Sassy cats — Jake’s last reunion escapade

Jake in his younger days

On Sunday I will be hosting my extended family reunion. Last time I hosted was in 2015 and it was shortly before I lost Jake. He was not in good shape and I worried about him. He was old, diabetic, had vision and hearing issues and was slow to react. He disappeared for the reunion and made me nuts. I wrote this post right afterward. Jake passed a few weeks later.

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.

Jake: Hey Cupcake! More catnip please and be sure to fill the food dish.

This past Sunday I was hosting my family reunion. That means I’m slightly (OK, 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 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 locked 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!

Jake in catnip bush: Damn! Where did I put my stash! It’s here somewhere. Ahhhh! Catnip! Life is good!

54 thoughts on “Sassy cats — Jake’s last reunion escapade

  1. I hate it when old cats took unscheduled vacations. Sheltered patios were created for old cats.
    (but RC has settled for sunny window seats. Just can’t take disappearing cats – even if “just kidding, human” or “I don’t wish to be a problem, so I’ll just crawl over here and leave you with memories…”)
    Hope the human reunion goes well ( and the cats aren’t inclined to retaliate for their inconvenience)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reunion was good but hot. Cats, except for Gracie who joined us, were not happy. It took an hour after everyone left to convince Sasha that it was safe to come out from under the bed. Finally the Fancy Feast was just too tempting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is why I don’t have a cat door. We have raccoons and they are a terrible nuisance and can cause a great deal of damage (ie the roof at $500 a pop when the little bastards try to break into one of the attic vents 😡)

    Theo too is an indoor/outdoor cat and I’ve had more than my fair share of sleepless nights because he was no where to be found at bed time. Meanwhile, the next day he snoozes carefree while I walk around like a zombie.

    It’s so hard to take a good photo of a black animal. Their features seem to disappear into the blackness, but the photo of Jake on the red chair is gorgeous. He was a very handsome lad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jake was a handsome cat. He was tall and lanky, like a movie star. He never got fat but he was fearless and had an attitude. He was loud and sometimes annoying but also the most affectionate of all my cats. We haven’t had issues with raccoons trying to get inside except for this one. After Jake passed we locked the cat door from both sides so it can’t be used anymore and I did find some muddy raccoon prints were someone was looking for a free meal. We never kept food out there so I was surprised but I’m sure he could smell the cat food. When the cats keep us up my husband wants to annoy them all day so they can’t sleep!

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  3. I know my cat friend Carol has the same issue – she takes care of ferals who are on her deck eating, drinking and sleeping in the shelter houses and her indoor cats look longingly to go outside. She puts them out in the kennel or walks them on a leash – she is convinced they will disappear and not come back and she’s had them for almost 15 years. One of them got lost in the furnace room one time – she looked everywhere for that cat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My current group doesn’t have any interest in going outside. Even if the door is open because we are taking things in and out, they won’t go out. If you don’t initially let them out, they don’t want or need to go out.

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          • Carol used to walk the cat she lost last Fall on a leash all the time. She’s got a fairly big yard and she’d take her out and she’d explore on the end of the leash – she liked what Carol called “stripey grass” and she’d nibble on it. The other two don’t want to walk, but they go out in their carry kennels as one side is all mesh after the outer area is flipped up so they sit on the deck while Carol is working out in the yard or sitting on the deck. But never out of the kennels to explore – I think this is because she has so many feral cats that she takes care of and is worried about a disease from them. I don’t know if the feline distemper is communicable? She’s had a few of the feral cats euthanized due to it. She pays for the ferals to get a checkup and shots once they are old enough – she traps them and takes them to a feral cat no-kill shelter so they can be put up for adoption.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Jake is a beautiful kitty! My husband and I have two amazing cats that we both LOVE more than words can describe. I am so glad Jake came back home and is okay. Both of our cats are indoor only because I would worry way too much because that is in my nature. Our older cat Chloe is 14 years old and stubborn and lovable as ever. Chloe was recently diagnosed with early stage kidney disease and HATES the new medicine she must eat because it is supposed to be helpful. Anyone that is around our cats and doesn’t fall in love with them is heartless! Take care and enjoy the last part of your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jake was the only outdoor cat I had here and by the time we moved, he came in every night. We had one close encounter but it was in the yard and I was there. There are foxes, some of them rather large. They will get a cat too. No more outdoor cats for me.

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    • We do a nose count before bed. The other day Sasha got locked in a closet. I have no idea how. Neither one of us went in there. I knew something was up when she didn’t come out for supper and then I heard the little mews.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh man. You did great. I would’ve been freaking out and definitely would’ve woke up my husband. I’d have been scared my cat got attacked by that racoon. I had a friend who had a cat door to come inside the house, and a racoon came in that door. Ack!

    So glad Jake was okay that time. I’m sure you still think of him often and miss him.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t think I had been reading/following you for very long when Jake went missing. Loved him calling you, Cupcake. He was a sweet old man with attitude. I did remember this post. I hope your older brother is able to make it to the reunion and you have gloriously perfect weather. I know the food will be good… 🙂 No drama!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He always called me Cupcake. He was that kind of cat. Sometimes I thought he had a pack of Lucky Strikes in my fur. My husband did a lot of the prep work — find and clean extra outdoor chairs, tables, etc. He’s a keeper! We are ready! Today would be perfect weather-wise. Sunday is predicted to be warmer. We’ll see. It is what it is.

      Liked by 2 people

    • We had a coyote visit back then. Haven’t seen one in a few years but they are around. He was eyeing up Jake who eyed him right back. I hustled that cat in the house pronto. Think I hurt his ego. He wanted therapy.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I never had a cat like Jake. He was my first and so far only boy cat. He was way more affectionate than the girl cats but he had a mind of his own. He never took advice. If he could drive, he wouldn’t ask for directions.

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  7. I know that had to be super frustrating not being able to find him but something tells me that he just “knew” that would be his last BIG ESCAPE and last time to say farewell to his favorite haunts outside, etc. They really do “just know” I think when their time is up. I always felt like our Sammy “knew”……anyway, let’s hope you have an uneventful and FUN family reunion this year but I’m guessing thoughts of the 2015 reunion when Jake had his last hurrah will pop into your head…..at least once!

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 2 people

    • Unless they are hit by a car, they do know. I was afraid he had crawled somewhere to die. If Jake didn’t want to be found, you couldn’t find him. I lost Hazel in December and she knew too. She had a massive tumor which went undetected until it was too late. It was pressing on her lungs and abdomen so it had to be uncomfortable for her. I’m so sorry I couldn’t help her sooner.

      Liked by 2 people

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