Abra Cadabra: The Disappearing Kitten

I went to church on Sunday.

Now don’t get me wrong. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to those who know me, it’s practically a miracle. You see, I haven’t been to the Big House in a couple years.I used to be one of those holiday church-goers. You know the type; we attend for Christmas and Easter. Then it got to where I only appeared for weddings and funerals. But I’m relatively certain last Sunday wasn’t a holy holiday and nobody I know died or got hitched.

So I’m sure about now you’re wondering how I ended up on my knees in a pew. Then again, maybe you aren’t. But you know I’m bound to tell you anyway, right?You see, I have a new feral foster kitten. She’s a 7-week-old ball of black fluff who’s scared to death of me and anything not small and furry; but she has potential to be domesticated so I’m working with her. Let’s call her Ms. Houdini. In a moment, that name will make more sense to you.

Small ball of fluff

Ms. Houdini

Anyway, I bought this whoop-de-doo three-tiered cat kennel. I call it the Cadillac of kennels and it’s kept in the family room so my foster kittens can climb around while being in the middle of the action. I have the TV on for Ms. Houdini and she sees my dogs and cat from up high, checking out everything from her secure position.I had Ms. Houdini in this Cadillac of kennels, which has 3 doors, one on each level. So one night last week, I tucked her into her hammock then went off to bed. So far, so good.

All tucked in

All tucked in

At about 6:00 a.m. I heard the kitten meowing. Unfortunately, I ignored her, thinking she was simply bored. In a nutshell,  I was exhausted and didn’t want to get up yet. But by 8:00 a.m. I was downstairs, ready to start the day.

That’s when, to my utter disbelief, I discovered the middle door on the kennel was wide open and Ms. Houdini had disappeared.My first thought was that earlier she’d been trying to alert me that she’d gotten out and was afraid, so come here and save me! My second thought was what a horrible foster mom I am. My third thought was, START LOOKING FOR HER, YOU IDIOT!

And that’s precisely what I did for the next 4 hours. I got my flashlight and explored every inch of this place. I looked over, under, into, next to and around every single piece of furniture in my home. I even pulled out the refrigerator – not so easy being it’s stocked like I have ravenous teenage sons.

Exceedingly heavy fridge

Exceedingly heavy fridge

I always thought I was a decent housekeeper but it was shocking what I found under things. My cat Oliver brought in a mouse last year that I never found. Well, I found it. You don’t want to know what it looked like under my Grandmother clock in the living room.The dogs’ toys I thought they’d buried in the backyard had taken up residence under the love seats. I could have sworn I’d vacuumed under there recently. Hum, maybe I do need a housekeeper…

Defective dog door

Defective dog door

Anyway, when I came up empty-handed, I remembered the broken dog door. There’s a gap in the flap where Ms. Houdini might have easily slipped through. Despondent, and sure she’d meet a certain death out in the big scary world, I questioned whether I’d neglected to close her kennel door. Or had she slipped the pin when she tried to squeeze through a gap in the door? No time to wonder; I now needed to search my backyard.

Lots of hiding places

I have a large terraced yard with tons of bushes where she could hide, so it was like looking for a sesame seed in a bucket of white rice (aren’t you tired of the needle in a haystack analogy?).

I had absolutely no luck in the backyard, the front, or the neighbors’ yards. So that’s when I did some bargaining. I thought, God, if you lead me to Ms. Houdini, I promise I will go to church on Sunday. I figured, what did I have to lose? (Other than the obvious.)

Well, I guess you know what happened next. I was in my home office, totally depressed, when I heard the faintest meowing from under the buffet cabinet, which I had already pulled out from the wall and checked behind. Turns out there’s a 2-inch gap at the very bottom that, naturally, the kitten had squeezed under.One hour later, I had that little fluff ball in my hands and gratefully placed her safely back into the Cadillac of kennels, which either has a design flaw or a flawed operator. My money’s on the latter.

And that’s how I ended up in church on Sunday.

10 thoughts on “Abra Cadabra: The Disappearing Kitten

  1. Is that the Church in Terra Linda? I’m glad you found her, and I’m glad she didn’t escape via the dog door. Silly, scaredy kitten. She is adorably cute.

    • Hi Tammy, no, the church is in San Rafael – St. Raphaels. But I actually went to St. Isabella’s that day. But that church isn’t the prettiest from the outside so I went with the other church for the photo!

  2. I’m fostering my first two feral kittens right now. We turned our old dog kennel into a kitten habitat. We considered getting the kennel you mentioned, but your story makes me wonder if we should! 🙂

    • Meg, the good thing about the vertical cage is that the kits like to climb and feel safe up high. But if they are still skittish, they will jump from level to level to get away from you. They can’t do that in the large wired dog crate. Were you told to separate the two kittens? If not, they tend to bond to each other and not to people and it takes much longer to socialize them. So glad to hear you have feral kitties! Good luck with them. I have two right now, one in the dog cage and one in the vertical cage.

      • When we took the girls in they were three and five weeks old. They probably remained feral for about five minutes. They both seek out cuddle time and love playing with my dog. We kennel them when we’re sleeping and while we’re at work. We don’t have a kitten-safe house – curtains and computer/tv wires, etc. We lucked out because of their age. Their older cousin, Coyote, in the colony is only about a month or so older and is totally feral. I was able to get her TNRed along with three others so far in the colony. Still a few more to go!

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