Several nights ago, we were awakened in the “wee” hours of the morning. At first it was a “meow” – outside our open window. We have cats in our neighborhood – several in fact. My first thought was this: – “must be one of those cats we see during the day”. I turned over and went back to sleep. Then a little while later, “meeeeeooooow”. This sounded different – low and mournful. It continued in this fashion for some time – and I went to see if I could see anything out the dark window. I couldn’t. It stopped. Again I went back to bed and to sleep. Every hour, or so it seemed – this sound continued. By morning both Greg and I agreed that we didn’t get a lot of sleep because of that crazy cat! Just where it was and whose it was – continued to be a mystery.
This incident put me in mind of when I was in junior high school and was commissioned to feed “Louie” – a white persian cat who lived across the street, while the neighbors went on vacation. Although Louie had never been to my house – much less my bedroom – he knew which open window was mine! In the early morning hours he would position himself under it and MEOW until I could stand it no longer. I would drag myself out of bed, pull my clothes on and reluctantly go across the street and FEED HIM!! Anything to just SHUT HIM UP!
And for a brief moment in the night – I did wonder if this poor cat was somehow hungry – although it was inconceivable in our neighborhood full of cats and dogs and very attentive owners.
Later that day I was taking a nap and through the open window I heard the “Meow” again. I thought I was hearing things. It was really weird. Then it went away the same mysterious way it had in the night.
We were getting ready to go to bed that evening and I told Greg, “I’m just going to stand on our porch and see if I can hear that cat again – you never know, right”? I wanted to make sure the poor thing wasn’t injured or hungry and was making the rounds through the neighborhood. I opened the door – stood on the porch and called in a pretty quiet voice, “kitty, kitty”. I heard it AGAIN!!! The answering “Meow”. I opened the door and said to Greg, “you’re not going to believe this – I called and the cat answered! By this time Greg came out too – very anxious to find the mysterious cat. I’m sure motivated by the fact that we didn’t want another interrupted sleep. So I kept calling – and the cat kept answering. But he would not come to me.
It was puzzling. How long could the cat stay away from my beckoning – especially if so hungry and lost? I walked across the street and tried to follow the sound of the “Meow”. It would stop – then continue again. Finally after what seemed like 10 minutes or so – Greg came across the street – looked into the tall evergreen trees and said, “that cat is up in the tree”.
What happened after that took about an hour. Because it was so dark – Greg grabbed his most powerful flashlight and we both tried searching the trees – calling and calling – but we could not find him anywhere! Greg then took his 30 foot ladder and proceeded to climb it in order to get a better look. This made me a little nervous – especially in the dark. Greg attempted to calm my jitters by saying, “I climb these tall ladders all the time to do windows” – “yeah not in the dark” I said. After 2 attempts to find the cat up the ladder, I decided to go back into the house and call animal control. Surely they would know what to do and send someone. They directed me to 911 – and from there they connected me to the fire department, who I found out (Greg had warned me of this fact) they DO NOT COME AND GET CATS OUT OF TREES. The fireman told me that when cats are hungry enough they come down on their own. I said, “Really? – he’s been up there for 24 hours now”. I was disappointed, hung up and went back outside.
When we finally spotted the cat – in ANOTHER tree other than the one Greg had climbed – we discovered he was at least 40 feet up and there was no way to rescue him. We could see the reflection of his eyes in our flashlight. It was so sad to have to leave him there – we were sure he would not be able to make it down on his own.
The funny thing is this: There were NO NEIGHBORS out and about – it was only about 10:30pm. Where was everybody?? – while we were out in the woods of our cul-de-sac crashing around with ladders and flashlights and “HERE KITTY, KITTY!!” It was insane how lonely and deserted our street was at that hour when usually we would hear people coming and going – our neighbors getting home, letting their dogs out and having loud conversations under our open window. Not this night. Everything was completely still.
It made us sad – but we had to go home and turn a fan on so that we would not be kept awake all night with the mournful sounds from the tree across the street.
In the morning as soon as it was light enough – we went across the street – I called out – no answer. We search around – looked up where the cat had been, where it was hard to see in the dark – no cat!
We have NO IDEA what happened after we gave up and went home. Did the cat find the courage to climb down after all? There was no dead cat and no sign of a live one either. It remains a mystery.
Oh poor kitty. I hope you’re okay and found your way home.