Monday, March 30, 2009

Lost and found.


While we were in Hawaii, I received this text message from Vivian's teacher, Mrs. Kemp, who was staying at our house with Vivian:

Please don't say anything to Dorothy yet, but... we cannot find Ginny anywhere. She was here yesterday morning but when we got home last night I noticed we didn't see her. We looked all over the house and outside...

My heart sank. Ginny is Dots's much-loved cat. She is an inside pet who is typically terrified of the outside (unlike her compadre Percy who dreams of the big world outside the house and plots opportunities to make his exit whenever his humans open a door).

I called Mrs. Kemp, hopeful that in the 12 hours since she'd sent the message, Ginny might have turned up. No such luck. It had now been two days since they'd seen Ginny. I reeled off a list of places in the house for Mrs. Kemp to look (cabinets, closets, dresser drawers, etc.). She had already checked each of them but said she would look again. She was concerned that Ginny might have gotten outside because she'd heard no meowing inside the house.

A vision came to me of Vivian picking up Ginny, cackling (we call it her "Evil Vivi laugh") and saying, "Ha ha ha ha ha - I will put Ginny outside." Mrs. Kemp assured me that Vivian had not been in one of those moods that week, but she couldn't be sure Vivian hadn't put Ginny somewhere.

I emailed Mrs. Kemp a picture of Ginny (Dots loves to take pictures of her cat so there are plenty of shots clogging up my camera's memory card). I suggested that Mrs. Kemp post some signs on our block the next morning. I left my cat-loving friend Elizabeth a message imploring her to go to my house the next day and help look for our sweet kitty.

That night I slept restlessly while mentally searching our house for Ginny. I texted Mrs. Kemp as places occurred to me that she might not have checked.

In the wee hours of the morning I felt my phone vibrating under my pillow.

"We found her! We found Ginny!" Mrs. Kemp exclaimed, enthusiasm mixed with relief in her voice. "She had crawled up in the box springs under Vivian's bed and gotten stuck."

Mrs. Kemp told me she had checked under the beds before but had not seen Ginny. That morning, though, after receiving my messages wondering if Vivian had put the cat outside, she asked Vivian if she knew where Ginny was.

"Ginny is under my bed," Vivian answered nonchalantly, oblivious to the fact that poor Mrs. Kemp had been frantically searching for two days.

Mrs. Kemp looked again and this time noticed a bulge in the fabric under the box springs. She called a neighbor who came over and took the mattress off and turned the box spring upside down. Ginny came tumbling out and ran under a corner cupboard.

I laugh now to imagine Vivian hearing the cat under her bed as she slept but not bothering to mention it until asked directly, even though she had walked around with Mrs. Kemp as she looked for Ginny inside the house and out.

The elusive Ginny was quite skittish for several days after we got home. She seems to have recovered, but she noticeably avoids going under Vivian's bed now.



JoAnn said...

Thank goodness Ginny was found, but what a scare and how helpless you must have felt, being so far away.

What would ever possess a cat to climb into the box springs? Then again, whatever possesses a cat to do anything that s/he does, though? They are both creatures of habit and totally unpredictable?

Anonymous said...

Ohh, poor sweet Ginny, I am so happy she was found! My parents cats have a penchant for climbing into the box springs as well - I guess they like the comfort enclosed spaces bring!

Amber M. said...

STRESS!! I realize it's not the exact same thing, but when we can't find Anna's stuffed Bunny before bed...nightmare. Those security objects (even when they are alive) seem to work miracles on our little ones.

The 5 Bickies said...

I'm so glad it was a happy ending!

Anonymous said...

poor lost kitty - glad she was found!!

Laura said...

I'm so glad there is a happy ending to this story! :)

Rachel said...

So glad the cat was found! Did you ever tell Dots anything about her being missing?

KK said...

My cat Carter used to do the same thing--climb into the box spring of my parent's bed!

Laura said...

WHEW!! So glad for the happy ending!! :D

Darlene said...

I am sooooo glad Ginny was found. How scary to have been so far away knowing the precious kitty might be gone. Cats can get into the strangest places sometimes!!!

3 Peanuts said...

I have never heard of a cat doing glad she was found.