As a lifelong animal lover and owner, I continue to be amazed at the personalities and abilities of the creatures that share our home and our lives. The word “pet” just doesn’t do them justice, at least not around our house – they’re much more than that.
Over the weekend we were getting some wiring done in our house and during the process, a hole was opened up in our half-bath. My husband Charles had opened the hole a few days before the work was to be done, and we were all trying to be careful to keep the door closed to that room, knowing that any new crevice would represent an irresistible adventure to any self-respecting kitty.
Everything went fine, the work was finished and all that was left was to close up the hole, when Charles walked away and forgot to close the door.
I found the door standing open and began looking for cats, soon discovering that both our fulltime indoor cats, “George” and his sidekick “Felix” (better known as Possum) were MIA.
We began looking under furniture, in closets, under beds, etc. Since George is deaf, there was no point in calling him, but we eventually found him, sound asleep under a bed. But Possum was nowhere to be found.
Possum has his own issues – found as a tiny, nearly bald, feral kitten, he had a number of health problems to overcome and his survival was very iffy until he was about five months old. Between his baldness (his nose is still bald) and his strange corkscrew tail, he looked like some cross between a cat and a possum, hence the nickname. Because he was wild the first few months of his life, he still spooks easily (visitors who come to our home almost never get a glimpse of him) and so the idea of him being in a hole in the wall was an uncomfortable thought.
We still thought that he could be just hiding out in one of his many secretive niches, so we decided to wait until he appeared or we heard him call out. In the meantime we closed the bathroom door to prevent any more missing felines.
I was sitting in the living room a little later when I heard a loud “meow” from our bedroom. It was not Possum, but George who was calling (since he is deaf, his calls are extremely loud and plaintive). I found him in my dressing room, frantically climbing around on the table, knocking stuff everywhere.
Then he climbed into the bathtub, which is on the other side of the hole and began clawing and calling even louder. Between his calls, from somewhere in the wall near the tub, I heard little Possum’s much quieter answering “mew.”
I was amazed that George, though he can’t hear a thing, had apparently woke up from his nap and somehow knew his companion was in distress. And not only that, he knew where to go try to help him.
Well, to make a long story short, after I tempted Possum with his favorite food – chicken grilled Fancy Feast - and called to him for a while, Charles finally opened up another part of a wall and managed to coax him out.
The two pals were reunited, though both were a little frazzled for the rest of the day. I am still amazed that George knew, somehow, that his companion was in trouble. It just goes to show that we don’t know even a portion of the mysteries of this world, or of the creatures that live here with us. Anyone who’s had a pet that they love can attest to that. It just proves to me even more that we should respect all life. I knew that before a little deaf cat came into my life, he just reinforced it.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.