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Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Harrowing Experience

Yesterday I stayed behind and didn't go with everyone else for the weekly shopping trip because I had some important work to do. Lately, to save on diesel, we've been driving slower and so now the trip to Mansa takes 3 hours instead of 2, increasing the day's shopping excursion by 2 hours. I really had to buckle down and work so I chose to stay home.

Chai was a bit of a distraction as she meowed and whined her way around the living room--wanting up, wanting down, wanting to eat, not really hungry, etc. but I managed to eventually tune her out as I typed away on my laptop.

Around noon, I looked up from my work and realized that I hadn't heard the kitten for a while. I looked around a bit but figured she was probably napping. I wasn't worried because I had been careful about keeping the door closed since I didn't want the dogs in the house.

An hour later I still hadn't heard anything from Chai. She usually demands food every couple hours and it had been about that since we'd fed her. I walked around the living room hunting for her and calling, but nothing happened.

For the next two hours I searched more and more carefully. Discussing things with Summer, our volunteer, I realized that there might have been one time when the door was left open when I had gone down to the nursery and she later joined me. Now I got really worried. Chai is tiny--perfect bite-size for large dogs or hawks. The latter have done damage on our farm before, swooping down and carrying off tiny, chirping ducklings in their beaks.

I was sick to my stomach. I have successfully raised (or nearly raised) six children. I'm responsible for 18 more. I have 14 staff members. And yet I can't keep a little bitty kitten alive for even one day on my own!?!

At three-thirty I gathered the kindergarteners and told them we would be searching the large, grassy field on our property for the cat. The grass is 2-3 feet tall in places and I was a little worried about snakes but I figured we'd be making plenty of noise and it was the middle of the day. Plus, we keep goats in that field so the snakes had probably all moved on. 
  I instructed the kids on how to do a search. We linked hands, stretched out the width of the field and began walking down the hill. I quickly learned that four and five year olds don't make the best searchers. They couldn't walk in a straight line and kept ending up in little bunches. The grass was so long they were nearly swallowed up in it. 
  We walked all the way to the end and back again but the only thing we gained from it was itchy calves and shins. Still no kitten.

I walked back into the living room feeling discouraged and disheartened. How was I going to tell my thirteen year old son? He had taken such a liking to Chai--even calling her his baby. I was a terrible mama. I lost my adolescent son's baby! I picked up the phone and called Tom to find out when he'd be home. As I hung up the phone I saw a bit of movement on the couch and out of a pile of pillows, up popped Chai's head! Praise Be!!!

I was not a bad mama. I was not a kitten killer. All was right in the world!

Can we say "Drama Queen"?

**********

I'm taking part in Elizabeth Esther's Saturday Evening Post. Each month she encourages bloggers to post their best work from the previous month.
I chose this post about Giving the Gift of Life which I wrote while visiting the U.S in February.

Exactly One Year Ago: A Fab Friday Foto (interestingly, since I did one yesterday, also a funny sign)

5 comments:

  1. So glad to read that Chai is safe and well.

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  2. Even adult kitties have an amazing talent for disappearing on us. I can't tell you how many times I've "lost" one of my two indoor cats. Even our pet-sitter "lost" one of them and said she was about to call us when kitty crawled out from behind the armoire. Glad you found her, even if she didn't know she was lost!

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  3. @Stacia

    I'm not sure if I can take it if this cat keeps disappearing. Oh, my goodness!

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  4. Oh, girl, that is SO SCARY. I used to take the dogs out front with me and let them hang out while I was doing yard work... until the one time that Choco wandered off unknowingly and I freaked out. He'd just wandered a little further to the neighbors yard a few houses down, but during the time I couldn't find him, I felt like a horrible animal parent. He only hangs in the back yard now. :) Glad you're situation turned up okay.

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  5. I have a kitten named Chai, too, and he has scared me a few times when he's escaped outside (he's supposed to be an inside-only cat!)

    ReplyDelete

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