Thursday, November 19, 2009

Public Service Announcement

Back in July of 2006, I wrote about how my cat Tidget came to live with me instead of the local Humane Society.  Since that time, we developed into a fairly comfortable rhythm of life together.  She has a few little quirks, but so do I, so we’re even. 

Her favourite thing, other than food, is cuddling.  After the first week I got her, not a night goes by without her spending a few minutes licking either my nose or my ear, whichever is closest, and then purring away loudly for  about five minutes before falling asleep with her head resting on either my hand or my arm. 

She’s not much for sitting on a lap, though.  She’ll visit for a minute or two if I’m sitting on the couch watching television, but then she’ll go find something else to do.  She hates the vacuum cleaner, and at the slightest hint of a thunderstorm, she runs under the bed and stays there for an hour or so.  I have never been completely able to convince her to use the scratching post instead of the carpet on the stairs, but she never used the furniture.  No one’s perfect. 

She’s not a particularly needy cat, like some I’ve had, but  when she wants loving, nothing will stop her from planting herself firmly against my chest, one front leg on either side of my neck, head tucked firmly under my chin, insisting on being petted and rubbed and even squeezed.  She purrs so much she starts drooling.  It’s kind of gross, but in an endearing way that probably only another cat person would understand.

When I got Muushuu in January of 2007, she quickly accepted him, or at least his physical presence.  They’ve never become best buddies, but they will often both be sleeping on the back of the loveseat – on opposite side of it.  She’ll accept him grooming her for brief periods, but I’ve only ever seen her take a half-hearted lick at his forehead once.  She has no problem sharing the litter box, and she delights in cleaning up his food bowl if he leaves some behind.  All in all, it’s been a fairly happy little family.

On Monday night, when I came from work, I was met at the door by only one cat, Muushuu.  This isn’t particularly unusual, especially if Tidget is sleeping downstairs.  I usually just go about my business, which will ultimately conclude in them getting fed a bit of wet food to supplement their regular diet of dry, and usually she’ll come upstairs when she realizes what is happening and sit waiting semi-patiently for me to open the can and prepare their bowls.  That didn’t happen this past Monday, though.  I kept thinking she’d come up any minute, but Muushuu was already eating and still no Tidget.  I decided I better go get her.

She wasn’t sleeping on the bed, where I would normally find her.  She wasn’t in the office, under the desk, where she would sometimes have a nap.  She wasn’t in the storage room where I keep their litter box. She wasn’t under the bed, where she would go if something startled her.  Something wasn’t right.  I looked in the bathroom, and even checked the tub.  No Tidget.  Back upstairs I went.  Not on the couch or either of the chairs.  Not by the radiator that runs under the credenza in the dining room.  I looked behind the couch, in case she’d fallen and got wedged against the wall.  Nope.  I looked behind the wall unit where I keep the tv, thinking maybe she’d gone back there and got tangled in some wires.  I made another round of the whole house, checking all the closets and hidey-holes.  Nope, no Tidget. 

And then, I remembered.

That morning, I was running just a little bit late.  Not much, only about five minutes.  The day before, I had picked up some granola bars to take to work in case I got the munchies.  After I’d closed the door and gone down the front steps, I remembered that I’d left them inside on the window ledge, where I’d put them while I was putting on my shoes.

So, I went back into the house, walked the four steps to the ledge, grabbed the granola bars and stuffed them in my pocket, then four steps back to the door.  Then I saw that the door had swung open.  I saw it and it registered on my consciousness because I always, always, always push it shut so it clicks, even if my arms are full of groceries coming in or garbage bags going out or whatever.  I always shut it till it clicks.  But this time, I hadn’t.  It was open for the time it takes to take three steps in and three steps out -- less than five seconds.  Muushuu was asleep on the couch, and Tidget was asleep downstairs on the bed, and I was five minutes behind schedule.  A glance at the front porch revealed nothing amiss, so I locked the door again as I left and went to work.  Except … Tidget must not have been asleep on the bed downstairs. 

I realized what must have happened.  At this point, I’d been gone for over 12 hours, and who knows where she could have went.  She’d been strictly an indoor cat for the last three and a half years and certainly wasn’t street smart.  I put on my coat and started searching, walking the neighbourhood and calling her name, but the chances of seeing a small greyish-brown cat somewhere in the dark were pretty slim.

