Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Return

Two nights ago, I awoke to the sound of a cat meowing. It was 2:30 in the morning and it was one of those awakenings where you here something while you're half asleep and then your brain processes it enough to startle you the rest of the way awake. I was startled. I hear the meowing but could not tell where it was coming from. Outside? Under the house? In the wall? In my closet? From the neighbor's house? I was calling for Magnolia and trying to listen but also trying to move quickly in case she moved. I went outside--barefoot, which is awful because there is a lot of broken glass and trash outside--and looked under the house with a flashlight. Looked in my closet. Thought about banging on the neighbor's door to ask if they knew what it was, or where it was coming from. After about an hour the meowing stopped and I gave up because I knew I needed to get back to sleep.

I thought about it all day, and was worried I had missed my chance.

I got home and almost immediately heard it again. I asked my roommate if she could come in and help me figure out where it was coming from. She suggested the attic, which hadn't even occurred to me because I didn't really realize we had an attic.

We have 12-foot ceilings, though. So we got the step stool, which got me on top of my short bookshelf, which got me onto my roommate's shoulders, which allowed me to heave myself on top of my closet--closets were added to the rooms here, so they don't go all the way up--and from my closet I could get to the panel that leads to the attic. I opened it up and there she was! Right there! Little Magnolia found her way into the attic!

The story doesn't end here, though. It would never be that easy.

She wouldn't come to me. I crawled all the way into the attic and she ran under the duct work. While looking for her, I hit my head on a rafter. I tried tempting her with food and she looked at me and then ate a bug. She disappeared for awhile and then came back into sight, sitting under some square metal box involved in the a/c system, vanishing if I came too close. So I laid down on some boards and held my hand out and waited to see if she'd come to me. She did, and I started to pet her and then tried to grab her. But I didn't get a good hold and she got away. I decided to give up for awhile because a failed capture usually makes whatever you're trying to catch extra wary. And it was really hot in the attic. I came down, grey from all the dust and dirt up there, but left food on top of my closet under the opening to try to get her to come down.

She came to the opening and started to meow but would not make the jump. I pushed a crate on top of the closet to give her something to jump onto first. Didn't work. My roommate had left so I couldn't get back up myself. When I finally did get back up there, she ran away again. So I decided to sit on top of my closet with a book and wait for the kitten to come to me.

My roommate came into my room at one point to ask how it was going and I said I hadn't see her and then my roommate told me she was right behind me. She was. Her little head was poking out of the attic right above my right shoulder. I held my hand out to her and she purred and ran away. Eventually she started coming to the edge more and more and I just left my hand out for her to approach on her own time. Which she did. I petted her for awhile before I tried to grab her again, to make sure I would have a good shot at it. I grabbed her by the scruff, stuffed her in the crate and passed her down.

Now she's back to normal and she seems mostly happy. I think her desire for freedom will always be there, though.

I love these kittens so much.

Oh, and, just for laughs, here is a picture my roommate took of me perched on the crate on top of my closet, with my book, waiting for the kitten to show up.

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