Fred, Bobbie & Me

Missing Cat!

His name is Fred.

He’s all orange, weighs about 18 pounds, his right ear has multiple stiches from a recent surgery.  He lives in 8C. If you have seen him, if you have rescued or fed him, if you can be of any help in reuniting him with us, please knock on or door or phone us.

Thank you.

**********************************************************

That was the poster I taped up in our building’s lobby and mail room at about 11:15 last night.  Fred had been missing all day, something that didn’t concern me at all.  I have  firm belief in the viability and mischievousness of cats.  Growing up with some input from the world of folk music, at times like these I remembered:
The cat came back the very next day
We thought he was a goner
But the kitty came back
‘Cause he wouldn’t stay away.

Bobbie, my beloved RN and soon to be FNP, wasn’t raised that way.  Late afternoon when I biked back from visiting friends in Brooklyn, she informed me that

1. The  UConn women had won in their first round NCAA appearance, and
2. (as mentioned above) Fred was nowhere to be seen all day.
3. She had searched the apartment more than once and, yes, no Fred.
4. We must find Fred.  He’d been operated on for an aural hematoma.  He’d wriggled free of the collar he’d been given to prevent scratching and, without Nurse Bobbie and my monitoring, might scratch the wounds open.  Furthermore, he was in need of various medicines and cleansing ear drops and let’s not forget his daily dose of heart medication.

OK, so the evening search began.  More than once every conceivable inch of our 3.5 room palace eight floors above Amsterdam Avenue was scoured.  Furniture was moved.  Things were crawled under and peered over.  Through all this Bobbie kept drilling me and my faulty memory:

* When did you  last see Fred?
Ans: I don’t remember.

* When you took in the newspapers (we get two on         Sundays) could he have gotten out?
Ans: No.
* When you emptied the litter–you did empty the litter?–could he have gone out into         the back hall?
Ans. No dammit!…Well maybe he did!

Here’s where I knew better than to argue or even get cute.  Especially since I didn’t remember the tune to “The Cat Came Back.”   And so began:

The Hunt: Phase II

•    First the back hallway.  Walk down from 8 to the ground, peering behind every bit of discarded trash, every bag of garbage, every bicycle and baby carriage.
•     Then the elevator to the penthouse and down from there another eight stories to our floor.
•    Back to the elevator, back to the penthouse and down the center staircase, stopping to inspect each floor before proceeding down the 17 steps to the next floor.
•    A talk with Americo, our doorman, who hadn’t seen Fred but would be on the lookout.  “And don’t worry,” he told me.  Other tenants had come to him with concerns about missing cats, and they–the cats, that is–always turned  up in the apartment.  I didn’t remind him of Seti, my cat before Fred, who spent a full week lost in the apartment 2 floors below me, a place so filled with possessions that if Fred hadn’t eaten their dog’s food, scared their mynah to death and pissed on a couch they never would have known he was there.
•    Anyhow back to the penthouse and the final set of sixteen flights back to earth.  No Fred.

I returned to the apartment, leg weary yet confident that by now Fred had turned up and Bobbie was past the “Thank God” phase and well into the “You scared the shit out of us!” phase.

Wrong.

When I made my report and started for the computer to distract myself–actually turning down a slice of freshly made lemon meringue pie–mmm, lemon melange pie–Bobbie went to the couch and began to cry.  Bobbie loves Fred in a way and to a depth I’ll never experience or understand.  No soothing was going to work, so I joined her and suggested another search of the apartment.  She agreed and we went to it, looking on top of, along side of, and under everything that could be so treated.  We moved the bed to look under it.  We crawled around the closets moving things with names we’d long forgotten.  More than once we found ourselves face-to-face with enough abandoned cat hair to build a new, if gray, Fred.  No Fred.

“Aha,” I began as if I actually had made a discovery of note.  “Aha, I’ll bet someone found him in the building and took him in.  I’ll make a posters, put them in the lobby and mail room, and before you know it he’ll be there at the door.”  She agreed, and the poster above was made and taped up.

I returned–not at all believing that someone had found him and having no doubt that he was not in the apartment and not wanting to not believe.  I began putting away the laundry she’d done earlier when I heard an “Unh!” from the living room.  Not a “Eureka!” unh, just an unh.

“What?”

“Unh!”

Yes, upon entering the living room there was my beloved and, in her arms, her beloved.

“I looked in the doorway between the living room and the kitchen,” she says, “and there he was!”

Wherever he had been, there he was.

The Happy End

 

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Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 5:01 am  Comments (14)  

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hooray! What is a house without it’s Fred?

    Like

  2. So glad you found him! …but he wasn’t lost…just hiding from surgical ministrations perhaps?

    Like

  3. I guess God and cats work(s) in mysterious ways. I am still convinced that Fred has found a way to hide under the bed withour being seen easily. That is why he is banned from the bedroom at this time. He is on the living room chair, undoubtedly trying to figure out yet another way to escape my firm, loving grasp while I clean his sutured ear twice daily. He growls and tries to shake his ear, but doesn’t fight as much as usual. He’s just laughing inside, having duped the humans once again.

