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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Great Pet Escape

So some of you, maybe even most of you have heard this story. Two posts in one day seems crazy. This is Hanan's last full day of school. I am avoiding packing and laundry for the camping trip. This is great blog fodder. Frankly, I could use the practice.

First, for those of you who haven't heard the story, let me briefly catch you up... Two summers ago, I made the grave mistake of rescuing two cats while we were visiting Mom's in Kentucky. I promise it will never happen again. In fact on more than one occasion I've done my best to get rid of the kitties. In homage to my great mistake, I names them Phinneus and Gaige. Phinneus Gaige was the very first man to survive a lobotomy. I thought I must have been sick in the head to bring not one but cats into our home. Since that fateful trip home, Kiera passed away and after several months we added a pound puppy to our family. His name is Tucker.

A few months ago, Gaige got out of the house. It happened before. He showed up shortly after. Everyone kept saying, he'll be home when he's ready. After 3 weeks, and only one very fat cat in the house, I was pretty happy. Then, it happened. Ray was home. The girls were playing in the backyard. I was suffering from the first trimester of the pregnancy. I thought I might get a nap that day. How wrong I was. The girls come running in the house screaming. They had found Gaige. This was not the first time they thought they saw him. I go outside, I can't see him but they are crying saying he's in the neighbor's yard.

I must be the best mom in the world considering how much I don't like cats. I finally agree to walk around the block to see if we can find him. I get to the neighbor's yard and I hear it. Gaige has always been a very talkative cat. He's practically screaming. I scoop him up and we start our proud walk home. We are walking around the block diretly behind our house. Gaige isn't happy. Even only having back claws, he's doing some damage to my arms. I didn't think to bring his bag because I never considered the fact that he would be there.

Halfway down the street we see this giant white lab bounding toward us. I left Tucker locked in the backyard behind a 5 foot fence. Still, there he is running at us at a break neck pace. Gaige doesn't react well. Arleigh tries to help me by holding Tucker's collar. He's dragging her all over the place. I finally lose Gaige. All I can think is get Tucker in the house. Twenty more minutes in the great outdoors won't kill the cat. That's when Arleigh loses it. She is screaming. She thinks Gaige is gone again. This is when the elderly couple comes out of their house to make sure I'm not beating my children. Bless their hearts, they try to help, but Gaige just runs even further.

So Hanan is fussing to get Tucker home. Arleigh is still crying. I feel crappy and I'm dragging a 50-lb lab by the collar around a block. We bust in the house and Ray still doesn't really understand that Tucker was a block away from home. He jumps up to help rescue the cat. So the four of us go running around the block. This time we don't forget the cat bag. We find Gaige. We again start the proud walk home. The girls are beside themselves.

At this point, Ray has heard about Tucker actually being around the block. We explain to the girls that if Tucker goes outside, we have to be with him. We needed to figure out how he got out. So at around 4 Ray decided he needs to run an errand. We all start getting shoes on and start to look around for Tucker. He's gone. Now I was certainly not happy. I felt like I traded a dog for a cat. I go around the block. Ray puts the kids in the car. We finally all drive around for an hour. We ask everyone outside if they've seen a white lab. They all think we're crazy.

Finally we give up. The girls are both crying. I don't know what to do. I go inside to check our messages to see if someone found him and called. The girls go in the back yard to yell for him through their tears. Ray gets on his bike and takes off again. I sat down at the desk and that's when I hear this horrible thumping upstairs. It's too big for a cat. My first thought is what if we left the house unlocked and someone was upstairs. I cautiously walk upstairs to find Tucker locked away in the girls' bedroom. He had been napping on Hanan's bed.

I call Ray to call off the search and walk outside with Tucker. The girls are squealing and jumping up and down. I told them that I found him locked in their room. Hanan smiles that sheepish little grin and says, "Oh yeah, I forgot."

I'm sure I'll have more pet adventures to share after we take Tucker camping for the first time this weekend.

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