About 5.30 this afternoon, I realised our little cat, Pepe, who has never been allowed outside after dark, had not been seen since this morning, so went out to look for her.
A quick check of the garden yielded no joy, so I went into the forest behind our house with her favourite noisy toy, still no joy. I checked the garage as I'd been working on the car earlier; while she has never gone into the garage before or shown any interest at all, I thought it worth a look. No sign.
Starting to worry, as it was now dark and she had been away from the house for about 10 hours (the longest she's been out before is about an hour and a half), I began searching the house. My boyfriend was now home, so he went out to do another search of the forest.
8.30 and she still couldn't be found, nor was there any response to any of the things she will normally come running for from wherever she is (the laser pen chain, a rubbery toy with a bell on it, her box of biscuit treats, etc). I was in tears at this point, thinking she'd got treed somewhere or something (it might sound over the top for what, in cat terms, is a relatively short time away, but Pepe never goes more than about 100m from the house, and never for more than brief stints), when my boyfriend starting doing the double checks one does when the first check was done by someone else (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, it's not the same as seeing with your own eyes). When he checked the garage, she poked her head out of a box of old books due to go to the charity shop at the back of the garage. The box was taped shut; to get in, she had squeezed through a tiny gap where the tape had peeled away from the cardboard, and was probably asleep when I checked the first time. I never in a thousand years would have thought she'd get in there, and can't believe I didn't hear her scrabbling around when I was working on the car. Probably too busy swearing at the car
Just thought I'd share this, more for than anything for the sake of sharing my HUGE sense of relief when my boyfriend walked in carrying a wide-eyed and struggling Pepe, but also as a cautionary tale for folks looking for strayed cats; don't pass over anything as a hiding place, cos if this proves anything, it's that they're better at hiding than we might sometimes think!
Little ratbags aren't they (grin)
I got a phone call one time, a frantic "my kitten is lost, please help me search !!!".
The kitten was only about 9 weeks old so it was important he be found quickly. I got there, with one of my d*gs [ the kitten already knew and adored her ], and there were several others there to help - a veritable posse !!
We took sections to search, but couldn't find him - a black kitten at night, lots of shrubs and bushes, and a field backing onto the garden, so needle in a haystack came to mind. The woman was near hysterical at this point, so I took her indoors for a cup of tea. My d*g mooched around as normal in the room we were in.
Then she plodded up the stairs, which was unusual, as she preferred keeping me in sight. I followed her up to see her stop in front of a chest of drawers, which she just stared at intently. I called the woman, she opened the draw, and there was kitten, fast asleep in the woman's undies !!
I still giggle when I think of that little episode (grin)