Sassy cats — It’s been a year Jake

A very young Jake

A very young Jake

Some memories stay vivid longer than others. For my old cat Jake, the good (and funny) memories are brighter and the bad ones have faded. He was the topic of many blog stories and I’m posting one of my favorites. It was his last big caper that almost did me in. It happened on the day of my family reunion last year a month before his death.

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.


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 re-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 (he’s diabetic) so I didn’t think it would be too hard to get him back in.


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. (Queue 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!

"Hey Cupcake! I need a tuna martini with a twist of catnip and make it snappy"

“Hey Cupcake! I need a tuna martini with a twist of catnip and make it snappy”

38 thoughts on “Sassy cats — It’s been a year Jake

  1. Pingback: What Has Your Dog or Cat Done for You Lately? – Retirement Reflections

  2. Pingback: What Has Your Dog, or Cat, Done for You Lately? | Retirement_Reflections

    • He was quite a cat. He was so goofy when he was young. He jumped into the pachysandra groundcover and couldn’t see because it was taller than he was, so he started hopping like a bunny to get out. I have a ton of stories about him but the most touching is when I went through cancer treatment he always slept with his head on my abdomen purring. When I was ok, he went back to his old sleeping place.


  3. Pingback: Yes, Jake, memories of you do last even if you are a cat | Life Is Like That

  4. Oh, the anguish of a pet not returning, I know it well. I am always sure my cats are eaten. Andy is always sure they will be fine.

    So far, it’s the only thing he’s been right about. (JUST KIDDING THERE ARE AT LEAST 6 OTHER THINGS.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! It is amazing where cats and dogs go when they disappear over night and then wonder back from breakfast. Several years ago, our one-year-old yellow lab made an instant (and prolonged) disappearance when we let him out, for a moment, in our unfenced year. Two days later he was found (alive and well) on the other side of a major traffic bridge…inside of the mall! To this day, we have wondered how in the earth he got there…but he never would tell!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Racoon bandits and Jake. Smile for the day.
    I know what you mean about a cat that suddenly goes out for a vacation and then is MIA…always when guests are arriving. Drives you nuts alternating with annoyance and worry.
    RC Cat isn’t going out. She can scream “Freedom is just another word…” all she wants, but one old cat missing was enough.
    Love that Jake and his stories (how well he had staff trained)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since they were of similar size I don’t think they would have attacked each other unless threatened. I can only assume that he napped peacefully under the neighbor’s deck while I was close to a heart attack.


    • When I was a kid our cats were not neutered and they were indoor/outdoor. That’s the worst of all. We were lucky if they saw two years. I remember spaying my first cat when I was in my teens. She lived to be 14. Her interest in going outside dropped quite a bit but even when neutered it’s just too chancy. We have foxes and coyotes locally. When I adopted Mollie I was afraid it would be hard to keep her in because Jake used a cat door. She had no interest in going out. She was an adult cat with a litter so perhaps she was grateful to be inside and well fed (and of course adored!).

      Liked by 1 person

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