Small Breakout

Dear J-

We have two kids and two cats. At one point this week we experienced a LOCA (loss of cat accident) which we’ve reconstructed as such: I go into the garage Monday night to prepare for theVet’s arrival with a 95-pound dog and the little cat, Bailey, slips in behind me. I finish and close the garage door; she’s trapped inside. When theVet gets back and opens the outer door, Bailey takes off into the uncertain night and I swear (I swear!) I did just see her but my sequence seems off (I fed the cats that night, and I had to push her away from the other cat’s bowl, but I can’t remember if I fed them before or after the garage prep). So there you have it; from a high of two dogs, two cats and two kittens (for one summer) we’ve gotten down to one cat.

At least that’s as much as I knew leaving home yesterday; theVet called in the middle of the day to tell me she’d found Bailey out on the street, a bit dirty and bedraggled but otherwise unharmed. I had feared the worst, being that she is socially awkward as well as willing to pick fights she can’t possibly win, and I’d seen raccoons early Tuesday morning amongst the trash bins set curbside. What we had was a curious mix of resignation and anxiety: we wish her no harm, but we also did not wish that uncertain fate upon her. With any luck the thirty-six hours on the street won’t have much lasting effect.

We have had her longer than any other being in the house save each other — she’s been with us since 1998 and indeed slightly predates our cohabitation, so in a sense she’s always been there, grumpily consenting to share our lives (you know how grumpy cat looks is how she is, personality-wise) and animals and children. I should be more charitable, and extend patience to this animal who is now old enough to drive (these are staggering numbers, honestly). As we struggle with the boy’s potty training (poo goes IN the toilet, please) I don’t need to go looking for more aggravations or stress, so let’s remember that the next time I try to work myself up over small things.

Mike

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