HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hammy Causes Restless First Night -- Makes Surprise Appearance!



Here are some photos of our "babies" -- they were born on April 12 of this year.

We got off to a rather tumultuous start yesterday (Sunday). We picked the cats up at the Humane Society at noon and took them to the house. The first thing we did was take them, still in the carrier, down to the basement to introduce them to the cat boxes - we have three. They both immediately made a beeline for the boxes and began rolling around in the clean litter, jumping from box to box and then pawing wildly, throwing litter everywhichaway. We decided to just leave them downstairs to their own devices and see if eventually that "cat curiosity" would lead them upstairs.

Well, it didn't! They were perfectly happy to explore every nook and cranny of the basement, each room stacked with boxes of glassware, etc. Eventually, we decided to just leave them down there and went grocery shopping for supper supplies. While at the store, Kim ran into Mari Krenz an her husband, Keith. They also were buying supplies for an evening's cookout. Finally towards the end of our shopping we bumped into them again and they invited us out to their lovely home for tiger shrimp and NY strip steaks on the grill -- never one to pass up a free meal, I said yes.

We returned home, unpacked the groceries, sought out the kittens (still in the basement), played with them for a bit, then left the house for dinner. We returned around 9:30PM to find Stella standing on the steps to the loft. "Where's your brother Hammy?" I asked. Then I went upstairs to see if he was in the loft -- no cat. so then began a thorough search of the house. after a full hour of searching the far reaches of the place we began to get that panicky sick feeling in the pits of our stomaches that perhaps, somehow, when we had left the house "Hammy" had slipped past us and gotten outside.

I took a flashlight and did a complete search around the perimeter -- no cat. By now Kim and I were really feeling low. We looked around the house one more time for good measure and finally agreed that he wasn't in the house and that somehow he had escaped or we would have heard him scratching about.

With heavy hearts we went to bed and both slept fitfully. I got up around three AM and went outside with the flashlight to look under the front steps. No cat. Kim got up around four as the automatic outside light popped on and she hoped against hope -- but again -- no cat.

Kim was up and dressed with first light and by 7am, armed with her cell phone, she left the house to go talk to the neighbors about our missing little friend. I remained in bed, feeling really low, for about 10 minutes, when suddenly, out of God knows where, around the corner, at full speed, and into the bedroom, charges Hammy, who sees me and makes a quick run under the bed.

I quickly dial up Kim and shout: "He's here! He's here! He's in the bedroom under the bed! I just closed the door to keep him here! Come home!"

Then I get down and look under the bed and I can't see the cat! I look hard -- no cat! I begin to think I was hallucinating what I saw. I run to get the kitchen flashlight. I get down on my knees and shine it under the bed. Still no cat. Then I spot him under the tucked in blanket where it hangs down to the floor and THERE HE IS hiding mostly under the folds of the blanket.

Kim comes home and with the help of a feather toy finally lures him out from under the bed. Soon he is nestled up against her on the bed, purring his heart out.

So we are very grateful right now that we didn't lose one of the cats within 24 hours of adoption! We consider re-naming the elusive Hammy -- "Spooky" or "Spook" but he is still Hammy. They are both just the cutest things and we are already smitten beyond belief!

Now that we know that as long as we are careful when we leave the house not to leave the door open too long and to know where they both are, everything is more relaxed. Let them hide as much as they want. Eventually they will have to eat and poop -- and we will see them when they come upstairs to eat, for sure!

And we will shower them with gentle love so much that they will grow to trust us and want to be with us.

We are happy parents!

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