The reunion story for 2015 or Kate’s Diner open for business

Every reunion has its story. Sometimes it’s about people and sometimes not. This year it’s about my old cat Jake.

Jake is over 18 and that’s old for a cat. He is an indoor/outdoor cat but his outdoor time is very little and usually involves lying on the warm brick patio.

Usually.

This past Sunday I was hosting my family reunion. That means I’m slightly (ok, maybe more than slightly) neurotic. Getting things ready. Do we have enough? (I don’t know why I ever worry about that!)

Jake went out after breakfast like he always does. He usually smells the perimeter bushes and if there was an offending critter that came in during the night, he will pee on the bush to establish territory. It’s exhausting work keeping the yard safe. Sometimes he can spend over an hour peeing on bushes with his old bladder.

Around noon I realized he never came back in. The plan was to keep the cats upstairs through the festivities. I had until 4 p.m. to find him and get him back inside.

I went walking his favorite spots around 2:30 p.m. but couldn’t find him. It’s ok. I have another hour and a half. Or so I thought.

My brother showed up an hour early with his family. It’s not a problem except there is no way Jake will come in. Strangers! Lots of them (anything more than one is lots)!

By the time everyone left it would be dark and he hadn’t eaten since breakfast so I didn’t think it would be too hard to get him back in.

Ha!

The last folks left before 9 p.m. A perimeter walk came up cat less. We cleaned up. Made sure all the food was put away. I walked the yard again. No Jake.

I walked the yard calling for him every half hour until midnight when my weary bones were exhausted so I went to sleep.

Since he hadn’t eaten and he only has three teeth (hard to gum something to death) I was afraid he’d be hungry. I left a small dish of dry cat food with some water in the screened porch which has a cat door. In a moment of brilliance I closed the door so he could only come in and couldn’t go back out. (Que scary music here!)

At 3:30 a.m. (my first pee break) I decided to check the screen porch. I would let him back in if he was sleeping on the chair. There was a critter in the porch all right but it wasn’t Jake.

There was a raccoon happily dining on cat food. He was taking a nice long drink of water. He’s trapped on the porch because he can’t get out the cat door which is how he came in.

How do I know that? When he was done he went over to the cat door to get out. He acts like he’s done this before although we never leave food out there.

All day long the exterior people door to the screened porch would stick and would not close unless you pushed it. All I had to do was run around the back; push the door open; and run like hell back into the house.

Yeah, that’s all.

By the time I got back to the house I heard the damn door slam shut. First time it did that all day.

So far the raccoon isn’t agitated although I thought about waking up the beloved husband in case I was attacked. In the end I thought it wise to let sleeping husbands sleep.

I took a long stick I use for the pond to push open the door again and jammed it between the door and the sash.

The damn door again closed but not all the way. There was a 2” opening. I wisely went inside the house to watch the raccoon through a nice safe window.

He calmly opened the door and scurried on his way delighted that he had such a great supper. He would have to tell his friends about this restaurant.

I called for Jake but chose not to walk the yard in case other critters were lurking but again no Jake.

Now I was wide awake. From 3:30 on, every 20 to 30 minutes I checked for him. At 5:30 a.m. I heard him howling at the back door.

I let him in. He was looking for the wait staff (that would be me) to open the restaurant and feed him. Not surprisingly, the other three cats showed up from nowhere. They must have heard that the cat diner opened early.

He slept the entire day except for a vet visit and he had no interest in going outside again.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I won’t have another cat that goes outdoors. When you invest yourself in a pet, the anguish runs too deep when they can’t be found.

This story had a good end. Most of the reunion stories do although some have surprise, tragedy or heartache along the way.

And that was the reunion story for 2015!

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43 thoughts on “The reunion story for 2015 or Kate’s Diner open for business

  1. Pingback: Random 5 for September 20 – Mojo, Starbucks, frogs, raccoon, projects | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  2. I’m so glad Jake is alright! Maybe he was a little annoyed that so much attention was going towards the rest of the family. You must have been so worried, but I’m glad for a happy ending!

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  3. Oh, I could just feel how scared you were for Jake since he is old and not used to being out all day and night with no dinner and all those other critters out there who might hurt him, etc. But thank goodness, Jake is a survivor with the help of his loving human. And I hope the reunion went well too even though you had the uninvited guest raccoon.

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    • In his youth, Jake would occasionally pull an all nighter but he was young, strong and a great hunter. Still not good up against a coyote but we don’t see a lot of those. I also was worried that he had gone in the woods to die. Not that he’s sick. All his blood work is normal. No arthritis or kidney issues. Still you never know what a cat’s thinking.

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  4. I definitely know what you mean about not having another cat that goes outdoors. Too much worry and stress (on the part of the owner). So happy Jake is OK!!

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  5. Oh, whew! I was worried. Cats do take vacations sometimes, then show up annoyed you were worried…but the one time you think they are just off for a walk. After the last one, Purry who was ancient, half blind and arthritic ran into a nasty dog. That was it. No outdoor cats. Can’t do it. (RC will tell you, she makes a run for it once in a while, but forgets that big fluffy tail is a handy grab handle…risky, but slows her down long enough to grab and pitch her back inside….then get the bandages…)
    At least the raccoon distracted you while he was out.

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    • I’m with you. I get far too attached to lose a cat to an accident or a predator. Jake is all hissy but the vet gave me some new pills that should help with that. Natural stuff. We’ll see. RC just wanted a smoke outside!

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  6. So glad to hear Jake returned safely. I hope his transition this winter goes smoothly. Keeping my cats indoors gives me peace of mind.

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  7. I’m not sure if it was you or Jake who had the biggest adventure that night. He was probably sleeping under a bush somewhere while you were doing battle with the raccoon. I agree, indoor cats are the way to go. They don’t seem to mind it and they are much safer that way.

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  8. It is almost like waiting up for children! I understand about not wanting your indoor cats to go out. We had three indoor cats for a time and I would be frantic when they got out and didn’t come home. Usually they were just hiding in the bushes and ignoring my calls. I am glad old Jake didn’t venture too far. Good post.

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  9. I worry when our indoor/outdoor guy isn’t there at the usual times too. If I could keep him inside without making him crazy, I would!

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  10. Welcome home, Jake. I would have been very worried but sounds like he’s no worse from his night on the town. He was smart and didn’t want to share the porch with Mr Raccoon. Maybe you can wake him up while he’s sleeping since he kept you from a good night’s sleep. 🙂

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  11. Oh, I hear you. I get so worried about Boss Cat, but there’s just no way to keep her in. We tried for years. We just try and make sure she’s in before nightfall.

    She’s braver than Jake about people, though. She’s the most social cat I’ve ever had. We live on a corner and when people come by, she greets them, rubbing up against their legs. They say, “Oh, what a sweetie!”

    I don’t have the heart to spoil it for them by translating for her, but you know what she’s really saying, right?

    “HUMANS! GIVE ME ALL THE FOOD! NOW!”

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    • About three years ago we transitioned Jake from an out whenever I want to cat to a gotta be in by dusk cat. It wasn’t pretty or easy. Howling (and he’s very loud). Eventually (maybe because he’s getting old) he got better. This was his first sleepover in years. When I adopted the other three I never let them out. They watch Jake go in and out of the cat door and never investigate it. I am so lucky. We have foxes and coyotes here.

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  12. So glad Jake made it back safely. It really is hard to settle when you know they are out there with all those other critters who probably won’t share your love and affection of them. At least not the love and affection WE’D show them. I always have visions of a big old bear sitting there picking bells and name tags out of his teeth when our cat is missing. 😦

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