collared

May. 13th, 2008 09:43 am
spatch: (Abbie onna Table)
Mr. The Cat got a birthday present yesterday in the form of a brown leather collar just right for an indoor cat. The eventual goal is to get one of those special tags that say IF YOU CAN READ THIS I'M A DOOFUS CAT WHO IS LOST SO PLEASE CALL 617-FEED-ME or whatever, though with the price of tag printing I don't think I'll use that many letters. Abbie's collar benefactor assured me this was the best collar she could find for him as the other ones featured rhinestones and other sparkly things, and while Mr. Abbie is many things, the Pretty Pretty Princess of Cookieville he is not.

I anticipated a major struggle putting the collar on him. He's never worn one before, and our adventures with a walking harness ten years ago (my god, has it really been 10 years?) ended in humorous disaster: he fought with me when I tried to put it on, I took him outside and all he wanted to do was eat dirt, then I brought him inside and he fought with me again while I tried to take the darn thing off. Flashbacks of trying to give him pills also ran through my mind, and before I went to collar the cat I invited people to say good bye to my arms in their pristine, unshredded, pink/fishbelly white state.

I did decide to get a little wily, though, and doped him up good with catnip beforehand. He snuffled along the floor like a little vacuum cleaner and proceeded to get very mushy. I picked the gargantuan beast up (he's back to 20+ pounds, all right) and put the collar around his neck. Amazingly enough, he didn't get fussy at all. He squirmed a bit when I was trying to buckle it, but it was hard trying to maneuver under all that fur. At no time did he switch to DO NOT WANT mode, and I was very impressed and proud of him and ended the session by giving him more catnip and stressing that he is a Very Good Cat Indeed. I'm not sure if it was the catnip or his general disposition that made him so easy-going, but I was real happy that it didn't end in tears. He doesn't mind wearing the collar at all; I watched him afterwards to see if he'd start showing any slinking signs of WHAT THE HELL MAN but he didn't. In fact, he curled right up to me and dozed off purring while I played Oblivion and went all Ghostbusters on some Ayelid ruins.

The end result is that he now has a dapper brown collar which you can't really see unless you look for it, and if you come by, please do look for it and tell him that it does indeed make him a most handsome fella, because I can only say it so many times before it loses sincerity.
spatch: (Abbie onna Table)
Mr. Abbie's birthday was yesterday so he celebrated a bit by doing the following:

A. Having a tasty fish treat
B. Having a tasty meatloaf treat (with gravy)
C. Being told he was the best cat in the whole world and then being asked who's the best cat in the world (the answer of course having already been reinforced)
D. Being picked up and twirled through the air as Super Flying Birthday Cat
E. Okay, okay, being put gently back down on the ground after Super Flying Birthday Cat obviously wasn't the best idea in the world
F. Going off to the purple futon to have a good sulk for all of twenty seconds
G. Being asked again who's the best cat in the world, and responding accordingly
H. Enjoying a nice round of Cat Fishing, and later on a nice round of Eat The Rock Band Drumstick For Good Luck (he does this before a lot of songs)
I. Being left alone for a nap (probably the best part of the day except for Parts A and B)

I think it went well all things considered. 11 is a good age for a cat.
spatch: (Default)
...but I done used that haiku2 LJ generator and the first one it gave me was

his food dish wasn't
immediately where it
becomes boylston street

This almost works if you slur Boylston (and how dare you slur such a fine street!)
spatch: (Default)
Abbie the Cat is my bestest friend in the whole wide world it's true it's true it's true but I still will not share my burger with him and he's not exactly thrilled to hear that so off saunters Mr. Ulterior Motive and I finish my dinner in peace.
spatch: (Triplets)


PICTURED ABOVE: The North American Black-And-White Behemoth Cat, returned to his native habitat.

WE HAVE A CAT

I got an anonymous call this afternoon around 3:45 from someone who said she saw "definitely a large" black tuxedo cat in the backyard of the house next door, chasing a squirrel. She also said she thought she'd seen the cat in the bahn (that's a garage to you) behind that house at night.

