Saturday, August 7, 2010

LOST orange cat: BILL

Help Jake find Bill:

"We just moved to the neighborhood and one of our three cats, Bill, managed to get out last night. My fiance is away for the weekend, and I would REALLY like to find him before she gets back, or my name is mud.



Ruth said...

I hope with all my heart that you find Bill.
This is not the first report this week of a cat lost during a move. Please, everyone, if you know cat owners who are moving, warn them that this sort of upheaval is very scarey for cats - they need to be carefully confined before, during, and after a move.

lilolady said...

So true, Ruth, I know someone who lost her beloved tabbyboy Chagall during a move. It caused her to stay in Vermont an extra month, hoping against hope, but then sadly she HAD to leave. But not before spoiling the V-greeness with signs such that a month later Chagall was found in an empty apartment. In an instant of the phone call, she "borrowed" an understanding dog to accompany her over a several states drive, to keep her nerves steady and for just in case it wasn't Mr. Chagall. But it was, indeed, the "best cat ever". I understand the trip back was one of three limp noodles - human, cat, dog in total sympatico.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there are any tips for lost cats. For example, would it help to leave Bill's blanket outside on the porch (if its not raining) in case he comes back at night?

Chelsea said...

I hope you find your baby! At least he is orange, so he'll stand out against shrubs and whatnot, making him easier to find.

Please give us an update on Bill's situation when new information is available!

DrJakeD said...

GREAT NEWS EVERYBODY! The cat came back, he couldn't stay away, and he was home sweet home, the very next day. Thank you to all the kind souls who gave me comfort, or tips, or just wished us the best. Here's what happened: I spent 9 hours on my bike putting up signs and talking to people on Saturday, which actually was a great way to get to know the neighborhood and the neighbors, all of whom immediately understood and commiserated with my predicament.

My first glimmer of hope came in the late afternoon from a gaggle of teenage girls, who said they saw an orange tabby in Washington Park, near Drexel, on Friday night. I cruised around the park and came across a group of homeless folks who said they saw an orange tabby "frolicking" with another cat, a spotted black and white. This sounded like Bill: adventurous, social, in love with outdoor spaces. I coasted around the park and found lots of softball players but no sign of cats. Reading online, however, I found a tip to put some used kitty litter outside, so that the cat could more easily smell his way home. I did one better (sorry neighbors), and applied the stuff liberally to my windowsill.

Then, after dinner, I was mid-cut at the Hyde Park Hair Salon when I got a call from a kind woman who had an orange tabby in her sights on the 5400 block of Greenwood...up a tall branch of a tree. This too sounded like my man, a former barn kitty from Kansas who is an athlete through and through. She said he had been there two nights in a row, and that he had managed to get out of the tree and perch underneath her car when most cats would have had to have had a fire department rescue. She and her ten-year-old son tried to catch him for me while she was on the phone, but you have to lunge like a world cup goalie to catch Bill. He escaped under an iron fence into a lush, overgrown garden.

I considered leaving the barbershop half cut, but didn’t, and they take their time over there…and A.C. gave me the best cut I’ve had in decades. So by the time I got to Greenwood, Bill was either long gone, or just not coming out.

But at 4 am this morning, I heard a loud mewing in the courtyard outside my window. Bill. I pulled on some shorts, grabbed some treats, and raced out there, and there he was, mewing at me excitedly from inside the iron grate of a basement window. He came right up to me, brushing up against my legs, bribe not necessary, mewing all the time. In the very moment where I reached forward to pick him up, I shifted my weight and an angry bee who had slipped between my flip flop and my heel jabbed me and buzzed his last. So in this moment of pure and utter joy I felt a sharp stab, and had to limp out of the courtyard with Bill in my arms, like the wounded dragging the wounded off a battlefield. I managed to get the door open, one legged, spilling treats all over the entryway and slamming the front door (sorry neighbors).

When I got him inside, all limping, his brothers went ape. Bill was so excited and so hungry that he was snorting and sneezing, nuzzling me continuously and pushing his muzzle into the treat bag. I fed him and he wolfed like he hadn’t eaten in days (okay, one day), then drank greedily. His brothers sniffed him so curiously, and he and his brother Lou groomed each other in the living room with the glowering light of dawn beginning to seep over the rooftops.

After Bill had a few bites, and some water, he went over to the front door, lay in front of it, and panted at me. I just collapsed against the wall. In the whole experience, that was the first time my eyes moistened…not just with relief that he was back, or with the pain in my foot, or the knowledge that the wedding would go forward, but with the realization that Bill might just be an outdoor animal, bred as he was from generations of farm cats, raised his first year in a barn, always unruly and very marginally domesticated. No glass of water or toilet paper roll is safe from Bill. Couches tremble in fear with his regal passage.

… (continued)

Dr.D.Ph.D. said...

(from above)…
At the very least I’m going to have all of the boys microchipped, and I’m also wondering whether to take them all in for a full complement of shots, seeing as there’s no knowing what Bill got into during his day on the lam (not to worry, he’s fixed, but knowing Bill that probably didn’t stop him from hollering at some fine Chicago felines). Any tips for great vets in the neighborhood? (And, also, an insurance agent, a therapist, and a doctor?) I took an antihistamine for the foot and slept until 10 a.m., much relieved, and looking forward to telling my honey the whole story. THANK YOU so much to everyone who called or texted encouragement, and to Georgia and her son, who spied him in the tree, and to Hyde Park Cats, for looking out for each other and for making this new neighborhood feel like home.

Until you see me next, limping or biking around the neighborhood, all the best,


bundeleh said...

Of course the real question remains ... will the fiancee be told or left in the dark?

Ruth said...

I'm so glad Bill is back. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and happy marriage Jake. Hyde Park Animal Clinic on 53rd and Kenwood is probably your closest vet, and Dr Wake is a great friend to Hyde Park Cats.

Zoe said...

Hooray! What a happy story. Congratulations and best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Yay Bill! I saw your flyers around the neighborhood on Saturday while biking. He looks like a sweet cat.

I highly recommend Dr. Wake and the other folks at Hyde Park Animal Clinic on 53rd. Affordable, friendly and Dr. Wake is probably the best vet I've ever known (and I've known a few). They do full checkups and also do microchipping. Soon, they will have a full-service inpatient hospital on 63rd as well.

Meng Ning said...

Hyde Park Animal Clinic is fabulous. My vet of choice is Dr. Williams. He has two cats of his own so he knows all about them and is super knowledgeable and super friendly. I like him better than Dr. Wake!