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May. 30th, 2006

Henry is missing.

I didn't used to let him out, and I don't know why I decided to start doing so. I thought that he needed to be brave, that he was a cat, that he could handle it. A few weeks ago I would let him out when he tried to run past me as I arrived home from work. I'd stand at the bottom of the stairs and keep my eye on him and it wouldn't take long for something to startle him, and then he'd race back up the stairs to our house. Eventually I wouldn't babybsit him, but he never stayed out longer than ten minutes. I thought he could handle it.

Last night I came back from scootin' at around nine pm. He tried to get past my legs when I came in; my first instinct was to keep him in, but then I remembered the new policy, so I let him out. He was back in five minutes, and I closed the door behind him. A few minutes after that, he was yelling to go out again, so I let him. And he never came back.

I walked around my complex a bunch of times last night, and again this morning, calling his name and making kissing noises. I left a bowl of water and a bowl of food at the bottom of the stairs before I went to bed last night; a lot of these buildings look the same and maybe he got confused and couldn't find his way back, and I was hoping that he if happened to pass by, the familar food in the familiar bowl would remind him that he was home. I slept on the couch so that I could hear him scratching at the door, but he never came home.

Just before I woke up I dreamed that I had found him, I was holding him in my arms. Ben had found three orange-and-white cats, and at first I couldn't tell which one was Hank, one had a snaggle tooth, and one's hair was too long. When I woke up, I realized how absurd that thought is, that I wouldn't know Henry.

I don't know what to do. I don't know where he is. He is so scared. Maybe he's lost, or maybe someone grabbed him (who could get close enough? Who would keep him, with the scratching that he does?) He's my best friend and my roommate and he's only six and I'm so worried and I feel so helpless. I'm going to print a bunch of flyers today and post five thousand of them on every surface I can find when I get home from work, even in the neighborhood where that crackhead ninja lives, but I'm so worried. He has a collar on, with a small silver tube that has a slip of paper in it, with his name and my phone number. But who could get close enough to open it? I don't picture him in a house, I picture him cowering under a bush, alone and terrified and hot. I fucked up, I messed up, he was my responsibility and I just let him wander off with no supervision. I can't believe I did that. I can't believe I just opened the door and let him go, he didn't even get out, I let him out. He was my responsibility and I let him down, I fucked up. He wandered away and got spooked and ran in the wrong direction and then suddenly he was lost, and he needs me, and I don't know how to find him. Please don't even mention that possibility that he got hit by a car, I can't even think about that yet.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
toomskt
May. 30th, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
Oh no. I am so so sorry. Anything I can do help, let me know.

http://www.petrescue.com/library/find-pet.htm

That seems to have some good tips. Fingers crossed that he finds his way back.
bakerloo
May. 30th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC)
I'm sure he'll be home when you get home from work. He's probably just exploring and then he'll be waiting on your doorstep. I know how scary this is. Hang in there.
quent
May. 30th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
that sucks, washu. don't give up hope. cats usually wander, so it may take a while to find him, but we found our cat, Inu, hours after our landlord let him out, and this was in Seattle where a cat usually doesn't stand a chance. Inu cannot be contained in four walls. It's like hosting David Blaine.

Most important thing to remember, you're not a bad person for letting him out. Think of your situation as a parent letting their kid freedom to go out with his friends, and he/she stays past curfew without calling you. What I'm saying is: please feel less shitty.
prettykate
May. 30th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
I totally agree. Please don't beat yourself up over this. Cats really do have a lot of hunting and survival instinct, so he should be OK for a bit until he finds his way home.
tawdryjones
May. 30th, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
oh nos! I will wish very hard that he is sitting on your doorstep as soon as you get home. With plenty of stories to tell you of his fun adventure.
onatopofthings
May. 30th, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC)
he'll probably waiting for you when you get home with that look of superiority that only cats can give. a look, in this case, asking "what the fuck took you so long to get home?"

hang in there.

bigtoe250
May. 30th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
dude, that is terrible. the only thing i can think is to make sure you have fresh food and water out there for him so that when he returns, he'll hang out. also, after you have your posters done, call the local animal hospitals and the animal shelter for camden county. someone may have taken him in (or if someone saw him and he tried to scratch them, they may have called animal control). also, i would post something on craigslist as well with his picture in both the new jersey and philadelphia forums since jersey folks look at both.
good luck.
queseracass
May. 30th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
oh no! that's terrible. don't feel so awful (although I know that's easier said than done), I'm sure he's just strutting around doing his kitty thing and he'll be sitting at those stairs waiting for you. until then, i'm really really wishing hard for you. I'll wear my glasses for the next couple of days.
chuntankhamen
May. 30th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
oh, no! i feel like this is all my fault. well, mine and dave's. all that teasing and prodding you to let him out . . . don't worry he'll be back. keep that chin up.
whosaidilied
May. 30th, 2006 04:26 pm (UTC)
oh honey! I'm so sorry, and I am hoping he comes back. I bet he will come back!
tamisevens
May. 30th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
I bet he'll come back! I know almost nothing about cats, but I do know they like to be fed what they're used to eating. Henry isn't a life-long outside cat, so I'm sure he'll make his way back home pretty soon. and there's nothing wrong with letting him out!
thalamic
May. 30th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
Aww poor little baby! I hope he turns up.
mordicai
May. 30th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
kiddo, don't freak out quite yet...hank is probably just exploring or something.
petit_chou
May. 30th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Henry and His Great Adventure. Quent's right: you're not a bad owner for letting him out. I understand your anxiety, though. It's good that you have a battalion of lj-readers rooting for his safe return.
fordmadoxfraud
May. 30th, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
God, that must be nerve-wracking. I hope you find him soon.
(Anonymous)
May. 30th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
Our cat has wandered for a few days at a time and still showed up none the worse for the wear. It was a little scary, but I'd say you have a very good chance that he will return unscathed. Like the poster says, hang in there!
snowman
May. 30th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
Whoops, that was me.
wiffler
May. 30th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
Hopefully he'll be back soon. He's tuff like 2Pac. I got scars to prove it. I actually doubt he got confused. He's probably just got a crush around the neighborhood.
grapenut
May. 30th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
Oh man Kerry - my heart goes out to you. I am totally saying a Saint Anthony as we speak. Henry will be home soon, St. Ant has never let me down!
emalinebeachbum
May. 30th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
Good call on the St. Ant! I will say one too! Don't worry Kerry it will all work out. Sending good vibes.
iphisol
May. 31st, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)
Jeez. I hope that maybe he's under a bush munching away on something delicious that he found, and he'll be back once there's nothing left? I'll assume that until there's some kinda reason not to.
macivanhorn
May. 31st, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
Oh my god! I'm so sorry. He'll be back. Don't worry. You're his mommy and he won't want to be without you. He'll sniff you out and find his home. He looks really cute in that photo. He'll come back. He will. He will.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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