Wednesday, July 25, 2012

7/21, or The Cat Who Killed My Blog

I didn't mean to stop blogging (I enjoy having it for myself more than anything else -- I've always assumed that my readership is very limited). But it happened because we got super busy last summer and I got out of the habit. But I mean to start again.

Our beloved cat, Betty, accidentally got out on May 31, 2011. We got her back on July 21, 2011. We were having lots of work done on the house and the storm doors were off. She's very social and was standing next to Ed while he waved goodbye to me and Elliot that morning. Elliot was waving especially vigorously and Ed had the door open, waving back. Betty, who was not trying to get out, got too close to Ed's legs and she went the wrong way when he tried to shoo her back in.

We called up a pet detective right away, Danielle Robertson of Here's the summary of our story that's on her site:

"Betty is an indoor-only cat who accidentally got out at the end of May. She is a skittish, formerly feral cat, and I knew it would be difficult to recover her, so I called Danielle within a day. She told me exactly what to do and came out to my home to assist with searching and setting up feeding stations with motion-activated cameras. She improved my posters and helped me figure out where to place them. We were in touch throughout my search and I appreciated her calm and scientific approach. We got a picture of Betty in my next-door neighbor’s yard one week after she was out and then didn’t see her again. After a month had gone by, Danielle helped bring in a colleague with a search dog, who did a track that led us to expand our poster/flier area (consistent with Danielle’s recommendations based on Betty’s personality, background, and the amount of time she’d been out). That led to a credible sighting about 1/4 of a mile from my house. We set up a feeding station and got Betty on camera 4 days later! We botched our initial trapping attempt (we were using a drop trap instead of a cage trap since Betty is trap-shy, and didn’t get enough tension on the string). Betty stopped coming, so we took the trap away. Once she was eating at the spot regularly again, we put it back, heavily camouflaged with foliage, as recommended by Danielle. On July 21, my husband took food to the trap and Betty was waiting. She ran off when he approached, so he put the food under the trap and waited in the car for her to come back. When she did, he pulled the string on the pull-stick and trapped her. We are so happy to have her home and she is back to snuggling everyone in the family. We absolutely could not have gotten Betty back without Danielle’s calm guidance and arsenal of cat-recovery techniques. I would recommend her without reservation to anyone who needs help finding a pet."

Anyway, it was a grueling 52 days. Looking for a cat is a part-time job and Ed and I both sacrificed a lot of workouts and sleep to make sure we were doing everything we needed to do. Once we had Betty back, we took it easy for a few weeks, and by then I was emotionally drained and out of the habit of blogging.

But that brings me back to 7/21. This year, on July 21, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Anja Marie. We are absolutely in love. Having done this once already, I am much more excited about relaxing and enjoying my maternity leave -- whereas with Elliot, I wasted a lot of time feeling anxious about not being productive and getting stuff done around the house. July 21 will always be a special day in our family -- it's the day that two of our beloved girls came home.

I have a lot of catching up to do on the blog, so despite what I said about relaxing on my maternity leave, I'm hoping I will have a few spare moments to start writing again.


Devon @ Green House, Good Life said...

What a touching story about Betty -- your love and dedication to her really shows. (Our Benjamin was a stray, and it kills me to think that he used to belong to someone else, because I know that if he ran away from here I'd never stop looking for him.)

And Anja...there are no words. Wait, chubster. And cutiepie.

Cindy said...

Hooray and so much love coming at you from Asheville. Anja is beautiful. Congratulations!

Bob said...

Really looking forward to more of your blog. It's my favorite reading material. Wish I could find the motivation to get back to blogging myself.