Usually when our Emmy hears the sound of a door knob turning around 5 o’clock, she scampers down the hallway and rounds the corner into the entranceway. Three days ago, my husband returned home like any other day.
“Hi!”, I yelled from the kitchen. “Did Emmy greet you?”
“I don’t see her.”
“Hmmm…that’s funny. The last time I saw her was around 4 o’clock and she was out on the deck standing on the other side of the railing.”
We have a deck that was built off our kitchen, which is on the second floor of a two family apartment; one family upstairs, one family downstairs. My husband and I live upstairs. When the weather is nice, I open the door and let our two kitties Nigel and Emmy enjoy the outdoors, or as close as they can get to it, and all its’ ambiance. There are a lot of maple leaves on the ground below right now and the squirrels just love to chase each other through the crunchy leaves, up the trees, down the trees and again through the leaves. It’s perfect “kitty tv.”
Nigel and Emmy are strictly indoor cats. The closest they’ve gotten to exploring the outdoors, at least while living with my husband and me, is observing from a distance on the deck. This is a privilege that Nigel enjoys, but at the same time doesn’t make any attempts to observe any closer. Whenever there is a patch of sunlight on the deck floor you can find Nigel curled up in it basking in its’ warmth and that’s enough for him. Emmy’s reaction to this privilege is a different story. She’ll step out onto the deck and after a minute walks back into the kitchen. Apparently, the sunshine and the squirrels aren’t enough to tempt her. This reaction has been the same since we moved here in January. Although, I couldn’t really let the kitties go out onto the deck in the freezing cold. They had to wait until spring.
You can imagine my surprise when my husband came home and there was no Emmy there to greet his arrival. We looked under beds, the sofa, chairs, the dining room table, the bathroom and I checked the deck…twice.
There was no doubt that Emmy was gone. She must have jumped from our second story deck and landed in those crunchy maple leaves. My heart sunk. Whether Emmy had experience outdoors before we adopted her, we don’t know. All I knew was she was gone.
My husband walked outside and called her name. I shook the treat bag hoping she’d come running for her treat of crunchy goodness. We drove around our neighborhood hoping to spot her in a neighbor’s lawn or on the sidewalk. No Emmy.
I signed into Facebook and uploaded a photo and a plea for any information on Emmy’s whereabouts. I asked my friends to share that post and then I shared that post on the local animal sanctuary’s Facebook page.
My husband called our neighbors downstairs and explained what happened. They promised to keep on the lookout for her as they are animal lovers themselves.
About two hours later, my husband received a phone call. “Your cat is looking in my back door right now.”
I didn’t even put on my shoes. I just walked downstairs and outside in my slippers. There she was. Emmy was tentatively looking in the window of the storm door while Murphy the Pomeranian was looking out. I immediately scooped her up in my arms and held on tight. I could tell she wasn’t completely confident spending time on the ground outdoors. Her claws were immersed in my fleece jacket just enough to let me know she wasn’t going anywhere far away again. My husband was just as happy to see Emmy. I only held her for a few seconds when he took her out of my arms and carried her upstairs and into our apartment. He wasn’t taking any chances.
I was so relieved. The worst part about the whole ordeal was not knowing if Emmy was okay. I’m just so glad I have her back and I couldn’t thank my neighbors enough.
Needless to say, Emmy is banned from the back deck and we’re looking into purchasing a high cat tower for her amusement instead.