Thursday, September 17, 2009

an epic meltdown averted

I notice shes gone about three hours into the day. I realize I haven’t seen her in a while. Since last night. Since I went to work.

I call her name in a sing songy voice. Sophie. I listen to the apartment; to the stillness of it. All I hear is Miles tearing at the couch and traffic coming in from outside. I call her name again. I kiss the air a few times. I make promises to her in a language she doesn’t understand, hoping the tone of my voice will convince her to emerge. I kiss the air a few more times and call her name again. Nothing.

I take a deep breath and try to think back to when I last saw her. She was in the kitchen. No- she was in the bedroom. She was sitting under a table on a bag she has made her bed. She was hiding from miles. He always tries to bully her.

I check her hiding places. I check under the bed. On the side of the bed. Behind the couch. In the bathtub. Beneath the kitchen table. There aren’t many places she can hide. I check all over again, even turning on the lights to get a better look. She is nowhere.

I take another deep breath and I can feel the verge rising in me. The panic approaching like a black wind. I put on my slippers and go out into the hallway. I walk up and down the stairs and call her name in a high-pitched tone I hope is comforting. It is quiet and cold and the silence is attached to all the walls and the stairs and the railing. I go down the stairs to the front door and I open it and go outside and call out into the city her name a few times. I check behind the trashcans and in the stairwell that goes to the basement door. I call her name again, this time in vain. Another chill of fear rushes through me. I try to steel myself but I can feel pieces of me falling apart.

I cant have lost her. I just cant have.

I go back upstairs and the hope in me is fleeting but still there. A faint confidence brushes my heart as I ascend the steps. She always greets me at the door. She hears me coming and races to the hallway then when I open up she runs to the nearest platform and stretches, waiting for me to rub her head and neck. Her tail jutting up and puffed out in excitement. I open the door and it is just Miles. He tries to scamper past me into the hallway and I block him with my foot, calling her name again, this time with despair.

No way I lost her. No fucking way.

The dismay grows inside. I check all her hiding places one more time. I try to calm myself. I go to the fridge and grab a beer. I sit at my computer and think again of the last time I saw her. Then I hear it.


I jump up and begin calling her name. This time stopping at every corner and taking in the silence, trying to hear the scratching again. Where did it come from? I ask miles and he stares at me with the dumb look cats have when you talk directly to them. I listen again for the scratching. I listen for a mew. I'm afraid to move in case the sound I make covers it. The creaking of the floor boards. The shuffle of my feet. I hear it again.

Its coming from the bedroom.

I race in and lift the comforter and move the bed and look all around. Nothing. I pull back a door and open a closet. There she is.

She races out, angry with me. I don’t know how long she’s been locked in there. I try to pick her up and love her and she eludes me. I let her go. I breathe a sigh of relief. I found her. I fucking found her.


Blogger Jeaux said...

You're in it deep now, man. A case of Fancy Feast deep.

5:54 PM EDT  
Blogger -jkg said...

haha. too right jeaux. too fucking right

3:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Jeaux said...

it’s a poignant rush, though, that kind of second chance. Back from the dead. It comes home like a reminder and maybe some kind of promise.

Is that the lady in the photo? Rrrowrrr!

8:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous dk said...

Whew! Thank goodness for happy endings...

2:55 PM EDT  
Blogger -jkg said...

oh man so right dk. i was really about to collapse at one point. but here she is, demanding love. of coyrse only when she wants it.

unfortunately thats not her in the pic. that is a much more docile, tolerant kitty.

6:31 PM EDT  
Anonymous dk said...

I know that feeling well. We've got outdoor cats, and when they don't immediately come home at night, I get that pit in the bottom of my stomach...

3:39 PM EDT  

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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