Tracy was at home so once I got the message and told him, he dashed out to check. Abbie had, at that point, wandered past our house to the house on the other side and was busy in their side yard. Tracy got the cat's attention, whereupon Abbie walked right by him and up our driveway. Tracy then carefully followed the cat, knowing full well there was probably Scared Cat going on, but near the back of the driveway, Abbie turned around and let the big-but-not-so-scary-guy-who-looks-kinda-familiar approach.

Once inside, Abbie quickly ran up the stairs, over to the dining room where his food dish was supposed to be (it was still in the house trap at that point) and began to loudly complain.

He's in fine form, all right.

I got home without knowing this had all gone down and was greeted at the top of the stairs by His Nibs, who began to tell me all about what he'd done and where he'd gone and that his food dish wasn't immediately where it should've been and that he also had tuna breath here smell it. Tracy told me Abbie wolfed down a goodly amount of wet food we'd been using as house trap bait and after he was done, he went around the house looking for me. I picked the cat up and gave him a big hug, which was also a good excuse to gauge his weight and check for any wounds. He looks to be in good shape, no injuries, isn't limping or favoring a paw, let me pet him all over without complaint, and has a healthy appetite. He has lost about 5 pounds, though, as we ascertained at the official weigh-in. Tomorrow is a Day of Phone Calls and one of them will be to his regular vet where I'll hopefully get him an appointment for my weekday off so we can bring him in, get him really checked, make sure he's up on all his shots, and find him a nice new collar with a kitty tag which he will completely resent wearing for the first few months. I think red will look nice on him.

Needless to say I'm extremely relieved and giddy as all hell. I changed my voicemail message to reflect the fact that THAR BE CAT AGIN and called the anonymous number back and left a message and told them to have a great Valentine's Day at the end (couldn't figure out how to end it) and now I'm writing this up and bein all hooray and maybe I should get some food too and stuff.

What really astounds me though is the honest to goodness support that poured in from so many people from all over the place. Tracy really went out of his way to coordinate the Cat Search & Rescue Mission, stepping up while I was flat unconscious, and frankly I think went above and beyond the call of duty, especially with making the house trap and providing me with Steps To Take Next. Carolyn threw a lot of dedication into helping poster the neighborhood, call vets, check other resources, and send a few animal shelters into fits of "okay okay okay okay we'll keep an eye out!" David provided good moral support, too, and together the three made up the HQ Team.

And then there was so much love from so many of you! If I tried to name names, I'm afraid I'd leave someone out and I'm not just saying that because I don't want to type names out, I'm saying that because I'm really afraid I'd forget. So to those of you who helped flyer, walked up and down the streets nearby making searching sounds, made phone calls on our behalf, provided materials or time to the cause, gave notice to friends who live around here, searched in other time zones just to make sure, posted a line in your LJ, made folk art in tribute, dropped a line or two in whatever medium to let me know you were worried too, or even just thought a few good thoughts our way, thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you a hundred zillion plus infinity times. I'm really touched to know that Abbie's made so many friends (simply by being the MOST AWESOMEST CAT IN THE WORLD minus the whole running away bit.)

One of the Lost Cat advice sites I read mentioned the importance of friends and loved ones helping out in the search, cause you can't do it all yourself. They gave this advice under the heading "Form a posse." I read that and I laughed at the time because it was so appropriate, but it goes beyond the reference. It's true. Abbie the Cat really does have a posse. You had his back the whole time, and because of that, he's now back.

Thank you one and all.



Rob
spatch: (Abbie onna Table)
Sunday afternoon found Mr. N______ convalescing from recent illness and steadily gaining strength, so much so that he ventured out for pancakes in between bursts of thunder, hail, and gigantic snowflakes. In the meantime, Mr. W______ and Miss V______ busily converted the oft-unused back staircase into a housecat house trap, with the express intent of providing the wayard Mr. Th. C______ with a familiar-smelling beacon. It is the opinion of severals present that the prodigal tom is loose nearby, though if he had any lick of sense he would have jumped a train to Key West to enjoy a Hemingway-Buffettesque vacation in the midst of this terrible weather. Our suspicions will be confirmed should we ever receive a palm-tree postcard smelling of catnip margarita.

