Tiger's Big Adventure

So last Wednesday morning, sitting on my laptop doing something on WoW with Josh once he got home from work, Tiger was sitting in the window behind me, grabbing at my hair and bopping me on the head with her claws. I had Josh throw her out into the other room and close the bedroom door, as we tend to do when she's being obnoxious. A little while later, after 530am, we hear a lot of banging around, which sounds like it's coming from the balcony above the window in our living room. I figured maybe the neighbor above us was rearranging balcony furniture before they left for work or something, so didn't think much of it.

About 20 minutes later, Josh leaves the bedroom to get a drink and notices his chess set is all knocked over. Yelling about the cat messing up his stuff, I tell him to find her, show her what she did wrong and then put her in the cat carrier. He informs me she's gone. "What do you mean she's gone?" "Gone... as in, she broke through the window screen and is gone."

We got shoes on and ran outside trying to find her, but it was too dark. I couldn't sleep and spent all morning looking up lost pet info online. I slept out on the living room couch too, as they said to keep the exit point clear and stay near it, in case they return. We went out searching some more that afternoon, then after dinner and before Josh left for work. I went out around midnight on my own and drove around our neighborhood - they said indoor cats that get out don't tend to go too far from home, within a 2 block radius. We did this again on Thursday - going out several times during day-light, then again at night. We tried using tuna to lure her, as well as her ball toys too. We hung flyers around our area on Thursday and I went to the animal shelter as well, but no luck.

At one point we thought we might have seen her - as we went out once before Josh went to work and saw a cat that wasn't black but wasn't light coming out of a bush. We called to it and tried to lure it with tuna, but it took off running when we tried to get close and we couldn't find where it went.

On Friday, I decided I was going to thoroughly take the time and poke through every bush, brush and other small place a cat could hide. I visited a website on the pamphlet the animal shelter gave me that described several types of indoor cats that get out, and the one that fit Tiger best stated she was probably hiding nearby, scared. They say often when an indoor cat gets out, they'll freak once they realize they aren't in their territory anymore, and even tho home might be nearby, they'll stay hidden and won't respond to anything - their owner, favorite food, favorite toy... nothing. If they get the courage to come out for food, they will only do so at night and then retreat to their hiding spot.

I went out our building's back door and started poking along the back of the building and property. I got over to the planted area near the garage and dumpster, poked in a bushy plant and out ran a cat - grey with a black tipped tail with rings around it and black stripes all over - it was Tiger! She went running behind the garage. I called Josh to get out there, as I was going to need his help in catching her. He stayed where I was standing and I went around the other side of the garage, to try and head her off, as the only other way out was to climb the fence behind the garage. She was crouched down in the leaves and fallen branches, hiding, but Josh spotted her and talked me to her, as I couldn't see her from my angle. I got close enough to her, held my hand out so she could sniff me. She looked at me and gave a scared little cry. I picked her up, but everytime I stepped on a leave or branch, she'd squirm and try to get out of my grip. I handed her over to Josh, as she doesn't squirm nearly as much when he's got her. She was missing her collar though.

We took her inside - her eyes got real big when she saw 'home' - she knew where she was. We gave her a bath right away, which she didn't like at all! She looked really skinny too - probably hadn't eaten since before she ran off. We dried her off then let her eat some tuna, cat food and water. When she wasn't chowing down, she spent the rest of the day sleeping. She seems uninjured and okay though. We'll know in a few weeks if she's pregnant or not though.

I got a call on Saturday from one of the neighbors saying they found her collar. I went over to get it - it was right next door, one of the main properties we had been searching for her. The lady said they found it on one of their wood piles, where the grass had been matted down a bit. She said her cat and dog had picked up a scent there as well.

I asked her about the black kitty we see coming from their yard all the time - the one that stops by our windows and 'plays' with Tiger through the window (they follow each other back and forth along the window and then take turns banging on the window - he's the only stray that comes by that Tiger doesn't puff herself out and hiss at). She said he's a stray - the people that lived in a nearby house used to leave food and water out for the strays regularly and when they moved, people found like 15 strays living under the porch, including the black kitty. The lady said he used to get in fights with her cat and dog though so she started bringing them inside, but he still comes up to their door all the time. He just wants love and a home. She said she took him to get fixed, so he wouldn't get all the neighborhood strays pregnant, and that she's tried putting ads in the paper 3 different times finding a family for him, but with no luck.

I'd take him in if i could, but our place is too small for another pet. Maybe if we get a house, we can take him with, since Tiger seems to like him, but we'll see.

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