Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lost cat?

So, I know a lot of people hate that cats are allowed outdoors, but Zoot was a stray from the pound when we got him about 11 years ago, and had lived his life previous to coming to our house roaming around outside. Now, since he is half Siamese, he has a really nasty yowl when he doesn't get his way. (The rest of the time he is very sweet tempered; likely the tabby side of him). So to keep my sanity when we brought him home, I finally let him out side. He always comes home, and is usually only out a few minutes before he is making a racket at the door to come back in.

Yesterday, as I was happily crafting in my basement, Levi came tearing downstairs asking if I had let Zoot out. I said "yes" and was about to add "but that was over an hour ago", but Levi was gone, bolting up the stairs in a panic and flinging himself out the door with no coat, smashing his elbow and slamming the door in his haste.
I followed, and leaned out to ask him what was going on. Was their a fire?
He was gone.
Five minutes later he was back, and in obvious distress. He said he's heard Zoot "screaming" out in the driveway, but could not find him anywhere. I tried to convince him that Zoot was probably fine, but he needed his coat to go for a good look before it got dark.

On went the coat, and off he went, running across my pristine front lawn, tracking up my beautiful smooth snow, instead of walking down the driveway. (OK. That sounds really anal, but this is the FIRST year since the boys have been able to don snow boots that I have not looked out my front window to see the snow packed to a flat, dull, battleground with sticks, boards and every shovel in the neighbourhood littering the ground. I was enjoying the unblemished beauty of it all. Sue me.)

But he was on a mission. He didn't come back when the light began to fade. He didn't come back when the street lights came on.

This was highly unusual. Zoot never stays out longer than it takes to chill a whisker. Josh, who had gone looking for the two of them, came back without spotting either the cat or the brother.

Hmmmmm. I thought of hopping in the van for a further ranging search. But wait, I just stopped, and said a simple little prayer. For Zoot. And for Levi, who loves that silly cat as much as any boy loves his first pet. He's grown up with the kitty and can't remember life without his sidekick.
After a word to the Father (of course he cares about troubles like these), I had a lightbulb moment. I looked up and called into the slowly darkening house....."Zoooooot. Here kitty, kitty".

I waited a moment and heard a puzzled "vvvvrrrrrr?" and Zoot came sauntering out of Levi's bedroom, where he is want to sleep the afternoon away. He stopped at my feet, looked up and yaaaaaawwned, a big one that makes my jaws ache just typing it right now. He gave a little tiny meow, as if to say "Wha-da-ya-want? I'm trying to sleep."

I just shook my head and thought of the panics my dear mother in law flies into at the drop of a hat.
If you drop your hat, it causes my mother in law to panic. Because, well, "The hat! The hat is now dirty! And unwearable! And how, oh how, will we prevent our ears from freezing??" Not an exaggeration.
Once, when we unexpectedly met her while we were out shopping at a location 5 minutes from her house, and 20 minutes from ours, she narrowly escaped a heart attack from the surprise and shock of meeting. Us! There!
She staggered around the parking lot, clutching her chest and her head in turn, and saying, over and over in her thick Eastern European accent, "Oh my God! It's really you! I think you are a ghost!"
Can you spell Oscar?

But I digress.

So, Levi finally comes home, and a more dejected looking child I have yet to behold. He slumped against the wall in the back entry.

I say, "Levi? Do you know the first thing you should remember when you are faced with an emergency situation? Have you heard of W.W J. D.? Do you know what it means?"

He looked up at me, his red cheeks smudged with something. Not saying it was tears. But I wouldn't blame him. If they were. Which I am not saying.
He says remorsefully, "You mean, What Would Jesus Do."

I say, "Ya that. But I was also thinking, " What Would (grandma) Jeanette Do", and then DON'T DO IT!"

Zoot regally descended to the landing and rubbed up against Levi's legs, before meowing at the door to get outside.


Karyn/Mom said...

Oh, Poor Levi! And how can you compare hearing your beloved cat screaming in the driveway and then disappearing to dropping a hat? tsk tsk I'm on Levi's side.
Tell him I'm giving him a hug. I'm glad he loves that cat so much - even though he makes it so we can't visit at your house. :)
BTW, Arlene, I enjoyed this very much - your writing style is so enjoyable.

Kathleen said...

I think you should have that piece published someplace.

arlene said...


No, I do not fault Levi for a moment for being so deeply concerned...it's just that he could have reacted in a calm and collected manner, and saved himself a big, scary experience.
I love that he cares so much for animals, (and little ones). He has a huge heart!

Thanks! I take that as a great compliment! Hmmmm...no, I don't know who publishes stuff like this.