Monday, October 8, 2007
It took until 3:30 this morning, but we finally have all the occupants back in The House of Many Cats.
It took a combination of high- and low-tech efforts to get her back inside the house.
Denny spent an hour or so yesterday hooking up a couple of monitor cameras to our in-home system, adding a view of the back deck/cat condo area and one that monitored the pet door of the cat condo from inside the spare bedroom. So we could see if anyone entered the cat condo from outside and if they came through the pet flap.
The low-tech approach was the fishing line and weight we rigged from the condo door to the bedroom window. All I needed to do if a cat entered the enclosure was give a tug to shut the door and the weight would keep the door from opening again.
So all left to do then was sit and wait.
Because I had to get up for work at 4:30-ish this morning, Denny said he would stay up to watch the trap. Of course, he fell asleep soon after dinner, but I was not sleeping well anyway so I found myself napping as I kept one eye on the television screens. One was set to the back door cam and the other to the spare-room cam so between the two, I had the cat flap covered.
I had hoped to see our skinny little girl show up right after sunset but the hours of darkness stretched out without a sign of her. I got up periodically to check the live traps, just in case, but no luck there either.
About two I woke up noticed that the outside camera view seemed to show a cat silhouette but the inside cam didn't show anyone in the bedroom downstairs. I glanced back at the outside cam in time to see a faint outline of a skinny black cat scamper across the deck away from the house.
I had missed her. If she had been in the condo, she wasn't there now and who knew when she would come back. I got up, put some wood in the fire, double-checked the spare room and went back to bed. About an hour later, I woke up to see the same cat-shape silhouetted against the window downstairs. This time I didn't even think about it--I yanked the string.
Denny woke up during the excitement so while I ran down to bolt the condo door, I could hear him yelling that we had a cat. But when I checked the spare room, she was no where to be seen. I dashed outside with a flashlight to double-check the condo--maybe she had run back outside and was hiding in the litter box?
But as I played the light over the cat flap, I saw a black head peek out from inside the house--Skinny.
"Hi there, baby!"
A huge weight lifted off me right then. She was back in the house. I only had to check four or five times before I let myself believe it. Skinny ran upstairs and comforted herself with the familiar confines of the ferals' hidey-box in the corner. I had to look in a couple times to convince my heart that she was really home before I went back to bed and slept the best I have since she and Bart got out.
I can cope with the lack of sleep today because my heart is happy.