[Fig. I not available. Consult your Goldberg Specialist.]

The housecat house trap shown here in Fig. I is cunningly designed to look just like a back staircase, entered from the outside via Slightly-Ajar Door (A). Enticed by the aroma of Kitty Pheromones (B) combined with Appetizing Food (C), Catnip (D) and Familiar-Scented Laundry (E), the behemoth cat is compelled to enter, climb the stairs (F) and remember that this (G) is indeed the house in which he lives. His litterbox (H) is also present to provide both a "This Is Yours!" reminder (and a reminder to other animals that "This Is Not Yours!") as well as a reason for him to remain happily ensconced in the upstairs loft (I) rather than wander outside and do his business in the backyard (K). The door to the kitchen (L) has been reinforced with several new locks and devices (M) to prevent larger creatures from gaining access into the interior. The Cat Recoverer, upon checking the housecat house trap, will enter through Slightly-Ajar Door (A) instead of the kitchen door (L) so as to prevent any unpleasant scares, ensuring the cat stays inside instead of running out like a freak on fire (N).

After a blisteringly cold night of howling winds, the first results were less than fruitful. Someone had evidently spent the night in the trap: the food was gone and catnip strewn about, but no cat remained. The pile of laundry remained undisturbed so it is not clear whether or not the animal visitor had slept over or merely held a Cat Party, gotten looped on the catnip, satiated their munchies and then stumbled out into the night. The second result is not wanted, as this is not a kitty rumpus room, it is a housecat house trap and there are distinct differences between the two.

Speculation as to the identity of the mystery guest have run rampant about the house. The culprit (besides the aforementioned Behemoth Cat who is our target in this operation) might very well be That Orange Cat, who has been seen several times before in our backyard and is most likely up to no good. The kind of fellow who'd get into your catnip and eat your tuna before running out to dance a jig of cleverness. There is also a local skunk, who has made hir presence known both visually and olfactorily in weeks past. The skunk is not as welcome as That Orange Cat, because the smell of skunk stink ("sktink") in the stairway would definitely overpower any kitty pheromones still lingering.

Plans may be in place to install a camera and present a live Housecat House Trap feed to the Internet, allowing casual viewers to enjoy a static view of the back staircase (litterbox helpfully placed off-camera) and possibly spot an animal making an appearance or perhaps review a series of pictures taken over a span of time to determine visitor movement; however, we have yet to determine if it would be a good idea to leave a door open at night with a light burning bright inside, regardless of the amount of reinforcements the kitchen door has received.

The neighborhood has been stuck with fliers and car windshield inserts and regular calls are being made to various shelters and vets in the area. Phone leads from the fliers have yielded naught but shelter advice from an anonymous local and a "big black cat" sighting on the other end of Highland from a few days back which, while not exactly helpful, warms one's heart considering that the caller gave the tip in all earnestness and helpfulness.

It is our hope that the Behemoth is nearby and will reveal himself once he's hungry enough to wander, or that he has been taken in by a kind taker-inner who will reveal his presence to a shelter or a vet (or us) soon enough. Possibly once he begins to eat them out of house and home. In the meantime, we continue to search and ask and hope.
spatch: (Default)
him name is Abbie tux cat

My housemate [livejournal.com profile] ratatosk, who is graciously spearheading Operation Cat's Cradle, has posted a big genius call to arms on his LJ for those interested in or curious about helping the efforts. There's a ton of cat psychology in there as well. I'd take a moment to explain some of it to you but the words are beginning to blur together so I'm going back to bed.


p.s. i'll find my cat
who took my cat

love,
spatch
spatch: (Captain Haddock)
Day 6. Still not teh prettiest king.

The week slammed me hard. Cat goes missing, shake-up at work means major internal changes (but no loss of job, thankfully, knock on wood) and the stress created by all this caused my immune system to say "screw this for a game of soldiers" and up and run to Tahiti which in turn causes the viral whatsits to then go "C'MON IN, BOYS, THE COAST IS CLEAR" and knock me flat on my ass.

