|22 May 2006 was Moving Day. The movers were
going to take everything out of the house in preparation for moving it all to the new house.
I needed to get the cats, Misu and Abiko,
locked up where they could not get out while all the doors of the
house were going to be open for the movers to carry everything out. Both Abiko and Misu struggled
as hard as they could to keep from going into the room where I wanted to keep them penned up for the
duration: Mimi's bedroom, which the movers emptied first so I could shut the cats inside for the duration. I got
Abiko in the room, but it was clear that if I opened the door again to
force Misu in, Abiko would take the opportunity to bolt. So I left Abiko in Mimi's room and
went looking for Misu.|
I finally found Misu hiding in the little alcove behind the kitchen cabinets which I
have previously referred to has her "kitty bunker". I figured I'd barricade
her back there with some cartons of diet soda and other stuff I found on the kitchen counter. Unfortunately
I did not have anything really heavy at hand, but I thought I'd got Misu trapped in her corner (I
checked to make sure she had a space to get air so she wouldn't suffocate). During the morning I checked
a couple times by reaching my arm back in the alcove, and Misu fluff was still there.
But as the movers were nearing the end of their work, I noticed that Misu had escaped from
her prison. I was very angry at myself and went looking for Misu but could not find
her anywhere and I assumed she was lost and I didn't know what to do. I started looking around the
neighborhood, expecting that Misu was lost forever (although, of course, there was some
hope she would return as she had the previous time she had somehow got out -- see story:
A [small] Misu miracle.)
I could not find Misu anywhere -- it was pretty easy to look all thru the house now that
all the furnishings were gone. I looked in the basement (nothing). I verified that Abiko was still safe
in Mimi's room (Yes). I shut all the outside doors just in case Misu was still somewhere inside. Then the movers
left and I decided to go to the Post Office to submit a change of address, before beginning my Misu vigil [I needed
to "get out" for a few minutes, and everyone thought that Misu would not return until
the movers had left and things had quieted down...].
I shut the inside doors to the basement and to the laundry room, figuring that if, per impossibile, Misu was
in either place after all, she'd come to the door and scratch to get out. I released Abiko from her
imprisonment in Mimi's room, and went, more anxious than moving just by itself had already made me,
to the Post Office.
On the way back from the PO, I drove around the parking lot behind
our house just in case Misu might be there. I stopped and looked under people's cars (I believe
cats like to sit under cars). I heard some rustlings in the poison ivy behind my house.
But I did not see Misu. I went back home, prepared to start being upset by my stupidity in not
having locked Misu up better [how long would that pain last, I
lamented? On the other hand, damn the people who made me feel rushed to
lock up the cats: the movers came before I expected them and the mortgage guy had just been on the phone
jerking me around to get some stuff from the insurance company and the person I needed
to speak to there was not answering their phone yet, etc. -- I hope that if I had had
better conditions I would have secured the cats right, but I know I need to do better at dealing
with worse conditions...].
Anyway, as I entered the now almost empty house on my return from the PO, I saw Misu thru the laundry room
wanting out (cf.:
Misu in Prison). I was very relieved. My day was not going to be spoiled by my having
let Misu escape after all. My life was not going to get even more messed up than it already was by
also having caused my cat to be lost.... I was very thankful that Misu was there.
I figured out that after she escaped from the "kitty bunker", instead of
running out, Misu fled to hide behind the washing machine, where it would have been hard to
see her (of course I checked the laundry room in my initial search for the missing cat). Thank God I had
removed the folding chair that usually was squeezed between the dryer and the wall for the movers to take,
since if that chair had blocked Misu's access to hide behind the washer and dryer, then she might
have tried somewhere else to flee to -- like the all-too-accessible outside.
One final detail: After a while I noticed blood spots all over the washer and
dryer, shaped like paw prints. I also found a couple blood spots near the "kitty bunker" in the
kitchen. I hypothesize that Misu must have worked so hard (frantically?) to escape from where I had barricaded
her in that she bloodied her paw. I didn't see any damage on a cursory look at her paws and
she seemed ok. But animals must be determined that, when they feel they need to flee, that they will
hurt themselves if that's what it takes to escape.
Why is there a picture of Pikachu at the top of this page? Because I often think that Misu not only
looks like Pikachu, but she also strikes poses that remind me of
(Note: The above picture of Pikachu appeared in the New York Times on the Web on Moving Day --
which, fortunately, now is also: Misu Didn't Get Lost Day, 22May06.)
Aside: A few days later, in the new house, I opened the back door to get some air and did
not notice that the screen door was not closed, and Abiko got out, but this incident too
had a happy ending, when I noticed that the screen was open, noticed Abiko outside, called to
her, and she came straight back in: Read story.