Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Kitten Jack's Big Adventure
Jack, At The Door He Wants OUT Of...
This story is about my kitten, Jack. Jack is about 8 months old now. He's getting bigger, and as always is extremely vocal. If you talk back to him and say "Oh Really, Jack?" he meows and talks even more. Please know in advance that no kittens were hurt during the telling of this story.
Well, Jack decided he would like to be outdoors. While Kitten Hopper lazily sits anywhere a patch of sunlight is, Jack plasters his face to the glass of any window. The other day, Brian said that I went to take Lucy for a walk, and Jack stood (on two legs) with his front paws plastered to the screen door, meowing at me as we walked away, and didn't stop til we were out of sight.
So, I decided on Saturday after more meowing in front of the door that I would put the leash on Jack -- just for a moment indoors -- so that I could see how he would respond to being on a leash, so that I could take him out to the back yard and let him walk around a bit and feel the grass under his feet without fear of losing him to the threats of the big city.
Well, that didn't go so well. The nanosecond I put the leash on Jack (one of those retractable ones), he stared at the line coming from his neck, and promptly bolted. Not, in a straight line, mind you, but under the dining room table with all those chairs and their legs. Within a few seconds, I could see he was going to get himself tangled up, so I let go of my end of the leash. Well, being a retractable leash, it started to retract -- right towards the already horrified Jack. He stared at it for a second as he realized this THING was chasing him...and he ran for the back basement stairs, with the leash bumping and chasing him all the way. The leash hit the door and bounced down the stairs, now ahead of Jack -- and it dragged him down with it. By the time I got downstairs to find out what had happened to the kitten, Jack had gotten the whole thing -- his collar and the leash, stuck, and it snapped off, and of course he was long gone. All I found when I got to the furnace was the collar and the leash, and no clue what happened to my kitten!
Well, he had bolted up the side of the basement wall where there's a spot that he apparently still fits into the heating duct. I called, and called, and called...no collar = no bell, so I couldn't hear him, and he was apparently rendered speechless...Finally, DH started the search with me (I was terrified that he had been hurt), and I finally heard a single meow -- coming from the heat duct.
I came upstairs and started opening the cold air return vents, and sure enough, there sat Jack. Of course I couldn't reach him easily, and he just sat and glared at me until I backed up enough to let him run out...which he did. After checking him to make sure he wasn't injured, he spent the rest of the day under the couch, looking at me with a hatred that I cannot explain.
Now, after all that trauma, he didn't "speak" to me or anyone else for the rest of the day. That night I went to Pueblo to go out with some friends, and when I returned the next day, all was well again. Below is a picture of Jack I took from outside...I was replacing the glass in this section of the screen door with some plexiglass, and he spent the whole time trying to figure out if he could escape. He did get out that day, which is why he wanted to get out again...
Now, I've heard they have halters for cats to use (I guess the whole "leash on the collar thing doesn't work for other cats either)...and I'm wondering... NAH.