Wednesday 26 May 2010

My Heart Nearly Broke.

A few days ago, the biggest fear that I had about moving to a new house and a new neighbourhood appeared to becoming a reality. My little Tessie was lost. As I wandered around my garden and the surrounding area, calling her name, my heart leapt every time I saw a white flash that could be her face, every time I heard a noise that could be her mew. My calls became more urgent and then more pathetic as I tried to choke back the tears, as I tried to not think the worst. I began to think that I would soon be writing the post that I have always dreaded. The kind of post that when you start reading, your breathing becomes shallow and your eyes start to prick. You start pleading and hoping, oh please no, please not that. The kind of post that when you get to the end, big fat tears are rolling down your face, plopping onto your keyboard, falling into your coffee, concentric ripples expanding outwards, ever increasing, just as your hope for a happy ending is ever diminishing. Well, I am happy to announce that this is not one of the posts. Tess, the cat of the walnut-sized brain is safe and back at home, once more ensconced under the bed as the chaos, noise and dust of the renovations continue.

If I am honest, she was only actually missing for less than two hours, but that was quite enough time for me to think of all the worst case scenarios. To start designing lost posters, to start thinking of all of those what if scenarios (most of them involving cars, blood and a poor, hurt, frightened little kitty hiding in someone’s shed, never to be seen again) and tormenting myself with the question of why I didn’t get her in when I had the chance and when Mr. DBM suggested that I get her in. I also had time to get quite angry with an irresponsible dog owner. Now, I love dogs, and normally I don’t care if they are running around off leash, but when one comes into my garden and spooks my cat so that she runs off and can’t be found, I can get a little angry. And worse, the guy claims that it couldn’t possibly be his dog, since he has only just let the little sod out (the little sod was my wording, not his). However, I know it was his dog, since I saw the little black and white Boston terrier running around my garden and I heard family members calling him – I believe his name is Arthur. So, when I met the guy in the wooded area behind my house and I saw him looking for his dog, here is the conversation that ensued:

Me: “Have you lost your dog?”

Little Sod’s Owner: “Yes, I have you seen him?”

Me: “Would he be the black and white Boston terrier that was running around my garden completely out of control and that just went haring under the fence over there?

Little Sod’s Owner: “Oh yes, thank you.”

Me: “Perhaps you should have better control over your dog. Might I suggest a leash, or perhaps one of those collars that gives your dog an electric shock when he completely ignores you and all your family members?”

Little Sod’s Owner: “Well, he didn’t really do anything wrong, did he?”

Me: “Actually, I believe he came into my garden, scared the living shit out of my cat, who has now disappeared and is probably lost and gone forever.”

Little Sod’s Owner: “Oh, that couldn’t be my dog, I only just let him out.”

Me: “ Then how come I saw him in my garden half an hour ago, how come your wife and son were out calling him over and over again and how come I now know is name is Arthur if he has been inside all this time. Or do your family members enjoy roaming the neighbourhood chasing after a non-existent dog?”

Little Sod’s Owner: “No, not my dog, couldn’t have been. And even if it was, it is not as if he has done any harm.”

Me: “Well, I beg to differ and if I don’t find my cat, I will be suing your ass off, collecting dog shit to post through your letter box and making a voodoo doll of you to stick pins and needles into day and night for all eternity.”

Of course, that conversation only took place in my head. The real conversation was more like:

Me: “Have you lost your dog?”

Little Sod’s Owner: “Yes, I have you seen him?”

Me: “Would he be a black and white Boston terrier?

Little Sod’s Owner: “Yes.”

Me: “He just went under that fence over there.”

Little Sod’s Owner: “Thank you.”

Me: “You are welcome. Oh, and if you see a fluffy black and white cat around, can you let me know. Thank you.”

Sometimes, flicking the safety switch that disconnects your brain from your mouth is a good thing. Let’s be honest, if I didn’t have that switch, I am pretty sure that I would have been punched on the nose a few times and I certainly would not be gainfully employed. If I ever lose control of that switch and start saying what I am actually thinking, I suspect that I could end up in some very hot water very quickly.