I was up early the next morning, and as soon as it was light, I was out again.  I widened my search, but you know, in the average suburban neighbourhood, there are a LOT of places that a cat could hunker down for a night.  I didn’t find her.  I went back home and made up some “lost cat” posters to put on the power poles and assorted neighbourhood posts.  Tidget was wearing a collar, with tags, and she was micro-chipped.  Someone would find her and call me.  I alerted the Humane Society in case someone turned her in.

It happened on Monday, and it’s now Thursday night, so Day 4.  Someone might have taken her in, but it’s not likely.  I still might get a call from the Humane Society, but that’s even less likely.  It’s getting colder out there, and now it’s raining.  She survived being a stray once, but I somehow doubt she’ll get lucky again. 

Please don’t comment and tell me what a crappy pet owner I am.  Nothing you could say would make me feel worse about myself than I already do.  My split second of inattention has more than likely had the most serious of consequences for an animal that I undertook to care for and to love.  I failed her.  Over the past 30 odd years, I’ve had five other cats besides these two, as well as three dogs, umpteen birds, lizards, fish, etc.  I am well aware of pet safety and care, and I have been proud to say that all of the animals in my care have had a full, long and rather spoiled life.  Until now. 

The anguish I’ve been going through for the past few days is nothing compared to what Tidget must be experiencing right now, if indeed she is even still alive.  I haven’t been able to accept that she is gone yet, and I will never be able to forgive myself for causing this to happen to her.  I failed her, and she is paying the price for that failure.

Why am I writing this post?  I guess it’s because I was due for a reminder.  And if I was due, maybe somebody else is too, and maybe I can save them from going through something like this. 

Here’s my public service announcement for today:

Please, whoever reads this, remember the little things we do to keep ourselves and those in our care safe.  One tiny moment of inattention can have far-reaching consequences for ourselves, our children, wife, husband, friends, neighbours, or our pets.  Please, even if you’re late or tired, even if the dog is barking or the baby is crying, even if its raining or snowing or the person driving the car in front of you is going too slow or someone is talking to you or whatever the distraction, please, just be careful.

85 people had something to say:

Trillian42 said...

Oh, Dave. Poor Tidget, and poor you! I'll keep my fingers crossed that she makes it back home to you soon, and safe.

Jean said...

Poor fellow. I remember when Boo Boo stopped showing up, it broke my heart. There is always hope, you said she was a stray before, so her survival instinct will kick in. Keep your eyes open, you just never know.

chiativity said...

Chill, Dave. She will be ok.

Twice in my life I lost a cat for over a week. (Once it was almost 3 weeks.) The first time, I was 12 and Coco was found in a culvert. The second time, I was 21, and Mouse was in the basement of an abandoned shop just around the corner.

The cat came back, the very next day. The cat came back. They thought it was a goner, but the cat came back. She just couldn't stay away.

Don't blame yourself.

In the last 2 weeks, several of my friends have had a similar cat escape experience.

This is what cats do.

Chill.

Briley said...

I am so sorry to hear about Tidget. I hope you get her home safely!

I know exactly what you mean about it only taking a second. I went out on the porch the other morning to check the temperature, and as I turned to go back in I realized that my cat (who is normally too scared to try to get out) was standing next to me.

yvette said...

Poor you, don't beat yourself up over it, cats are escape artists, he'll come back. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you :0)

Josee F. said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. You can't expect to do more than your best and that's what you've done. I'll be praying for you.

Walden said...

I agree, don't blame yourself. There is still plenty of time for her to return.

punkin said...

My heart goes out to you. I have been surprised in life how just a split second can have huge ramifications.

It wasn't intentional.

I am still holding out hope for Tidget's return.

Yarndude said...

Oh Dave, I'm so sorry to read this. I know it's the easy thing to do, but please try not to beat yourself up over it. Cats are curious creatures, and I'm sure she'll come back to you soon. They always know how to find their way home. You are not a bad pet parent.

Chriss said...

My mum found a kitten on the abandoned at the side of the road. She picked up this kitten, likely about 1 or 2 weeks old, put him in her shirt pocket and continued biking home.