This, by the way, is an actual diagnosis in actual medical terms and I should know because I saw it once on an episode of House. It was the one where there was this guy, see, and he was sick, and neither House nor his team of filthy assistants knew what to do about it, and House spends most of the episode annoying Cuddy and berating one or all of his filthy assistants (in sequence even) but they don't get anywhere near to saving the guy's life until near the end of the episode when House goes over to pester Wilson, and Wilson says something like "As much as I'd like to continue this amazingly poignant philosophical conversation, House, I've got one of those, you know, whatsits to attend..." which causes House to perk up like a cocker spaniel who just heard a Snausage drop to the floor five rooms away, and he hobbles in to the patient's room and goes "Check for viral whatsits!!" just in time and they check and what do you know, the guy's got viral whatsits all over him, and hooray the day is saved, here, House, have a Vicodin treat. Nom nom nom.

So I've got viral whatsits all over me and I've gotten to the point where Theraflu doesn't actually taste like ass anymore, and that's pretty much because the dextromethorphan in it KILLS YOUR TASTE BUDS DEAD but boy howdy my sinus passages are now amazingly free from blockage and I see all sorts of pretty things when I shut my eyes. Thursday was one of those days where everybody I met at the office said "Good lord, you [look|sound] like hell, go home" so I did. Turns out my voice ran off with the immune system to Tahiti, and neither of those rotten bastards has yet to send a postcard, the ungrateful wretches. After all I've done for them! All those antioxidants! Friday I don't remember much of except that I discovered the oatmeal-in-a-cup that I had purchased on Thursday with the express intent of eating it while at work, only I left too soon to go on break and eat it so I brought it home with me but that meant I could now eat it on Friday, and that pretty much was the Highlight Of The Day. Gold star. Today I haven't done much but I did watch some stop-motion Lego animations set to Eddie Izzard routines, so I can't honestly write the day off as a total loss.

Still no sign of Mr. The Cat, though there have been a lot of people helping the search while I'm stuck face-down in the bed with an arm dangling off and muttering something about goddamned bat country, and I really appreciate the rallying that you all have done 'round the fuzzball flag. Thank you very much. I'm continually telling myself the cat is fine and that he hasn't disappeared off the face of the earth; he's somewhere and now all that remains is to figure out where that where is. It's simple philosophies like these that keep a man going sometimes. [livejournal.com profile] ratatosk has taken up coordination of the search-and-recovery efforts so if you want to know the latest plans, he's the guy to go to. I think the next step involves moving the litterbox and maybe using some kind of cat pheromone, I don't know, to get him to go "Oh! Yeah! There's the house I want!" without, well, making the other neighborhood cats go "Oh! Yeah! There's the house we want!" I only want one cat back; I don't need a whole basketball team.

Okay. I think I'm losing it again. Time to toddle back upstairs and make friends with Pillow and the Blankets. I sort of gleaned from the comments in the last entry that the lost cat word files were comin out kinda weird, so [livejournal.com profile] ratatosk has created another one in Adobe Acrobat format which may prove easier to print out and distribute. I am grateful for the efforts underway especially in Memphis, Tennessee, for I know that one of Abbie's greatest dreams was to one day visit Graceland and with this newfound exploratory freedom he may have done so, especially if it meant hoppin' freight trains across the Alleghenies and down into Delta country (n.b. Abbie, do not eat any of the Peabody Hotel ducks.)

See you on the other side of a nap.
spatch: (Abbie onna Table)
Well, here's the timeline:

Sunday
7:15. I leave for work. Cat is around somewhere. I know he was around somewhere because I heard him come in and out of the room while I was trying to wake up.

4:30. I come back from work, was let out early. Cat is nowhere to be seen. That's perfectly normal; he could be sleeping somewhere.

12:00 am. I make preparations to go to bed. Still have not seen cat, but again, he could be in the papasan or in the kitchen or bugging someone, so it's okay.