Tess’s little adventure does have a happy ending. After a tearful breakdown I went back into the house to start making up my “LOST” posters. After 10 minutes of more worry, I had to go back outside to look for her. I opened the back door and there she was, just sitting there. I picked her up, hugged her half to death, scaring her even more, and then she bolted under the bed for the rest of the evening.


Cortes said...

Hugs can be scary. All is well though, and that is the most important consideration.

Moon said...

I feel your pain .... Even I love that Moggy ..... xxxx

English Mum said...

Aw poor Tess. I would have hugged her good and hard too. With an extra squeeze for running off.

Glad you got her back xx

jabblog said...

Not many are blessed with brains AND beauty and your sweet Tess is very beautiful;-)
I'm glad your imaginings remained just that and I loved your internal comments.

Kerry said...

So glad to hear that you found her. I have had similar experiences with out of control dogs - I blame the owners not the dogs - only I have let rip, especially when the owners have told me that their pack of dogs were only having a bit of fun chasing one of my old and terrified cats.

Lovely photos by the way. I wish my cats would pose like yours do!

Kate said...

I had an almost identical cat called Ava (Gardener) who was similarly long-haired and beautiful but, unlike Tess, had a brain the size of only an almond. She did meet with a sad end. I'm so glad your Tess did not.

Ava had no fear of dogs. Unfortunately.

Baino said...

You do know that they hide under a bush just until you've finished all your lost posters, cancelled your day at work, put on your walking shoes, hunted for and finally found the sticky tape and start to head outdoors?

Carolina said...

Yep, as a fellow catowner and -lover, I know exactly what you mean with everything you wrote there.
So glad she's back. Love that last photo.

Suldog said...

Your lack of bad conversation with the neighbor will be rewarded somehow; count on it. There's a reason we have that switch in our heads :-)

Don't Bug Me! said...

Cortes: I think she might have thought that I was giving her the hug of death!

Moon: How could you not love her?

EM: Hmmm, I was torn between covering her with kisses and killing her for scaring me like that.

Jabblog: Some of us are blessed with neither ;o)

Kerry: I quite agree - it is always the owner's fault.
Tess is actually scared of the camera, so you have to sneak up, be quick and avoid using the flash.

Katherine: Poor Ava - please don't tell me the whole story, or I will start leaking around the eyes again.

Baino: Do you think she was having a laugh at my expense!?! Perhaps she is not so stupid after all, since she got some tuna out it.

Carolina: The last photo is my favourite too, although I quite like the black and white one.

Suldog: You are absolutely right, of course. Can you imagine what it would be like if we all went around saying exactly what we were thinking?

Kate said...

Isn't it awful when that happens... I remember Maxie going missing for a whole night and I was out the next morning with a towel in a box to scrape him up off the road and bring him home in.... where was he? Locked in a neighbours garage ... there I was calling him and suddenly I heard a mournful howl (with an echo?) I traced him to a garage door and when I lifted it - out he strolled!
Not so brave now though - he's still hiding in the bedroom from the manic puppy!!!

Don't Bug Me! said...

Kate: I don't suppose mine will be too happy when I finally get a dog. Still, I won't put them through a big move and a new dog all in one year, so the dog will have to wait just a little longer.

Sistertex said...

Oh my gosh...I would feel the very same as you did. So glad she turned up for you, she is SO beautiful!

I would never put a shock collar on any animal, but there have been quite a few owners I have wanted to put them on. You really can't put the blame on the dog, but the owners. I have dogs (as you know) and it really ticks me off when people let their dogs run loose. It can cause real problems, not only for the kitties, birds and other wild life, but also for the person walking their dogs on leash.

So so glad your story had a happy ending!!! Beautiful photos of your beautiful girl. Hugs!

Unknown said...

Beautiful portraits of your dear Tessie! I'm glad you found her!!

Don't Bug Me! said...

Sistertex: I agree, put the shock collars on the owners. It is never the dogs fault.

Lisa: Thanks!