This is Mikey.
This is also Mikey.
Mikey loves plants and adventure. Or rather, he thinks he loves adventure, but then he gets freaked out.
We have an apartment on what Europeans call the first floor, but Americans call the second. But, in height, it’s really more like the second (European) floor. We have a large balcony and it attaches to the roof of part of the building. Across from us, also attached to this roof is a fitness center.
The fitness center has plants. Did I mention how much Mikey loves plants? The kitties, Mikey and Claudia, have spent the last 18 months or so running around this roof and, when the gym leaves their window open, Mikey will sneak in for a bite of plant.
So, Tuesday night, when Mikey didn’t come in and we saw that the gym window was open, we assumed he had gone in for some tasty plants and fallen asleep somewhere. He has done this once before and sauntered in the next morning like nothing happened.
However, Wednesday morning he did not saunter in. He didn’t show up at all. So, I put my mask on and went over and asked the gym people if they had seen him. (Because of covid restrictions, the gym opens late and never has more than a few people there at a time.) They had not, but allowed me and Offspring #1 to do a thorough search of the multi-floor facilities. They were all concerned as they had a soft spot in their heart for the little plant eater.
He was not in the gym.. I was convinced he had to be. There was no possible way Mikey could have jumped down. And there was no body to be found.
I went to the neighbor who has an enclosed backyard and asked if I could come look around. He was gracious. He owns a mechanical music museum and hosts parties in his gorgeous yard. He has a big tent up, so lots of places for a kitty to hide. We did not find him.
Following advice from the local cat group, we put out Mikey’s basket and favorite blanket. (A 21 Pilots blanket that, to Offspring #1’s distress, he took a liking to and chewed the heck out of.) We also put out a litter box with used litter, hoping to have him smell home and come back.
He did not.
We put up signs all around the neighborhood. We posted on Facebook and in cat groups on Facebook. We registered him with the shelter and the country wide lots cat network. He’s chipped and was wearing a collar when he left, so we hoped that he would be found easily.
Wednesday morning I notified his foster mother, Elena, who is an amazing person who rescues cats from the streets of Bahrain and then brings them to Switzerland where she places them in loving homes. Our kitties were Bahranian street cats. She came out and helped me look.
She said the best time to find lost cats was in the middle of the night, when everything is calm. We went out together at 10:00 at night. We called him. We rattled a treat bag. Nothing.
She said most house cats are found within 50 meters of their home. I was convinced that he must be injured and was hiding in our musical neighbor’s yard. Since it was late, I didn’t want to knock again and ask to search, but we went to the fence and I called his name.
I coudn’t hear anything, but Elena said she heard a cat. A distant cat.
Mikey loves Offspring #1 the best, so I asked her to come out on our balcony and call to him.
He responded, and it was loud enough that we could find a direction. He wasn’t in our musical neighbor’s garden. He was across the parking lot and in the fenced in church yard.
The church also has a home health agency in it, and the employees take their breaks and smoke in the back yard, so during they day there are almost always people back there. This explains why Mikey didn’t come out when we called him earlier. He’s always had anxiety, and there was no way he was going to strangers when he was already stressed.
The church yard was fenced, though. Fortunately, I have two teenage offspring and a step ladder. Both went up and over into the yard. Mikey was terrified even of them, and even his favorite treat (tuna) wouldn’t lure him out of hiding.
They tried to grab him and he took off running. He sprang over the fence and ran out into the street. We chased him and fortunately, he took a turn down an alleyway that was a dead end, so we cornered him and captured him. Offspring #1 held him tightly and we wrapped him in my jacket and got him home.
He immediately hid under my bed. His loving sister, Claudia, hissed at him. Because it was already so late, we locked him in my bedroom with water, food, and a littler box and went to bed.
And by going to bed, I mean, I actually was in bed, but my adrenaline levels were so high, it took forever to sleep. Mikey came out from his hiding place a couple of times, and even snuggled up next to me for about two minutes, before going back to the bed.
First thing in morning, I made a vet appointment. We had to wrestle him into his carrier, which he doesn’t like in the best of times. Due to Covid restrictions, only one human is allowed in the vet, so Offspring #1 took him in, as he loves her best and she’s the cat whisperer.
The vet determined that his leg was not broken, but injured. She gave him a shot of painkiller, and due to a fever, a shot of antibiotics. She then gave us pills to give him for the next week, for both pain and infection.
The drugs clearly worked as when they really kicked in, he was able to sleep.
Today, he’s still limping and cautious. Claudia is still hissing at him. But, we are happy to have our Mikey back.
And next week, we will be installing cat netting around our balcony, as apparently, he is too easily distracted to not notice the two-story drop to the ground.
Or Claudia pushed him. She seems surprisingly unhappy that he’s back. And she, is, well, a cat.