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.

Those windows belong to the fitness center. You can’t see the plants, but I promise, they are there.

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.

This is the view from the roof. That’s how far down the cat would have jumped.

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.

There is a tent on the left hand side. Lots of places for a kitty to hide.

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.

With the help of a step ladder, Offspring #1 and #2 jumped over the fence to find the wayward kitty cat.

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.

She looks innocent and sweet, but could she be evil?

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.

This is what good drugs will do to you.

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.

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19 thoughts on “Swiss Saturday: The Lost Kitty

  1. First of all very glad to hear that you succeeded in finding your cat. As a cat owner, myself I sympathize with the trying to keep the cat within your known territory, but I have become a firm believer in keeping my cat indoors because of the dangers that they can encounter even if you live in an urban setting. You obviously have been allowing the cats outside via your balcony thinking in a human sense that they would not reach ground level but it is their inherent nature to explore. Now that Mikey has had a taste of life outside, you will need to create a cat house fenced area that limits his ability to leave. I think that the fencing netting most used is what is used to surround the chicken coops commonly called chicken wire netting. It will keep the cats in a long as you have no loose connections ( cats can open holes in anything that has a give/grab to it. Sliding doors are extremely easy for them unless locked. Mikey might cry loudly because he feels his freedom is suppressed but you will sleep better knowing that he is safe inside. Good luck.

  2. You must be SO relieved! (good grief, I’M relieved, and I just read about his disappearing act on social media)

    Glad you found him, and I hope you get a better night’s sleep tonight 🙂

  3. I saw my father’s cat shove my stepmother’s cat through the stair railing and down an interior wall. Super scary to think about that happening from a second story window. 🙁 Glad he’s okay.

  4. SO GLAD YOU FOUND HIM. Darn cats will do these things – they don’t know how good they have it at home with their catslaves!! It’s a horrible feeling when they get out, good idea on the netting – it’s a common occurrence in cities that cats fall off balconies – thinking they’re jumping for something and then missing the edge and down they go. You were obviously VERY dedicated to finding him. And yes, better living through pharmaceuticals is a definite thing!

  5. I really enjoy your Swiss Saturday posts and especially the time and humour instilled in this one. We have a Claudia who now lives in a house with three servants and an entertainment committee. This committee consists of a multitude of kookaburra and fairy wren families, cockatoos, parrots, skinks and backyard garden full of plants. Claudia used to live in an apartment where a cat net – 1.5 cm2 holes – made of tennis net fibre kept her on our balcony. She now has a backyard and is kept so entertained by the committee that she does not seek greener pastures. Good luck with Mikey and maybe Claudia would benefit from a different suite of drugs – relaxants – from the Vet?

    1. Ha ha. That’s what we need. Claudia with some relaxants.

      She’s hissing a bit less this morning. So, that’s progress!

  6. Suzanne, thank you for sharing a story a fellow cat lover can totally appreciate. SO glad that Mickey is home and hope that Claudia has calmed down by now. Cat netting is a great idea.

    1. THEY LET HIM.

      I would enjoy the gym more if it had a visiting cat, but I think it’s windows are too high up.

      1. They do let him. He’s not allowed out any more, for obvious reasons. I’ve ordered cat net that will arrive tomorrow or Wednesday.

        The gym owners have a big dog and sometimes the dog will sit with his head out the window, watching the cats run about the roof.

        My cats have no concept of predators and think the dog is interesting.

        But, now, they shall be kept apart by netting.

  7. Suzanne,

    Greetings from South Jersey! I’m so happy to hear that Mikey was found and is doing well! I look forward to and love reading your Swiss Saturday posts!

  8. Wow. This is…pretty much a laundry list of what not to do as a cat owner. For their own safety, cats should be kept indoors–particularly if you have a kitty who likes to wander off and explore. They can become injured (as Mikey did) or encounter someone who wants to harm a cat. Also, many plants are toxic to animals. I’m surprised Mikey hasn’t gotten sick from nibbling on a plant at some point. Please be more careful. This post was upsetting to read.

    1. Actually in Sweden it’s considered abusive to keep a cat indoors. And your assumption that “cat likes to eat plants” means “we let him chew to his hearts content willy nilly” is really judgey and blamey.

      It’s unfortunate her cat got hurt. She’s taking steps to address it. It’s far from a “laundry list of what not to do”

  9. So happy for you!

    This hissing will stop soon enough. My cat was missing for a month and when we got him back all the cats hissed and ostracized him for a week. Missing Tom for the most part slept and ate constantly, gave everyone ear mites, and rolled around on the litter several times a day.

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