It was a few months back when I first started noticing evidence of an intruder in my house. It would go away for awhile and come back to broken cups and rolls of toilet paper tossed onto the floor. A while more, and I started noticing cat poo in unexpected parts of the house. Some time passed and I realized that this vagabond cat wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. The messes got bigger and the droppings kept coming. What was first only a minor annoyance was quickly becoming a problem I would need to deal with.
But, like most things, events and people, I ignored it. Not really intentionally, I was just really busy. Does the story sound familiar? The mysterious little kitty that I KNEW was sneaking into my house would have to stay that way. After all, if I wasn't living there, then it seemed fair if something else did. Which isn't saying that I didn't TRY to find the dang thing. I looked everywhere- upstairs, downstairs, in the cupboards, in the attic, up the bookshelf, in the bathtub, behind the stove, in the crawl spaces...etc etc. It just so happens that for months, the only true evidence I had that the cat even existed was the little haphazard paw prints which started showing up everywhere. Indeed, they taunted me at every turn.
One time, I mistakenly left a container filled with dog food there. Magically enough, little muddy paw prints were found all over the lid running off into the kitchen.
One time I saw it right after it snowed as it dodged into my house and into its mysterious hiding spot. The prints left in the snow looked like it was caused by weighted feathers.
Once I caught a glimpse of her sitting on the window sill as I was coming into the house. I stared at her contemplating whether or not to open the door, because I knew the moment that I did, she would run off and escape. So for about 15 minutes she caught my eye and we had a stare off (which by the way....is a silly thing to do with cats. They always win!). I remember these giant green saucers of eyes just looking at me. I thought, wow this cat either half wild or half crazy. If there wasn't a wall and a window between us I felt certain that she would have jumped at my throat. Needless to say, I eventually had to break and go inside the house. Like I had expected, she jumped off and ran away faster than I could catch her.
But then I hatched a plan. There were only two possible ways that she was getting upstairs into the house. The first was through the vent in the living room and the second was in the utility room where she was sneaking around the panel underneath the bathtub. Well I thought I would be clever and seal off the route to the bath tub and then she would either be upstairs or down in the basement. I asked my mom to help me, and the plan was to isolate her location and then to catch her.
Something went wrong though. I sealed off the bathtub route and we proceeded to check the entire house and basement for the little kitty. But there was no kitty to be found. After 3 hours of searching we gave up. I figured that she must have found another escape, one that we did not know about.
A few days went by and my mom came to me. "We NEED to find that cat. Maybe it's trapped somewhere."
And then it dawned on me...what if there was no escape route from the bathtub. What if when I closed it off, I really sealed her inside! The thought terrified me. I grabbed my shoes and my mom and we sped off for the house.
Once we got there I immediately went to the bathroom panel and pried it free with a screw driver. Laying there curled around a pipe was this little grey furball, cold and unmoving.
Oh no. "Mom, she's dead." I said as I went to pull her body up. Her legs were wrapped in such a way that I thought I would break them pulling her up. I had tears welling up in my eyes as I finally pried her free. She was dead, and it was all my fault. I left her there to die in a cold, dark hole before Christmas.
But then something wonderful happened. The poor thing lifted up her head and tried to meow...not having the energy she quickly collapsed again in my arms.
And my mom grabbed her, "We need to get her to the vet NOW or she IS going to die."
Soon we were speeding away going to the vet. The whole time my mom was saying, "Oh no, I don't think she's going to make it. She's too cold!"
But I refused. "No, she has to make it."
As we handed her to the vet tech, I knew that there was a good possibility that she wouldn't. They said they would do the best they could, but in all reality, she was half dead. There was nothing left to do but pray and hope. Only time would tell what her fate would be.
As fate would have it though, she made a miraculous recovery. What was immediately uncertain going into the vet's office came to 180 degree about turn by the next morning. They didn't think she would survive the night, but in the morning she was up eating food and using the litter box.
WHAT? Is this the same kitten I found yesterday clinging to life? Why yes. The force is especially strong with this one. A week later and she is still severely emaciated, but she has this cute little pudge belly that is forming. She is even taking to dry food and hissing at my dog (Ani looks at me as if to say,"Mom, must we really bring in ANOTHER animal?") To which I have to reply, yes. This is the tale of the Christmas Kitty, which we thought to be dead but whom we brought back to life.
I named her Lucy.