Years later I was going out and closed the door behind me and accidentally shut the door on his tail as he was trying to escape. The was a screech, a flurry of claws, a fumble to open the door and a cat that raced away.

Mum and I wandered the forest for days shaking packets of cat treats and calling for him. After 3 days, she was about to explain he wasn't coming back when we suddenly heard meowing. We opened the door and he raced inside and clambered under my bed where he hid for days.

Mum finally pulled him out. He was drenched in bog water and mud and had 6 very obvious marks on his head. He had been picked up by a bird of prey and carried off, who knows how far.

He found his way home. I'm crossing my fingers that your Tidget finds her way home too. Cats escape. It is in their nature. But they are also survivors.

((hugs))

porpoise said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Tidget and I hope she comes home soon!

Lydia said...

Do not blame yourself and keep hoping, someone might have taken her into their home with the weather being bad and all, or she just found a very good hiding place and will search for a way back home. Cats are clever and smart animals. Sending good thoughts.

deirdre said...

Oh, Dave, I am keeping sending positive thoughts your way, but please try not to blame yourself - easier said than done, I know...

fleegle said...

Oh, Dave, don't be so hard on yourself. Things like this happen. When I moved from Maine to Baltimore,our two cats managed to escape the rental apartment we were staying in. They came back two weeks later. Keep hoping. My fingers are crossed for you.

Micki said...

Oh Dave, I'm so sorry. I hate that you're beating yourself up over this. You are not a terrible cat owner. Something like this could have happened to anyone. And there is still hope.

KnittySue said...

My thoughts are with both of you.

Leanne said...

I'm sure that she'll make her way home. Since she has a collar and tag and microchip, you've done all the right things to improve her chances should something like this happen. I had a cat once who had never been outdoors in her life. Something similar to your experience happened, and a couple of days later we found her huddled under the front porch. She was so scared that she didn't move, even when we were calling her name.

Please keep us posted.

WendyKnits said...

I'm so sorry, and I have a pretty good idea of just how bad you are feeling right now. I do agree with the other readers that there's still a very good chance she will return home. If she does not, please try to convince yourself that a kindly human took her in and she is safe, warm, and well-fed. I think that's what I would be trying to tell myself in the same situation.

Donna said...

Dave, I'm so sorry - I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that everything turns out OK. I've often heard that escaped cats stay surprisingly close to home, so perhaps Tidget is nearby....I hope so.

Karen said...

I'll keep good thoughts for both you, Muushuu and Tidget. Please don't feel guilty. My mother had a small dog who disappeared under similar circumstances. He returned 2 years later. People a few streets over had taken in what they thought was a stray dog.

BaseballKnitter said...

Oh Dave, I'm so, so sorry. One of our cats recently disappeared and we all miss him terribly. I'm sorry about the loss of your dear kitty. She sounds like quite the love.

Carole Knits said...

I'm so sorry this happened, Dave. You must be devastated. Mason is my first ever indoor only cat and it's so hard to keep him in because he tries to get out any chance he gets. Don't blame yourself, it could happen to anyone. I'm hopeful that Tidget will come back, stranger things have happened.

Sonya said...

I've been there, Dave. I totally understand your anguish, but don't beat yourself up. I'll keep my fingers cross too that Tidget appears at your door soon!

Alyson said...

Oh, you must be beside yourself - I'm so sorry! I hope no one ever tries to make you feel like this is remotely neglectful on your part; it's amazing what can happen in just a few seconds and it's so easy to not be mindful on high alert for just for a moment. I lost one of my little dogs several years ago; she was trained well to stay in the yard off the leash but I never took my eye off her when she was outside, except for one time. I lived in the middle of 100 acres of orange groves in Nowheresville and she took off in the split second while I hit "answer" on my phone. Gators, owls, fox, all sorts of predators around there, not to mention large land-protective dogs on other properties, and my little seven pounder up against all that? I sobbed until my eyes swelled shut. Somehow, after a sleepless night and into the next afternoon, when I was on the phone for the umpteenth time wailing to my mom about all the things that could have happened to her, there was a scratch at the door - she was home, dirty but seeming thrilled about her adventure. She'd done me a huge favor, reminding me how important she was to me (lately I'd been terribly busy with work and what I saw as a social life and hadn't been as mindful of her as I should have been). But sometimes even years later I still look at her and see that same look that I saw when I opened the door, and I tear up and scoop her up and love on her until she's scrambling to get away. I'm hoping against all hope that Tidget too is more survivalist than expected, and when she's had enough of her adventure, she'll head back home.

