Before 7 AM yesterday morning our brand new cat , Harold had gone missing. The night before he was super lovey and hung out with me on the bed. My husband watched the cat run down the stairs in front of him and then disappear to the right at the bottom of the stairs. For some reason the basement door was ajar, we guessed he went down there. We searched in vain with a flashlight in those tiny spaces only a cat would think to go without luck. Both of us figured Harold would come out when he was a bit thirsty or hungry. How wrong we were. My husband left for work and I put a small amount of tuna fish in a bowl in hopes of luring him out.
I had to go help my oldest sit on the potty. After she was done, the toilet decided it wasn't even going to try and flush. I went down into the basement calling for the cat and found the toilet plunger. Back in the bathroom I used the plunger correctly and yet the toilet disagreed with me. Instead of pushing the water down into the pipes it sprayed disgusting water all over my pants. Great I thought, strike two. Finally, I got the toilet cleared and changed my clothes.
Still we have no cat sightings or even nibbles at the tuna fish.
I noticed we had a phone message so I listened. It was our occupational therapist suggesting that she come at 3 for a therapy appointment with my oldest. She gave her mobile and office number. What did my finger do without writing down the numbers? Unconsciously, I hit the erase button. So, I called her home number and low and behold her son answered. I gave him the message and HOPED he would give it to her. I was wrong again. Our OT never got the message it would seem and didn't show up to our house at the appointed time.
And we still have no cat.
The kids asked to run around the house in circles. I opened up all the gates and off they went. In all the camotion I heard a knock at the door and without stopping to look out the window I opened the door. BIG MISTAKE. Standing there was Jane. I have asked Jane repeatedly not to just show uninvited and yet she refuses to respect this. Last time she appeared I just didn't answer the door. Mean? Of course it is but I seriously have nothing in common with my adoptive mother and actually don't want to expose my children to her weird sense of reality. Jane brought with her a birthday present for my youngest. Yet another freaking copy of "Good Night Seattle". Wonderful the 3rd copy we have gotten. And when she read the book to my kids? She was literally yelling and not even getting the few simple words on the page correct. My three year old was correcting her! Oh, and Jane also managed to bring cut flowers with her. A very nice gesture, but the 2 types in her bouquet were incredibly fragrant. So much so that in under 2 minutes of them being in my house I was sneezing. I wish I was kidding. I finally got her out of my house.
Still no sign of the cat. In fact I went down in the basement and moved some stuff around. No luck. I was fearing Harold was lying dead beside the road. How he would have gotten outside I do not know but since I couldn't find him anywhere, that is where my head went.
The sun finally came out in the afternoon, so I took the kids outside. I knew they needed some swing time and I thought maybe the cat would appear once it was super quiet in the house. We spent a good hour outside. There was swinging and dirt digging. I of course had to remind my youngest not to try and eat the rocks, which she thinks is super funny. When it was time to go inside for a snack, I was taking my son out of the swing and that's when I discovered some bird had pooped on him. Bright purple berry bird poop starting at his shoulder and going down his arm. I thought to myself "really? did we need this to happen?" Out loud I told my son it was good luck to be pooped on by a bird and we would be changing his shirt.
No signs of cat, it is now almost 3:30 in the afternoon.
My husband left work early and printed up fliers to put around the neighborhood. When he got home I sent him down into the basement for one last time. I told him to tear the place apart because we have obviously failed as humans. The kids and I were upstairs and we could hear all the rustling coming up from the basement. I don't know if it was 15 minutes or a half hour that had passed. In that time I wrote to My Ballard, our neighborhood website to ask them to post an alert about our cat and sent them a picture of Harold. All of a sudden my husband is yelling from the basement. He has found Harold, come down here and see. I left the kids and went down there. Behind the bar we have in the rec room (the previous owner was a bartender at the Elks club and she liked to hold parties) there are a ton of boxes that we put there right before the remodel of house. That was two years ago and we haven't sorted through since then. Harold somehow managed to get himself wedged on the lowest shelf of the bar behind all the boxes and a giant container of popcorn kernels. How he got there I am not really sure. He definitely would not have been able to get back out again. If my husband hadn't been removing things and moving boxes around we seriously would never have found him. And when we did find him, it was like he had never seen us before. Harold was scared out of his mind. He darted out of his hiding place and sprinted behind a shelf holding paint. We got him out of there and he wedged himself into the smallest spot under the basement stairs. I literally had to poke the poor cat with a short stick to get him out of there. Finally he managed to run up all the stairs. He made it to the second floor and instead of running into his safety room at the top of the stairs. He bypassed that room and went into our bedroom and under the bed. I got him out of there but he once again ran past his chosen room for my son's room. I got him out and back into the room with his litter box and food. Once back there in his closet, Harold still looked at me as if he'd never seen me before. 3 hours later after the kids were in bed, Harold came out of my oldest's room meowing and acting like the cat from the previous night. My husband and I are starting to wonder if he's got multiple personalities or something.
And this morning, can you guess where Mr. Harold Houdini was? The front hall closet. Silly cat.
Yesterday was a horrible day, and I knew in the moment it would be funny later. Just not right then.