    Like

  4. This from Judith:

    It looks like he’s paid you back for putting him in the hospital and
    having to wear the collar. I’m glad he decided to come out of hiding.
    j

    Like

  5. This from Denise in Red Hook:
    I like happy endings! Have a wonderful trip to Italy – I think you’ll love it – I did.

    Love,
    Denise

    Like

  6. …And one from neighbor David:

    OH my God, That is terrific that you got little Fred back. That is so neat

    david

    Like

  7. …And one from Donna in the great state of Washington:

    Hi Richard,

    I had a similar experience a few years ago. I turned my condo upside down–finally found her. I had a nightstand that had a half-back with nothing on the lower half. She had curled herself up under the drawer. I didn’t even KNOW the back was not complete. Cats can find hidey-holes we never dream of. I wonder where Fred found his?

    I understand completely about being besotted with a cat. As I read your blogpost, I was on the edge of my seat–hoping for a happy ending. Got it!

    Cheers!

    Donna Shaver

    Like

  8. What a suspenseful narrative! With a happy ending! I’m very glad that your cat has come back.

    Like

  9. From Duncan in Connecticut:

    I remember those episodes with my cat “puppy”; many… many of them. But she always came back.

    Until she passed away, she lived a long and languorous life with us in Campbellville.

    Glad to hear the good news !

    dc

    Like

  10. As I remembered cats do what they want, when they want, how they want; Fred obviously is a cat’s, cat. In his own time. I”m glad he felt it was time to ease your anxiety surely moved by the vibes in the condo. Welcome back Fred!

    Love,
    Lew

    Like

  11. And the lyrics to “The Cat Came Back”–all of them–from Bruce Campbell:

    Good. Glad the cat came back.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cat_Came_Back

    I’m checking out the NFB film later.

    http://www.nfb.ca/film/the-cat-came-back/

    Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own
    He had a yellow cat which wouldn’t leave its home;
    He tried and he tried to give the cat away,
    He gave it to a man goin’ far, far away.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    The man around the corner swore he’d kill the cat on sight,
    He loaded up his shotgun with nails and dynamite;
    He waited and he waited for the cat to come around,
    Ninety seven pieces of the man is all they found.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    He gave it to a little boy with a dollar note,
    Told him for to take it up the river in a boat;
    They tied a rope around its neck, it must have weighed a pound
    Now they drag the river for a little boy that’s drowned.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    He gave it to a man going up in a balloon,
    He told him for to take it to the man in the moon;
    The balloon came down about ninety miles away,
    Where he is now, well I dare not say.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    He gave it to a man going way out West,
    Told him for to take it to the one he loved the best;
    First the train hit the curve, then it jumped the rail,
    Not a soul was left behind to tell the gruesome tale.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    The cat it had some company one night out in the yard,
    Someone threw a boot-jack, and they threw it mighty hard;
    It caught the cat behind the ear, she thought it rather slight,
    When along came a brick-bat and knocked the cat out of sight

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    Away across the ocean they did send the cat at last,
    Vessel only out a day and making water fast;
    People all began to pray, the boat began to toss,
    A great big gust of wind came by and every soul was lost.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    On a telegraph wire, sparrows sitting in a bunch,
    The cat was feeling hungry, thought she’d like ’em for a lunch;
    Climbing softly up the pole, and when she reached the top,
    Put her foot upon the electric wire, which tied her in a knot.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    The cat was a possessor of a family of its own,
    With seven little kittens till there came a cyclone;
    Blew the houses all apart and tossed the cat around,
    The air was full of kittens, and not a one was ever found.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    The atom bomb fell just the other day,
    The H-Bomb fell in the very same way;
    Russia went, England went, and then the U.S.A.
    The human race was finished without a chance to pray.

    But the cat came back the very next day,
    The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
    But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
    Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    Like

  12. From friend Pa to Richard

    very enjoyable!

    Like

  13. And from neighbor Jeanne:

    GREAT CAT STORY …..I have an orange cat friend back in Plymouth waiting to have her dish filled, while a fine young tuxedo black & white kitty named Ollie up here in 15A making his first visit to the the big city … he’s a country boy and pretty laid back and sweet for an Alpha male… he was giving Goldilocks a hard time so I decided to separate them … neither one wants to “run away, ” but Goldie has chosen to spend most of her time in hiding , under the bed or in the closet … I just took a book out called Cat vs, Cat ( Keeping Peace when you have more than one cat) suggested to me by the vet at the NOAH cat adoption place in Plymouth …. These two” buddies” have managed TO make me feel guilty and stupid about pet care and animal behavior …. If they don’t stop fighting somebody is leaving the household !!!!! any suggestions ???? maybe they could stay & I’ll leave town ,,,, I LOVE NEW YORK …keep writing those fascinating tidbits and snippits about life on the West Side and elsewherever.

    Like

  14. Richard,

    Really liked the cat chase story. We have three of those pesky critters
    and they can break your heart over and over again.

    Say hey to Bobbie

    Judy
    (we met in Bhutan)

    See Judy’s art at judyschwab.com

    Like


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