No, not the musical. Actual cats. See, that’s what has been distracting me from posting here. Let me start at the beginning.
For the last few weeks The Keeper has been talking about getting pets. We’d thought about getting a couple rabbits when we first moved to our current location, but that never actually ended up happening. Then he started talking about dogs and cats (the only animals we would have to pay a pet deposit and pet rent for…) a few weeks ago. He’s never been terribly enthusiastic about pets, having never had any growing up, since most of his interactions with animals before he met me had been negative. But all of a sudden he was enthusiastic and his enthusiasm made me really want a pet too. So we waffled back and forth between waiting till I have a job or not and between cats or dogs or bunnies. The Keeper decided he could afford to foot the initial bills for pets and he didn’t want to wait and have it never happen, so we decided to start searching immediately.
Then we decided that our apartment isn’t really ideal for rabbits. I’d read that the cage should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from vents/radiators. Because of the way we have our furniture arranged, that meant the cage couldn’t be in the office or the living room area. I didn’t think it was a good idea to keep them in the dining area because of fur getting in food and any animal waste smells. Also didn’t want them in the bedroom because of smell and because The Keeper is a light sleeper as it is and we weren’t sure how much noise rabbits make at night. That left one little space in the hallway where we weren’t entirely sure a cage would even fit comfortably. So that was the end of the rabbit idea.
So the decision was between cats or dogs. Cats won out because we figured cats would deal better with being left alone for hours and hours during the day, plus we wouldn’t have to get up ultra early in order to take them for walks.
Once we decided on the what, we needed to find the animals we wanted. That was WAY more difficult than I was expecting. It seems like no one who lists animals on Petfinder is capable of taking decent pictures, so that made things a little difficult when we were trying to find cats we wanted to go visit. Plus, The Keeper wanted a grey cat. Like Russian Blue coloring, all grey. I like that coloring too, but he wouldn’t budge on this and at first we didn’t seem to be having a lot of luck finding greys we both agreed on. We also had some trouble deciding whether we wanted kittens or young cats. Kittens had the advantage of being friggin adorable, but a lot of the ones we were seeing online were too young to have been fixed yet and it wasn’t clear with a lot of the rescues whether the spaying/neutering would be part of the adoption fee and we’d have to bring them back for that and not pay more or if we’d have to foot the bill for surgery ourselves. The Keeper was willing to pay for the adoption and the pet deposit and all, but he wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of having to pay anywhere between $200 and $800 within a few weeks of adoption to get them fixed. And I can’t really blame him, especially considering there were plenty of slightly older kittens to choose from who’d already had their surgeries.
Anyway, to cut a somewhat boring story short, we finally found a couple cats and put applications in for them on Saturday. The woman who was fostering the grey called the next morning to let us know that they would both be at a Petsmart down in Woodbridge for an adoption event that day if we wanted to go meet them. We went and loved the grey, but the other cat we’d been interested in didn’t seem very friendly. We ended up bringing one of the grey’s foster-mates home with him instead.
Now, the foster owner had told us that the grey would take a while to warm up and might hide a lot the first couple weeks, but she didn’t really give us any specifics of how to make him comfortable or what to do when we got him home and he refused to come out of his carrier. The little calico/tortie shot right out of her carrier and started exploring, but the grey scrunched as far back in his as he could and wouldn’t budge. We were a little worried and went over a couple times to try and coax him out, but we figured he’d most likely venture out after we went to bed and hide somewhere in the apartment. I even made sure there were a couple places he could use to hide before we went to sleep. And we were right, he did come out in the middle of the night some time. And he ended up hiding under the bed. That worried us a little because we had had to close the bedroom door the night before in order for The Keeper to get some sleep (the calico/tortie kept clawing at his feet and his has a low threshold for pain) and we didn’t want to do that again if it meant trapping the grey away from the litter box. Fortunately The Keeper was a little more relaxed and so was the calico/tortie that second night and we were able to leave the bedroom door open.
The next morning we were intending to get him out from under the bed if he hadn’t done so on his own and then I was going to try some of the suggestions the foster owner had emailed me to make him a little more comfortable. The Keeper got up for work and couldn’t find him anywhere in the bedroom, so he shut the door and went on to work. A few hours later I went looking for our little scaredy cat and couldn’t find him. Anywhere. I thought maybe he’d just found some extra hidden place, so I started playing a video game to distract me from worrying. But then when The Keeper got home and couldn’t find him either we started worrying that maybe he’d gotten out of the apartment that morning when The Keeper was groggily leaving for work.
At that point The Keeper printed up a flier and went to ask around our hall and down at the front desk to see if anyone had seen him. I pretty much had a nervous breakdown. We’d only had him two days and he’d gotten lost? No one would ever trust us to adopt a pet again. And what if someone had taken him? Or he’d gotten hurt? And really the worst part was that I knew it didn’t make any sense. None of it made sense. We looked EVERYWHERE for him. We even took the mattress and box springs off the bed because we thought maybe he’d found or torn a hole in the lining under there and crawled inside. So we were so sure he wasn’t here. But it didn’t make sense for him to get out either. Every time we’d gotten close to him when he was in the carrier or under the bed, he’d backed away as far as he could. He wouldn’t have just run past The Keeper to get out. And even if he had, there is nowhere to hide in the hallway. Plus, we’re in the middle of the building far away from any of the branches in the hall. He couldn’t have possibly run so fast that he could have gotten out of sight down a branch of the hall without The Keeper hearing and seeing him. It just didn’t make sense.
Today The Keeper posted one of the fliers by the elevators even though that’s not actually allowed. I got up at 9am to take it down, since the idea was just to make sure people saw it on their way out to work. When I got back I got back in bed and tried to stay as quiet and still as possible, just in case we were wrong and he was still somewhere in the apartment. I didn’t hear anything that I could be certain was him, so finally at about 12:30 I got up because I needed to take my birth control. Then at about 1:25 I looked for him again, just in case. And I found him! The little bastard was under the bed again!
Now The Keeper wants to name him Houdini.