Big hugs and lots of hope...

SJ said...

Oh Dave, I'm so sorry. You are anything but an irresponsible pet owner, and the pain that you're feeling now only reinforces that. I will think good thoughts and hope that someone is taking good care of Tidget and just hasn't made it to the Humane Society yet.

lexa said...

I do so hope your Tidget comes back! Maybe she's just having a little adventure. One of my former bosses had a cat called Marbles. She had moved from town to a house about ten minnutes outside of town. Marbles disappeared for four months, S was convinced coyotes got her. They were watching tv one night, and a little face popped up in the window. Marbles was back! She was a little thinner, but she was back.

Prayers for a happy reunion for you!

LaurieM said...

You are not a crappy owner!! You only made a very small mistake. It could happen to anyone. Please forgive yourself.

I hope everything works out and that Tidget is okay.

Julie said...

Hey, you're only human. Tidget may come home yet or she may be snuggly warm in someone else's house. I've adopted my fair share of strays but did always look for missing cat signs- have you posted signs?

Jolene said...

just. breathe. repeat.

It's very obvious from your story that you are a supremely devoted pet owner, don't beat yourself up too much ok? I hope your Tidget comes home soon. Accidents happen, and cats are known to escape/adventure sometimes.

*hugs for you*

Susan said...

You can't blame yourself, Dave... they're so sneaky and quick, us humans don't stand a chance. Every day it's a battle for me to sneak in and out of the house without a cat squeaking past... it happens so quickly and they are so persistent!
I hope she comes back after a wild fling with the great outdoors. Please keep us posted.

Tara said...

Please try to stop beating yourself up. I know you feel terrible, but it really isn't your fault. You are a good man and a good pet owner and with luck Tidget will be home soon. I will keep you both in my thoughts.

Joansie said...

I really do hope your kitty returns home. I feel your pain. It happened to me many years ago and I am happy to report my kitty returned home after a few days.

EGunn said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! I know (as only another cat owner can) that you're not a bad pet owner...when the cat wants out, the cat will find a way out. They are just so fast! (We've even had a shelter kitten manage to get locked in a wall when we had a maintenance guy come into our apartment...that was an exciting day.) Here's hoping she comes back soon!

Kay-From the Back Yard said...

So sorry, Dave.

I know what you are feeling. We had a parakeet we rescued from the great outdoors and kept in our sunroom. He loved to be in his cage out on the deck, so I would often move it out there. But one Spring day I forgot that the cage door was left open, and he was free to the great outdoors again. I tried leaving the cage there with food for some time, and even heard him in a tree, calling me with his "wolf whistle." I never saw him again and after that vowed to be more careful about those I loved, too.

Hope you find Tidget.

Mary Lou said...

Don't beat yourself up - you have given that cat a good life, and she'll probably be back for more!

Mag said...

I've had cats run off for weeks and come home OK. I don't want you to beat yourself up about it. It could happen to anyone. Thank you for the PSA and the lovely details about your kitty's personality.

Javajem said...

I am so sorry to hear! You never know - the cat may just be hiding out somewhere and will return home soon.

Don't be so hard on yourself - it could happend to anyone.

Take care.

Norma said...

How could/would ANYONE ever criticize you for being a bad pet parent? You are obviously just the opposite. Momentary lapses -- I can tell you about a lot I've had with the little pup I'm sharing a home with. We just can't be even MORE super-human than we already are, we can only do our best, and can't anticipate every conceivable (and even many that aren't conceivable) thing. I can only imagine the grief and worry you are experiencing, and wondering how she must be faring out in the big wide scary world. Fingers crossed for her and you.

Charity said...

Oh, Dave, I'm so sorry. Thank you for the reminder - you're right - we hold so much responsibility at times, and just don't think about it.

Here's hoping Tidget will be home safe & sound in no time.

KnitNana said...

