juthwara: (Chu)
Last Monday night, Luna was acting weird. In the past, she's come onto my bed and loudly demanded attention at bedtime, but it's usually in the winter (and I usually wind up kicking her out so her incessant meowing doesn't wake the baby). But despite it being a warm night, she was all up in my face, demanding attention. The next day, both she and Lily seemed out of sorts. I kept finding them places that I don't normally see them during the day, like they didn't quite know what they should do with themselves. And that's when I put it together that 1) I hadn't seen Sonya all day and 2) I had found the patio door open a bit last night, but didn't have time to go check the yard for escaped cats because I was putting the boys to bed.

Oh no. Not again. Since she disappeared for a month five years ago, we've been so, so careful to keep her inside. But with not only our own children but neighbor children running in and out of the house, it gets hard to be certain that every door is closed as tightly as it should be (particularly since James figured out how to open the patio door and waltz out unsupervised into the backyard. Aiee!). And now she's much older and been getting skinny lately, so she doesn't have that layer of fat to help her survive without food for a while.

Fortunately, the difference between this house and the house she escaped from before is that while that house had a heavily-trafficked alley in back, this house has a nice yard that borders about 7 other unfenced yards, creating a nice large semi-wild area for a cat to explore safely without having to wander further afield. So last night, we turned the porch lights on to try to attract her and hoped for the best. Sure enough, as I was putting Katherine to sleep, I heard meowing and ran outside to the front of the house just in time to see a cat vanish under the car. I looked underneath and lo! There was an unhappy Sonya who was thrilled to come to me and go back inside. She then spent the rest of the evening cuddling with us and remarking her territory, since she had been gone an entire day and therefore had to reestablish herself in the cat hierarchy. She also had to collect a large number of small stuffed animals to leave on the landing of the stairs for some obscure cat reason.

Oh, what a relief. She just turned 13, and I'm becoming acutely aware of the fact that she probably doesn't have too many years left. But I'm not ready to lose our Sonya yet.

Lost cat

Feb. 2nd, 2008 09:04 pm
juthwara: (Gigi)
This afternoon, after putting K down for her nap, I went into my bedroom and noticed there was a cat hiding under the covers. "Oh, that must be where Sonya's been hiding," I thought, not realizing until that moment I hadn't seen her all morning. And then Olwen appeared from under the covers and I realized that I hadn't seen Sonya at all yesterday. Fridays are busy days for us, since we usually both work, and cats being cats, it's entirely possible to go an entire evening without seeing one because they've decided to find some nice corner to take a snooze. But a quick search revealed that we couldn't find her anywhere in the house.

On Thursday, the handyman was here, replacing the screen door out back. K and I were leaving to meet [livejournal.com profile] longstrider for lunch and went out back to get in the car. The handyman asked if he should move his van and if I could unlock the back door. I did so and went to put K in her carseat while the handyman moved his van. Walking back around the car to get in, I caught Olwen trying to slip out of the open door and closed it after shoving her back in. I should have looked around to see if Sonya was out. I should have gone over to the handyman to ask him to make sure the cats didn't get out. But we were running horribly late, so I left. And when I got back, K was late for her nap, so I forgot to do a cat check like I had meant to. And as a result, I think she's been gone since Thursday and we didn't notice until this morning.

We looked around the neighborhood and checked a local shelter with no luck. I made a flyer up, which we'll post after replacing our printer ink cartridge so the picture doesn't come out only in yellow. On the plus side, we didn't see any dead cats at the side of the road. And the weather hasn't been warm, but it's been above freezing. But I can't stop thinking about the horrible driving rain we got all day Friday.

In case it's not clear, we feel absolutely horrible about this and sick at the thought of losing her. Sonya is a very sweet, very gentle, incredibly dumb cat. I love both of our cats and couldn't imagine losing either of them, but I feel so much worse about the thought of Sonya out on her own in the wild, because Olwen at least is an alpha cat who doesn't take any guff from other animals. Sonya is a gigantic floppy love-cat who loves nothing better than to loll around on our laps and get her tummy scritched. I have no confidence in her ability to defend herself or be smart enough to protect herself from cars. And she's the one out there, alone in the cold.

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