By Stacey Gill
After our first bungled attempt at capturing Kitty (because Kevin), Kitty raced into our bedroom and hid under the bed. We followed suit, dragging the giant cardboard moving box with us and shutting all the doors to the bedroom (there’s two of them not counting the closet if you didn’t know). At least we had her cornered.
Before we commenced with round two of Operation Kitty Capture, I got my thickest sweatshirt from the closet and zipped it all the way up to my neck. It was probably the only sweltering day of the summer (aside from the day we moved of course), but I had to prepare for battle. Blood was still oozing down my arm from the puncture wounds from my first tangle with Kitty. I really couldn’t blame her though. She was just scared. She had always been an exceedingly fretful kitty. She was the very definition of a scaredy cat.
“You’re going to have to get her this time,” I barked at Kevin. I didn’t mean to snap, but I was under duress, overwhelmed by the inherent conflict of the mission. This had to work. But probably wouldn’t.
Given that Kevin is normally not allow to so much as look at Kitty, this really wasn’t the best plan.
Kevin shimmied over to the far side of the bed while I crouched on the other, peering underneath, trying to sweet talk Kitty in my most loving and desperate voice. Kitty, though, just returned a cold, hard stare. I think I saw hatred in her eyes. Worse was she wasn’t budging. Great. I looked over at Kevin. “Now what?”
He thought we all could use a break and recommended the two of us make a run to Pet Co., where the pets go – if you’re allowed to touch them – to get OTC kitty valium. Too bad we hadn’t thought of that earlier. We’d used the kitty calming treats once before, and they work wonders for anxious kitties. My flagging hopes over the doomed mission were suddenly lifted. Maybe we still had a chance.
We cleared the store out of all pet sedatives (sorry anybody else trying to move that day, but we needed them more than you did), drove home and proceeded to drug Kitty. Listen, I don’t like drugging anyone if I don’t have to, but kitty left us no choice, and to be honest I would have bought a tranquilizer dart gun at Pet Co. if they sold them.
I put a bunch of the treats in her dish and some drops of kitty calming liquid in her water, cracked opened the bedroom door and shoved them in. Meanwhile Kevin stood by, his hand on the doorknob, ready to slam the door shut before Kitty could come darting out of the corner, lunge across the room and latch onto my face. I would have slid the bowls under the door like they do in prison movies, but there wasn’t enough room. Then we left the house to let the drugs work their magic.
I’d like to say when we returned a few hours later that Kitty was quite relaxed and ready to be shepherded to her new home, but I can’t without lying. Although she’d eaten everything in her dish, her disposition had not changed in the least, and the battle raged on into the evening.
Throughout it all I remained steadfast in my refusal to be the point person. I just couldn’t do it. Kitty trusted me, and she was so scared and confused and I so guilty I couldn’t explain everything to her in a way she could understand that I continued to force Kevin do it. Kitty didn’t like him anyway. I did offer helpful suggestions, though. I recommended he use a towel to throw over her and dug one out from the linen closet. Then the two of us closed in. Kitty darted from under the bed, and Kevin lunged. Much to his surprise, he caught her, and as he raised her above his head, triumphantly, she began writhing frantically, broke free and fled once again under the bed. Momentarily stunned, we quickly recovered and scrambled to chase her out again. After several more futile attempts, Kevin caught her with the towel just as he had before with her head poking out the top. He sprinted over to the box to drop her in, but as soon as she was in, she dove back out, flying in an arc over our heads to land, remarkably, back under the bed.
You have to cover the eyes! THE EYES! I screamed inside my head. Or else she’ll get away. Everyone knows that!
It was clear Kevin was not qualified to handle the job. It was about that time I began contemplating whether we could call up the Turtle Man and ask him to capture our domesticated house cat. The problem was we had to get it done that night. The movers were coming in the morning.
The rest of the evening we spent scrambling this way and that, overturning lamps and night tables, chasing kitty as she scurried from under one piece of furniture to the next. Just when we thought we had her cornered, she’d pop up somewhere else. She was like a magical, Houdini kitty. I’d say, “Got you now, Kitty,” as I moved in on the dresser, but when I looked under it, she’d be gone. In my confusion I’d turn around, and there she was sitting, smug and silent, under the night table. What the? I started to believe Kitty had supernatural powers.
With all our efforts unsuccessful, Kevin came up with the idea of trying to catch Kitty with his fishing net. Running down to the garage, he returned a minute later with a green net attached to the end of a long wooden pole. Somehow we managed to coerce Kitty onto the bed which is when Kevin, holding the net above his head, let out a battle cry and whipped the net down, landing it directly over kitty. Gotcha! The plan then was to slowly drag kitty across the comforter and sweep her into the moving box, which I had pressed up against the other side of the bed and which was nearly level with the mattress. It all seemed fool-proof.
What happened next is a little hazy. I do know Kitty was rather unhappy by this point as indicated by the low, guttural noises she emitted, and either Kevin lost his nerve or Kitty chewed a hole through the net in record time because she got away.
Just as I was about to give up and tell the kids, “Sorry, guys, but you’re down to one pet now,” Kevin had another idea. “We need to trap her in the hall.”
“We can’t do that,” I protested. “She’s gonna freak.” There was no place to hide in the hall, and I feared Kitty would not like that situation one bit. On the plus side, there was no place to hide in the hall, and with all the doors shut, escape was impossible. Then it would just be me and Kitty. Mano a mano.
We ditched the moving box, and brought in the cat carrier. I took over now, knowing it was do or die. I didn’t know how it was going to work just that it had to. Resolved, I grabbed the towel and threw it over Kitty, covering her head. With my heart racing, I scooped her up, stuffed her into the cat carrier and slammed the door. Then I took off running. “Get in the car! Get in the car!” I screamed. “We have to go NOW!”
I bolted out the front door and bounded down the porch steps to the car. I don’t know if it was irrational or not, but I still believed Kitty could escape. She had special, magical powers. Who knew what she was capable of, and I was convinced she was going to escape from that carrier before we reached the new house and then what? I couldn’t go through this again. Luckily, the new house wasn’t far, and we made it there with Kitty still trapped inside her little prison cell.
At the time of Kitty’s capture, I was well aware she may never forgive me. Still, I was so relieved to have the whole awful affair over with I didn’t care. Surprisingly, since that day my relationship with Kitty has only grown stronger. She now approaches me to be pet, which was something she never did before, and she continues to sleep, as she had in the old house, in the kitty bed beside mine. Waking in the morning, I look down and there she is, all curled up in a balll. It’s like we’re co-sleeping. And, she’s settled quite nicely into the new house.
She still hasn’t forgiven Kevin, though.
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