By Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief
Have you ever lost a kitty in the house? Well, I should say, condo ... nowhere to hide and yet there are occasions when a cat goes missing. Disappears! Totally! Not an iota of said cat to be seen. Nary a jot, nary a dot nor even a smidgeon. And Grammy goes into panic mode.... KITTEN WHISKERS!
I say condo because that’s where we, the M&M crew, live. The M&M crew, in case you don’t know, is a team of 5 mischievous kitties.... Yes, that’s us. We are the M&M crew at Mischief & Mayhem Central. Now, we, the M&M crew... oh, and Grammy too, we all live together in a condo in a big metropolis. We might be considered cosmopolitan kitties living in the downtown core of a large cosmopolitan metropolis but in Grammy’s head that metropolis becomes a veritable jungle for housecats – and she may be right. We’ve never been allowed to find out for ourselves.
Well onward with the story.... We are solely indoor kitties – well, except when forced to visit the lady whitecoat OR when dumped unceremoniously on a balcony while the MOTH MAN does his MOTH TERMINATOR thing. (You might want to read MOTH DAY! That was the day we were unceremoniously dumped...well, you read it...and you’ll understand!)
We are NEVER allowed outside of the unit unless secured securely in our carriers. Well, we think we must be securely secured! Firstly, that is what secured means and secondly, because try as we might, howl as loud as we do and shake the bars till the plaster falls from the ceiling and we are still securely secured inside those unyielding carriers. Bounce up and down, run at the bars... doesn’t make a difference. There’s no way out of those formerly benign sleeping abodes which at a snap of a latch turn into inescapable prisons. Suffice it to say we are securely secured before leaving home.
Grammy knows that “outside” is a dangerous place for kitties on the loose. Altogether too easy to get lost, frightened, hurt... and these are issues that Grammy worries about. For indoor only, gentle-cats suddenly facing the wide open places it would be disastrous. Hiding wouldn’t be a problem outside of the condo as there are a gazillion places for frightened kitties to hide. Grammy has explored these remote places just to be aware of all their nooks and crannies, in the event... you know - other people’s condos, stairwells, elevators, the garbage & recycle room, balconies, especially balconies.... all dangerous for frightened kitties who, to begin with, are housecats, never allowed outside of said condo except when securely secured in their carriers.
To compensate and feel secure – (note: not securely secured... but secure in her mind that we are all safe) she developed a routine - count paws before leaving home! ... and what a time consuming job that used to be. Every time she planned to go out to work, to the garbage chute, to pick up the mail, even to the balcony... wherever! It was the same thing...2, 4, 6, 8, 10, .... 18, 20 divided by 4 = 5, okay... all accounted for... and off she’d go. Yes, that’s right... 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, ...18, 20 divide by 4 and 5 kitties safely in the nest.... well, not the nest but might as well be. We were all secure in the condo. That’s great until one disappears inside the condo. Then it’s 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 divide by 4 = 4... someone’s missing! AAAAAGGGGHHHH!
So back to the question... How can can a kitty disappear in a condo where there are no exposed rafters to climb into, no open heat vents and no cold air returns? No, cannot hide under the bed... it sits on a frame solidly set on the floor. No, not under the dresser. No-one has been able to fit under there since they were kittens. In the closets? No, they are securely latched. Kitchen cupboards? – magneted closed! Laundry room? – closed tighter than a drum. Living room furniture? - all too low to the floor. So, the question is... where do they go?
Before we go further let me tell you... there are only two that disappear like wisps of smoke through a crack – Rondo and Sweetie. Now while Sweetie is a mere 9 pounds of wiry mischief Rondo is a ginormous 15 pounder – not a size to easily slip between the cracks in the parquet and yet, these two take turns to disappear on a regular basis. As I said before – like wisps of smoke through a crack. KITTEN WHISKERS!
This has been happening too frequently around Mischief & Mayhem Central and it is wreaking havoc on Grammy’s sanity putting her into panic mode ... and Grammy in a panic is not a pretty sight... No, it isn’t. It hasn’t been in the past and we doubt it’ll be a pretty sight in the future.... because Grammies are pretty consistent when in panic mode. Heart rate escalating, eyes leaking, voice croaking out the name of the missing miscreant she’s searching for all the while counting to ensure the others are still there. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 divide by 4. One still missing. And on it goes.
So as stated above, the routine before Grammy leaves the condo... Count paws and divide by 4. Then out the door and when one is missing... you can imagine how time-consuming it gets over and over again, until the 5th suddenly reappears – Poof!
If you remember from past blogs, Grammy is not the lightest bulb in the lamp... and silly to boot. KITTEN WHISKERS! Truly, a goofball. Count feet, then divide by 4... Talk about a whack-job! What would she do should one of us should lose a limb? She’d never be able to leave the condo. Just picture it! 19 legs divided by 4 = 4 ¾. She’d be frantically searching for that quarter cat searching high and low. No matter how you do it... the answer would never be 5.
Thankfully she never thought to count toes! KITTEN WHISKERS... that’s too frightening... count toes and divide by 18....still wouldn’t come back to 5 with a limb loss and the answer would vary depending on whether the missing limb was front 85 toes divided by 18 = 4.72 or rear - 86 divided by 18 = 4.78. Either way... she wouldn’t have her requisite 5 cats and the search for the missing cat portion would be on.... Too much to even contemplate!
Imagine the ramifications.... counting and counting and never reaching the requisite 5 - unable to leave home to work. No money for food and litter. Garbage piling up in-house, sorry I mean, in-condo! Isolation! AND the consequences for us.... no rest – she’d be constantly looking for the missing quarter kitty – picking us up one at a time and counting those toes.
Now you say that’s ridiculous, why would she be looking for a quarter kitty... there’s no such thing... but we say...there are quarter horses, so why not quarter kitties? Logical? Well, I’m sure it is to Grammy!
The thought of these long-term consequences was exhausting us so we had to come up with a solution. We, the M&M crew at Mischief & Mayhem Central, put our 5 heads together and did some major brainstorming and as quick as one-two-three we came up with a retraining plan and so here it is... so simple – Count heads! Teach the old dear to count heads. And it only took 5 training sessions for Grammy to get it. KITTEN WHISKERS!
But it still doesn’t help with the problem of the missing cats. Two of the cats in our household regularly take turns to disappear within the condo and it’s driving Grammy crazy. At least the trip is quicker...1,2,3,4 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!