A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Incredibly Stupid Journey

This morning, Cricket the housecat escaped. Much panic ensued. There was much cursing, some frantic telephone calls, some prayer, and much speculation. I dressed in a hurry and raced out without my breakfast, calling "Cricket! CricketER! CRIKEY! Here, kitty kitty kitty!" and other such things.

"Why all the panic? He's just a cat!" you may say, and you'd be right, but he's the cat I took with me to graduate school. He is my first "grown up" pet. "He can survive outside," you might say, and you might be right. However, Cricket is an indoor-only cat, and he has been declawed. He does not know how to behave around cars. He cannot defend himself against dogs or cruel children. He is not vaccinated against FIV, so a bite from an infected cat could be fatal. He hasn't even been given preventative medicine for fleas, since he is never exposed to them. He has a collar and ID tag, but I never make him wear it. He was certainly not wearing his identification this morning.

After a time of fruitlessly calling his name, I went back and ate my breakfast, on the grounds that maybe he'd come back on his own. Then I went out again, calling for him. This time, I left the apartment complex and looked in the yeards of the nearest houses, occasionally calling "Cricket?" No Cricket.

I came back, and decided that I should walk the other direction past my apartment. I hadn't really gone this way yet. I was reluctant to go this way, because if you walk this way, you end up at a major through street. There's a large empty lot across from the apartment complex which might be appealing to a cat, but you have to cross the busy street to get to it. If I found Cricket there, it might be in the form of roadkill.

I don't know what made me look up at the second-floor apartment in the building next to ours. Maybe there was a sound. Maybe I was just scanning automatically. Either way, I saw a pair of huge green eyes set in a dark face, peering through the railing above me. "Cricket?" I asked. "CRICKET?" I think he made a tiny noise when he saw that I was addressing him, but he didn't come down to me. I had to go upstairs to get him. Still, he seemed relieved when I picked him up. "This isn't our apartment," I told him, but I don't think he really grasped that. Apparently all he knew about our apartment was that it was at the top of a flight of stairs. He had climbed up a flight of stairs; ergo, he must be home. He seemed to be expecting me to just open the door and let him in, and was surprised and upset when I carried him away.

So that's the subject of this post: how can a cat be so stupid? I thought that pets were supposed to have incredible homing instincts. They're supposed to be able to trek hundreds of miles to find their way home, right? So why is it that this cat couldn't even tell the difference between the landing outside of his apartment and the landing outside some one else's apartment? Or. . . behold my cynicism here. . . is that Cricket DID know the difference, but was secretly trying to escape from us and move in with someone else? Either way, I dub today's adventure "the incredibly stupid journey."


Anonymous nanhuff said...

Poor Crikey - I'll bet he was really tired after his adventure! For what it's worth, Ishie has been declawed and he goes outside all the time, sometimes even staying out all night. The first time he didn't come back, we were afraid he was roadkill, but he showed up at the door later. He seems to be okay with it.

10:46 PM  

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