Oh, Dave. Oh...my heart is broken for you.
Sweet Tidget. I hope and pray she'll be back soon, that someone finds her and brings her home.
And you're all in my prayers.
(you are NOT a bad pet owner...you're a human being and we're just not perfect, even if we wish we were)
((((((((hugs))))))))

knottygnome said...

i'm so sorry to hear about your cat escape! hopefully she will be back soon, safe and sound.

Jen said...

*hugs* Poor Tidget! I hope she turns up all right...she could very well be hanging in there still.

I feel bad enough when one of mine slips past a forbidden door in the house - well, okay, frustrated with her first and then bad afterwards that I let the opportunity happen. And I'm lucky that they're both horrified of the outdoors. I can't even imagine...

Kristen said...

Oh Dave, please please please forgive yourself. I know it feels impossible right now, but you can't do everything at once, and you're not expected to.

I have a friend whose cat escaped in a similar fashion a couple of months ago, and this week he showed back up again. Sometimes they just need to explore, I guess. I'm hoping with all my heart that Tidget makes her way back to you, safe and sound, as quickly as possible. ♥

knitalot3 said...

I hope you get her back safe and sound. If not, I hope she is okay and happy wherever she is. I'm sorry this happened.

Rows Red said...

You are I are strangers, but I hope that I can adequately convey that this fact doesn't change how much my heart goes out to you. I was raised with pets as furbabies. They are our companions and friends, in so many ways. So I get it, I really do. I'm sincerely sorry for your loss. It's a hole in your heart for a very, very long time.

You're right, the actions people take can have profound impacts. We let our dogs out one night (rural area) to do their business, as we had every night and day for years, and they didn't come back. The next morning we found they'd both been hit by cars, lured by neighboring children whom we TOLD to please not feed our dogs hot dogs, tempting them to cross the rural highway. Our dogs had miles of woods to roam in happily, which they'd always stayed within until then. I know those kids didn't mean any harm, they just liked our dogs. But our dogs still ended up dead.

*sigh* Sharing this won't make you feel any better. But maybe hearing from a stranger that you are not a bad person will help? You're a good pet owner, you are obviously filled with compassion and love, and sometimes accidents happen. I hope you can forgive yourself someday.

melissa said...

this just breaks my heart. thanks for the reminder, and i really, truly hope your story has a happy ending!

Bea said...

Hi Dave,

don't give up too early.
She might come back even after some weeks.

I'm pressing thumbs for you.

Bea

Cookie said...

Oh, Dave. I am so sorry. Please don't be too hard on yourself. We all have moments where we relax with our pets and sometimes something happens. It's part of being human.

xo

Karen said...

Oh, how horrible for you and your kitty -- I've been there, and it's no fun. I should tell you, though, that even though four days seems like an eternity, we once lost a very shy, very skittish little Abyssinian, for three and a half weeks. We got her back when the owners of the Glebe Meat Market called to tell us Ponnie was living in his Dumpster, being fed meat scraps by his staff. We never let her out again, and she lived to be 20. So don't give up hope, and remember that kind people will often feed a stray, or take her in, especially at this time of year. Hugs to you.

Stephanie said...

Oh Dave, I'm so sorry to hear Tidget has gotten out - I do hope she finds her way home safely to you soon! Our cat got out once - he bolted for the door, and then promptly freaked out at being outside. We thought he was done for, being a strictly indoors cat - luckily he did find his way back. I'll be thinking of you and your Tidget, hoping she comes home soon!

myboringblog said...

It happens to all of us so thank you for the reminder. My first appt had a door that stopped latching and I didn't realize it until I came home one day to find it open with Peaches and Callie sitting on the outside step. I got lucky that they were kittens and didn't feel adventurous. Now I always push on the door after closing to double check even though I'm 6 residences later. And last summer Nimitz got out of the house we were at because he was alone and scared and wanted to find me. He was gone all day and all night in a strange neighborhood and he still managed to find his way back to the strange house to find me. It was the worst day of my life and I will never forgive myself but it's something that has to be let go to be able to function. I'll be thinking of you and hoping that Tidget comes home to you very soon.

Kathy... said...

So sorry, and hoping for a happy ending to this story. Don't be hard on yourself...we humans are just that - human.

mildawg said...

