no cat. Searched neighbourhood solid for approx 5 hours with no luck. Distraught we stop for a coffee about 10. GF opens fridge and notices fridge light not on. Pull fridge out of tight alcove to access power cord and find stunned cat pinned down behind. He had fallen down where the 8 ft (god know how he gets up there) high kitchen cupboards come away from wall to match fridge profile. Luckily he knocked power cord out on way down or may still be there. Must have been in shock as he didn't make a single sound as we searched house.

Our other younger Burmese also gave us no clue to his whereabouts. Which brings me to my point. You must get Mao a friend (read posts about leaving him alone for two days and locking him downstairs). He will be more content and you will not regret it. We got our blue Burmese a friend (M chocolate Burmese) when he was about 18 months as we felt guilty about not being able to give him enough attention due to work etc. Mao will be mad at first but will very quickly love him. Our blue went psychotic (think Exorcism) for about 24 hours but curiosity quickly got the better of him and started playing and shortly after cuddling and cleaning kitten. They are now inseparable. The whole house is much happier and watching cats play fight (cats know kung fu) provides hours of amusement. Sorry for the long comment but you needed to be told. Bad simian.

Armagnac Esq said...

Long comments are welcome here, and the advice is appreciated.

We've been poring over this quandrary, we are happy to get another but our cat has proven astonishingly antisocial towards other cats, and extremely attached.

A friend seems a good idea...

Sunburnt said...

All cats are generally antisocial to other cats but they are also pack animals. The kitten will not represent a threat to Mao and he will very quickly accept him/her. Kitten's by nature are very playful and Mao will not be able to resist the chase.

I know at least 3 other people (once you own a burmese you seem to join a cult) who have done same recently and no problems with any. All are happy they did, especially the cats.

Just do it. I have emailed you some photos to push you over edge.

Armagnac Esq said...


Posts on this site, and my cat's site, coming asap!