The Return of A Cat, A Story

A few weeks ago, on Saturday 21st March at 3:27pm or thereabouts, our Breaker Bay home welcomed a new member into it's life.

My daughter, Megan, and I had been pondering getting a pet of some sort for quite a while. A dog was actually my actual preference however the owners of this fine fine building I call home made it clear that no dogs allowed, "Even if friend come with dogs they'll have to leave them outside I'm afraid". So, after pondering a tortoise - I've always wanted a tortoise since very very young, never quite got there and won't in NZ as they are rare and therefore expensive - we settled on the classic, a cat.

Then we sort of did nothing.

With the slow but inevitable COVID-19 closing down of New Zealand we decided on the Saturday to go get a cat from the Wellington SPCA high up on Mt Victoria. We were not alone, but luckily I was looking for an older cat, couldn't be arsed having to teach a kitten how to poo in the right place, stop eating the carpet, and all that energy would drive me bonkers. I'm 53 you know, things need to be an appropriate speed.
Enter our live, Gladys. A 10 year-old ginger & white beauty with potential knee problems. 
Papers signed, $50 paid, food and accoutrements got, off home we went.
Straight under the sofa shot Gladys.

We thought we had lost her the morning after but a determined search found her still under the sofa but actually inside, so funny.
Gladys got used to Megan quite quickly, but it took a full week before she would stay sofa-less with me in the room, in fact she used to run back to sofa safety when I even looked at her.

Then came the Monday, the day I drop Megan back at her Mum's place just around the corner. I was, as I often am, a tad sad at this prospect and bigger me out came Gladys from under the sofa, rubbing herself all over me and hoping up onto my lap - timing. Gladys and I spent the week cuddled up together, chatting away, and having a lovely time of the lockdown.
Then we have the incident, followed up by the adventure, before the return.

So, my home is a big and quirky place and what you need to know is my bedroom is sort of like a mezzanine above the living room, so the drop is a two storey drop. Yes, you are correct, Gladys managed to get upstairs and then launch herself over the ledge and plummet down, OUCH! Straight under the sofa for some Gladys Time. We checked her and nothing seemed broken, no bloody, just a very very shocked animal. phew

A few hours later, Megan asks, "Have you seen Gladys anywhere?".
The hunt begins, not under the sofa, in fact NO WHERE. I walk into the bathroom and there it is, an inadvertently open window out of which Gladys must've hopped out of and away she went.

Sadness, anger (at myself and the window), tears, but very quickly and resignation that Gladys was always going to find a way out at some point. She had sniffed the locked cat-flap a lot, she miaowed when we left the house via the door, she was used to going out and we were being very naughty keeping her in, this much was clear.
With the lockdown the standard procedure with a list pet of talk to the community, and put up posters weren't options. I added her to and sent an email to the immediate neighbours.

We put her food outside for a night to tempt her back. Over time though we moved all her stuff into the bathroom, not quite having the heart to actually empty it all and pack it in the storage cupboards.

Mates were confident that she would come back, although as she hadn't been outside before I wasn't and thought she'd just get lost in the bush behind the house not being able to work out where the heck she was. Everyone was extremely sympathetic and wanting updates. But as the days carried on Gladys started to become a distant glowing memory. 

"Dad! Dad I've just seen Gladys", Megan excitedly shouted from the bathroom 2 days ago.

Four days after she had gone missing Gladys was back. I didn't see her, Megan could and I went back to the kitchen to stop the rice from bubbling all over my recently cleaned hob. "Dad! DAD!!!", hmmmm that sounded quite insistent and back in the background Megan had hopped out the window, tempted Gladys closer with Treats and then taken her up in her arms. One leg in and one leg out she was holding tightly to a very feisty Gladys which I grabbed and took into the other room.

She was back!!!!
Back in the home and back in our lives.

It has been four days and nights. Where she went and what she got up well never know. She skin to Agatha Christie an. her missing week(ish). She was also incredible with her timing as I had just had an emotional speed wobble due to #StayHomeNZ, what a supernatural being she is.

Now we are back to square one. Megan is her favourite human, I am a little scary, and under the sofa is her safe place. However the speed of relaxation with Gladys is visibly quicker, last night she even let me stroke her. That's nice eh


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