Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CAT: missing


I would like to begin by pointing out that I tried to find Daria a new home. Daria is our black cat. She is a wonderfully sweet and loving cat who deserves attention. She doesn't get it from us. I devote little to no time with her daily. The children are fond of her, but they also give her only a little attention daily. I almost had someone who wanted to take her. I posted Daria on free cycle and a woman said she would adopt her, but wrote back later saying her husband did not want her to. I stopped trying to find her a new home and life continued.

When tropical storm Hanna came through NE NC, the cover for the crawl space under the house got blown out. A couple days later when W found it he put it back on. Close to two weeks passed. Both W and I had passing thoughts about not seeing Daria much, but nobody verbalized these thoughts. I knew I was busy and I realized I had gotten off schedule with feeding the cats as I normally do. I really didn't think Daria was missing. I thought it was strange our other cat Jupiter was coming to find me for food because usually Daria did that. I didn't really think it through.

Yesterday when I got home W asked when the last time was I had seen Daria. He and the girls had searched the house for her and called for her outside in case she had gotten out. She has gotten out a couple times and we've thought maybe she'd gotten out a couple times when she hadn't. That's when I realized it had been probably a week or more since I'd seen her. Yes, I felt bad! We figured she must have gotten outside. I called the SPCA and they checked the three black cats that had gotten brought in the previous two weeks. None were a match.

Yesterday evening while brushing my teeth I heard a faint meow. I went to my room and heard it louder. It sounded like it was coming from the vent under the window. Could she be stuck in the vent? I opened the window and called out. The meow answered. It sounded like Daria, but more faint and shorter than usual. I was skeptical it was really her because our neighbors cat had short meows. I went to the back door and called. The meows responded, but no cat came to me. At that moment my heart sank because I thought for sure it was the neighbors cat who meows at us, but never comes over. Then I heard scratching at one of the vents for the crawl space under the house which was right under my room. DARIA! W came out and opened the crawl space and called her. She ran out to him and he carried her inside. I brushed her and pet her. She meowed a lot. Her meow was weak and she was skinnier. She looked so small to me. She is usually a muscular cat, but a small one still. She ate a little food and drank a little water. I was afraid she would eat too much. W said she'd probably eaten bugs.

I wonder if we had realized she was missing earlier if we would have found her earlier because we would have called out at night and heard her. It's possible we had heard her meow from somewhere under the house but didn't think anything of it because we're so used to hearing her meow from somewhere IN the house. Unfortunately I was just about to go to bed, so after brushing her I did. She followed me in the room. I hoped she would just lie down, but she roamed around and as soon as I fell asleep she started meowing. I shushed her a few times before taking her out of the room and blocking the door. She cried two more times later that night, but just for a minute.

She is doing well today and I'm giving her another brushing tonight. Maybe that could become a more regular part of my schedule. I still feel awful she was stuck under the house for so long and we didn't realize.

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