That darn cat

Well, today was a two-fer. Mom called again at about 4 p.m. to report that the cat was missing. She sounded pretty distressed. She even said, “I’m distressed.” So I told her I would come check it out. I had heard this story before, and the last time, by the time I arrived, the cat was in her apartment and I assumed she had just lost track of him. I had to get my things in order at work so I could just leave and not plan to return. So I called Mom at about 4:15 to check on the situation, hoping that by then the cat would have appeared before her.

No such luck. So I told her I’d be right over.

When I arrived, Mom was pacing around in front of the building in her raincoat. I was stunned – she was really focused on my arrival. And she had probably set off concern among the facility staff, who might have feared she was trying to escape herself. We went to the apartment, and I looked in the cat’s usual spots – on the bench by the window, on the bed, in the closet. No cat. I looked under the bed and the couch. I began to be concerned. This is one fat cat so he’s not easy to hide. He also had never been much of a hider, unlike his sister, who recently died, and who ran for cover anytime I visited. With no cat in sight, we went to the receptionist to see if anyone had reported seeing the cat. Nothing. Mom and I walked around, and she muttered things that might be meaningful, about an area where dogs go. I thought perhaps there is a little courtyard for the little dogs living there to use the bathroom. But there wasn’t any obvious place. We went up a floor and looked around. I looked around the apartment thoroughly a total of three times before I gave up on that. I told Mom to go to dinner and told her to just wait and see, that the cat would have to turn up.

As I was leaving, the activities director happened by, and she said that once before, Mom’s cat got out and visited another apartment at the far end of the hall. So she and I scouted that apartment while an aide checked across the hall. No cat. We ruled out the neighbor across from Mom, who had come out to go to dinner and said nothing about the cat. Then we tried the next door neighbor’s apartment. The activities director walked in, and there was the fat beast, just sitting in the living room. I ran after him, and he was easy to retrieve from under the bed. He is too fat to move swiftly.

The activities director told me as we were returning the cat to Mom’s place that Mom had once carried the cat into the dining room with her. I was suspicious that she was doing inappropriate things, like letting him out to take a walk or trying to carry him to activities in the lounge. But the dining room – well, I’m not sure what she was thinking. Thankfully, this neighbor is quite sweet. When I told her what had happened (she was already at her dinner table), she thought it was amusing and told me not to worry one bit. I appreciate that. Mom said she might faint from the good news.

I asked if the cat might get kicked out because of this. The activities director said no, this was really nothing. Happens with some frequency. I need to keep that in mind when I worry to facility staff – they have probably seen so much. Mom might be a challenge, but she’s not the worst resident they’ve ever had. Not yet, anyhow…

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