Monday

7:15. I leave for work. Have not seen cat at all. In the morning he usually wakes up with me and then sits outside the shower and meows and meows and meows until I'm done. Check my room, check downstairs, check all the closed doors he may have found himself behind. There is no trace of cat. The level of food in the food bowl has not changed since the previous night (and this honestly is the biggest clue to me that something's awry.)

7:20. Check the side yard, the back yard, under the porches, behind the garage, and a quick peek into the garage though the door is shut and he'd have to have found a different way in. Either way, he doesn't answer. One of our neighborhood regulars, an orange semi-feral who's mixed it up in the past, is hanging out in the backyard and he scampers as soon as he sees me. Am beginning to think Abbie may have gotten out yesterday when someone wasn't looking.

8:00 to 4:30: Sit at work and worry.

5:30. Return from work. I check my room to see if he's sick and under my bed, which is where he usually hides when he feels terrible, and I also check his litterbox room (the "suite"). He's not laying low anywhere. I check the basement, even the doors that were shut. Neither Tracy nor David said they went down to the basement, but you never know what a cat can do when it gets a crazy idea into its head. Tracy leaves a bowl of tuna out on the back porch. Within a half hour the tuna is gone. It was probably that orange cat.

On the advice of several websites (http://www.catsinthebag.org both has an amusing name and a wealth of advice, especially an entire section on the psychology of indoor cats getting lost outdoors) I placed some familiar clothes out on the porch last night, especially (ahem) unwashed laundry, in the hopes that he'd smell it and come running. It was odd trying to explain this to the downstairs neighbors in a note, and at one point when I went down to check, someone was on the front porch on a cellphone staring at the shirt, sweater and (er) dirty socks, and I was quite embarrassed. But hey. THIS IS A CAT WE'RE TRYING TO GET BACK HERE.

We briefly discussed the fact that the lease does say we can have two cats. I don't want to think about replacements so soon -- the guy's out there somewhere, we just have to figure out where and then how to bring him home -- but you sometimes have to prepare just in case. But no cat would ever replace my buddy.

Last night the neighbor's motion sensor light went on a few times, and I went out to check, but I only smelled skunk. If Abs tangles with a skunk by god he's gonna be miserable, but at least that's easily fixable. But every time I went outside to check, including this morning, I had hoped I'd see him curled up on my clothes. But I don't think it's going to happen. I'm worried and that takes a lot of energy out of a fellow. I'm losing it slowly, bit by bit, piece by piece. I have a flyer printed up but I can't get to my hosting provider from work to make it available for download. FUCKING PORT BLOCKERS. I can't hear "you're doing the best you can" because apparently I did the best I could with Martha and she's not around anymore. I don't want to lose the big guy so soon. This is killing me inside and I feel absolutely helpless from behind this desk. I've contacted animal control and nearby vets and agencies. Nobody's brought in a throw rug yet. It's rainy and shitty outside. He won't be going anywhere for a while if it's a safe space from that orange cat and his friends. I don't want ANYTHING right now except to have my buddy back. Come back, buddy. You're the best goddamn cat in the world and you don't deserve to be miserable right about now.
spatch: (Abbie onna Table)
Ask anyone who knows me, I'm an easygoing cat
I'm all about the chilling out, I've got the cool down pat
Don't really ask for nothing much, life's all good on the whole
But tonight there ain't no cat food in my bowl.

I've endured a few indignities in my time upon this earth
From jokes about my fuzziness to cracks about my girth
With patience I have borne these barbs that'd try another's soul--
But I'm offended there's no cat food in my bowl.

I didn't mind the time you gave me bows to make me pretty
Or rolled me in a blanket just to play Burrito Kitty
Or wrapped me 'round your shoulders and said "Hey, check out my fur stole!"
But I mind that there's no cat food in my bowl.

Now if I had my way, of course, I'd rule with iron paw
My merest whim a grand command, my meow would be the law
But my job here's to be the cat; provider is your role
So provide me with some cat food in my bowl.

All right, you've had your slumber, and your dreams of god-knows-what
But it's time that you addressed this pressing problem that I've got
Cause I'm a screamin' hungry cuss who's 'bout to lose control
...well hey look now, there's some cat food in my bowl.

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