What a day! The great cat rescue!

OK this post has absolutely nothing to do with weddings. But I wanted to share this so I’m sure I’ll find some convoluted way of making it a lesson about relationships and the like.

Lots of you have been following the roller coaster ride that is my missing cat journey on Twitter and Facebook.

It all started yesterday at around 7pm when we called the cats in from their day playing in the sun. We have four, so as they trotted in one by one, we weren’t really alarmed by the fact that one of them, our Bengal cat Lily, was missing. It happens a lot, it was a warm day and she sometimes comes in as late as 8 or 9pm.

But come 11pm we were worried – and come 2am we were beside ourselves. By 5am I’d resigned myself to believing that I would never see her again. It sounds a bit dramatic, but Lily is not one to stray very far. She usually comes back within an hour or two of being out, and it’s very rare that she lingers. She’d never been out overnight and she’s recently been in a fair few scrapes with something (judging from the teeth marks we’ve found on her) much bigger than her.

At this point neither of us had slept more than a few light minutes over the night, and by the morning, John was completely out for the count with a migraine. I was worse than useless, alternating between staring into space and crying like a baby.

The day was mainly spent leafleting the neighbourhood, putting up posters, and tearfully visiting animal shelters and vet practices to ask if they’d seen Lily. By 4pm today I’d almost completely lost hope, deciding that she must have been fatally wounded and now it was a matter of finding her body.

At about 4.30pm, John was feeling a little bit better and, as I spied a neighbourhood cat that we frequently see Lily hanging out with, I ordered him to “follow that cat”. As he went outside to see if it would sniff her out, its owner happened to mention that he saw Lily heading over the back of his fence the previous morning. Feeling a bit more confident that we had a lead, John popped to that area to check for noises from garages etc.

And that’s when he saw her. Well, heard her first, yowling and crying. About 15 metres up a neighbour’s tree.

I’ll never, ever forget the moment he called me with the words “she’s alive”. The relief was just overwhelming.

There was just the minor problem of getting her down.

Just as we were about to call the non-emergency fire brigade number (well, that’s what they do in the movies) the owners of the house came home. Trust Lily to land in the lap of a family of burly builders with ladders immediately available.

They climbed up and rescued her – although the poor lad who got her down took a bit of a scratching. Still, what a hero!

So that’s why there’s been no blog posts today – I couldn’t bring myself to post about happy things when my little girl was missing. Yes, I’m well aware she’s a cat, but she’s also a little family member and losing her would have been devastating. I actually found myself bargaining with the universe at one point – and I think someone heard me!

So my little adventurous Bengal kitty has been checked over by the vet and is home safe and sound, she’s even stopped panicking and is grooming and eating like I’ve never seen her eat before.

And, as promised, I need to make this about relationships – so what have I learned?

It’s not easy to support each other in a situation where we’re both devastated (and one of us is completely ill with a migraine) but we somehow managed it.

We make very loving, caring parents. Even if it is to an army of cats.

John would put aside his fear of heights and his migraine to volunteer to climb the ladder to rescue Lily. Which makes him a proper hero in my eyes.

Thank you all so so so much for your kind messages of support and concern today. There are clearly a whole bunch of cat lovers out there who are very empathetic. You all made today so much easier, especially those of you that emailed with practical advice on how to find her. I’m so happy and so grateful to all of you.

And normal service resumes tomorrow with the finalists of the competition to win a full wedding photography package vying for your votes. See you then?  

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