Dave - it breaks my heart to hear that you're beating yourself up about this. It was a split-second, and yes, you may regret it, but you are *not* a crappy pet owner. Reading through your post, it never even popped into my head to tell you off.
I really hope you and Tidget are happily reunited. I wish you the best.

KellyD said...

I am so sorry this has happened and I now have that "bottom of my stomach just dropped to my knees" feeling too. and I dont even like cats. But damn. I'm so sorry Dave.

Natalie Servant said...

Dave, sorry to read the news. Hope Tidget finds her way home. And thanks for the warning against inattention.

Judy Becker said...

Oh, so sorry, Dave. But don't beat yourself up. You are a wonderful cat parent. I hope that Tidget finds her way back very soon.

My son left the back door open once years ago. I saw a big yellow cat run past the window and thought how funny it was that there was another cat who looked just like Captain Kidd. Of course, it was Kidd. He had never been outside in his life and was completely panicked because he couldn't figure out how to get back in. He was so scared he wouldn't come to either of us, but just kept running around the outside of the house. We finally cornered him under a rose bush. It was dark, rainy, muddy, and cold; and the first thing I did was dump him in the sink and give him a bath. Phoebe was asleep in a chair and she never moved through the whole ordeal. Kidd's never tried to get out since. Moo Cow, though... I have to watch her very carefully and I'm always afraid that some day she'll get out and I won't know it.

Sending a hug to you and Muushuu and good thoughts that Tidget will be back soon with adventures to tell.

Angela said...

I truly hope she makes her way back to you. You are not a terrible pet owner at all. Things happen, we make mistakes. I have four indoor kitties, so I feel your pain. Positive thoughts she makes it home. I once had a kitty get out and she was missing for two weeks, once I gave up hope she came back, she's now 13 years old and with me still.

Terri said...

Dave, keeping my fingers crossed that she'll be sitting on your step any moment, waiting to be let back in. Don't give up. (yarnagogo Rachael's kitty Digit was missing for something like 18 months, but he came back)

Jeanne said...

I'm so sorry - I hope it all turns out well and that she comes home safe and sound.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

I'm so sorry.

Pat said...

I'm sorry Dave.

Dolores said...

She could be very nearby. My cat has gotten out and was so close, just hiding out. Don't give up; she'll be back. Just keep looking!

ropergirl3 said...

oh dear I never comment, but I had to, I am so sorry, I will pray your sweet kitty is safe wherever that is!!!

P said...

I love to read your blog, even though I hardly ever comment... maybe this is the first time. But I just wanted to say I hope you find Tidget, and I'll hope really really hard. Consider this me mentally squeezing your hand across the long wires of the internets. Hang in there.

Laurel said...

Dave, I'm so sorry to hear this. But I wanted to give you hope--a huge number of cats don't go any further than 3 houses away, but remain silent and won't come out for some strange feline reason. A woman who has been in business for quite a while using tracking dogs to discover lost pets has found this out. See these links (the first one's her foundation): http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-lostcat.php
http://www.katalbrecht.com/faq.php

Whatever happens, please don't beat yourself up. Cats are curious creatures and when they're not allowed somewhere, that's where they want to go the most. I hope you find her soon.

Valerie said...

Oh, man.. I've been through this, and it's so tough. Will keep good thoughts out for Tidget and am sending lots of warm thoughts for you, too... You don't deserve the guilt feelings, but I know how they come anyway. Thinking of you both.

Linda 'K' said...

I know your heart is aching and you're blaming yourself awfully hard when you seem like a paragon of animal companion care. Don't lose heart - two of my friends had their cats leave and both had them come home 6 months later! One was an indoor/outdoor and one was totally an indoor. T may be holed up somewhere waiting out the nasty weather. It's heartbreaking but it's not over yet.

Vickie said...

A few years ago our cat let himself out of the sliding screen door. Literally opened it himself. Since then we lock the screen door. About 5 days later he walked back like nothing had happened, although we had been scouring the neighbourhood. He acted like nothing had happened.
I am really hoping you have the same happy event.

Nora said...

Thinking of you both. xx

Lorette said...

Oh dear, there's not much I can add that hasn't been said, but be kind to yourself. These things happen in the blink of an eye. One of the hardest things about loving another being is the knowledge that it can all go away in a second. And I had a lost kitty that found her way home after about 3 months, very skinny, but happy as a clam to be back. You never know.

Magicat said...

I'm so sorry Dave! Have you tried leaving food outside the house? Sometimes kitties will look around their house for a way to get back in and food can lure them to stay long enough to find them. If you're desperate you could also get a cat trap from animal control (it may not work and you might get a skunk but it's hopeful)! I just adopted a cockatiel that was lost outside, I felt so bad for the previous owners but there was no way to locate them. Now she's very happy and safe. At least your kitty is tagged, so don't give up, sometimes they just come home after weeks and weeks out of nowhere!

laura said...

Dave, I agree--put some food out.

This might sound disgusting but leave a shoe outside or something she sniffs all the time. She can smell it and KNOW she's home if you put it outside perhaps.

There's no way in hell I'd ever THINK you're a terrible pet owner. I'm certainly thinking of you and your family. PLEASE let us know of any progress

Carrie K said...

Dave, I'm so sorry!

AuntieAnn said...

I'm so very sorry. I hope she turns up, safe and sound. It could still happen.

Sarah said...

I am very sorry to read of your plight.

A couple months ago, I opened a window in my new, ground-level apartment, assuming that there was a screen. My indoor cat, Jude, came into the room with me. After a while I realized I hadn't seen him for some time, and to my horror, after searching the apartment, I found the window had no screen, and Jude had no doubt escaped. I was very lucky, because my fiancé found Jude near the next door apartment, apparently conversing with another cat. He managed to scoop Jude up without incident and bring him back.

I've had other cats, too, who have gotten out when they shouldn't have. One Very Very stupid indoor cat, Luna, got out one September. The dumb cat didn't seem to recognize any of us outside the house and would run away if we ever approached, but she did stay near the house, living mostly under the back porch. She stayed outside All Winter. We tried to leave food for her, but often the other neighborhood cats would get to it first. After that whole winter, and several pounds lighter, Luna wandered into the garage, where my mother was able to trap her and bring her inside. Once she returned home, Luna recognized us all again, and was very happy. I guess the moral of that story is that an incredibly dim cat with only indoor experience can survive an entire New England winter outdoors.

For what it's worth, I don't think you should blame yourself. You are and have been a caring and mindful owner. If your cat seized one brief, incredibly fleeting opportunity to taste the great outdoors, I do not hold you accountable for that.

I truly hope that Tidget returns to you soon, safe and sound.

Terby said...

They say cats have nine lives. Like everyone before me, I'm hopeful Tidget will return to you.

Bea said...

mhmhmmmmmmmmm ..... she seems not to be back yet.

Still pressing thumbs for you.

Bea

woolamina said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I think it sounds like you do a wonderful job caring for your pets. I hope that a kind soul finds her and brings her back...

Elizabeth Delisi said...

Sending prayers for Tidget's safe return. We had a cat once who disappeared for three weeks and then came home, skinny and dirty, but happy. I hope you have the same happy ending.

knithound brooklyn said...

Oh, no. I really hope she finds her way home. I can only imagine the anguish you are experiencing. My prayers...

Penny said...

Oh Dave! Having just opened my heart to a new furry little friend {{HUGS}}

Marjorie said...

Oh, I am so sorry. But don't give up hope; she may come back. One of my apartment cats managed to get out and onto the roof, and I found her there (after searching in every other conceivable way).

Denise K said...

Sending positive thoughts to you and Tidget - when my dog was lost the only thing i prayed for was for her to be safe. She was on the streets of Los Angeles over a week and she was returned to me.

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Her name wa Titian, she was an 8 year old indoor cat. It was raining, I was in my sock feet and she just looked at me from the back yard when I called. I never saw her again.

That was about 10 years ago....I know how you feel.

Teyani said...

sending a big hug Dave.. just a hug.
I, too, am a cat lover, cat owner, and I know just how quickly they can escape.
All of them, even the most spoiled, pampered, beloved, indoor cats will make a scamper for the door if they get even a hair's breath of a chance. goofy silly creatures.

I am so truly sorry that your heart has to break this way.
May you find comfort somehow..
(hugs)) of understanding.