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An update of the endeavoring kind - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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February 11th, 2008


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02:34 pm - An update of the endeavoring kind
Sunday afternoon found Mr. N______ convalescing from recent illness and steadily gaining strength, so much so that he ventured out for pancakes in between bursts of thunder, hail, and gigantic snowflakes. In the meantime, Mr. W______ and Miss V______ busily converted the oft-unused back staircase into a housecat house trap, with the express intent of providing the wayard Mr. Th. C______ with a familiar-smelling beacon. It is the opinion of severals present that the prodigal tom is loose nearby, though if he had any lick of sense he would have jumped a train to Key West to enjoy a Hemingway-Buffettesque vacation in the midst of this terrible weather. Our suspicions will be confirmed should we ever receive a palm-tree postcard smelling of catnip margarita.

[Fig. I not available. Consult your Goldberg Specialist.]

The housecat house trap shown here in Fig. I is cunningly designed to look just like a back staircase, entered from the outside via Slightly-Ajar Door (A). Enticed by the aroma of Kitty Pheromones (B) combined with Appetizing Food (C), Catnip (D) and Familiar-Scented Laundry (E), the behemoth cat is compelled to enter, climb the stairs (F) and remember that this (G) is indeed the house in which he lives. His litterbox (H) is also present to provide both a "This Is Yours!" reminder (and a reminder to other animals that "This Is Not Yours!") as well as a reason for him to remain happily ensconced in the upstairs loft (I) rather than wander outside and do his business in the backyard (K). The door to the kitchen (L) has been reinforced with several new locks and devices (M) to prevent larger creatures from gaining access into the interior. The Cat Recoverer, upon checking the housecat house trap, will enter through Slightly-Ajar Door (A) instead of the kitchen door (L) so as to prevent any unpleasant scares, ensuring the cat stays inside instead of running out like a freak on fire (N).

After a blisteringly cold night of howling winds, the first results were less than fruitful. Someone had evidently spent the night in the trap: the food was gone and catnip strewn about, but no cat remained. The pile of laundry remained undisturbed so it is not clear whether or not the animal visitor had slept over or merely held a Cat Party, gotten looped on the catnip, satiated their munchies and then stumbled out into the night. The second result is not wanted, as this is not a kitty rumpus room, it is a housecat house trap and there are distinct differences between the two.

Speculation as to the identity of the mystery guest have run rampant about the house. The culprit (besides the aforementioned Behemoth Cat who is our target in this operation) might very well be That Orange Cat, who has been seen several times before in our backyard and is most likely up to no good. The kind of fellow who'd get into your catnip and eat your tuna before running out to dance a jig of cleverness. There is also a local skunk, who has made hir presence known both visually and olfactorily in weeks past. The skunk is not as welcome as That Orange Cat, because the smell of skunk stink ("sktink") in the stairway would definitely overpower any kitty pheromones still lingering.

Plans may be in place to install a camera and present a live Housecat House Trap feed to the Internet, allowing casual viewers to enjoy a static view of the back staircase (litterbox helpfully placed off-camera) and possibly spot an animal making an appearance or perhaps review a series of pictures taken over a span of time to determine visitor movement; however, we have yet to determine if it would be a good idea to leave a door open at night with a light burning bright inside, regardless of the amount of reinforcements the kitchen door has received.

The neighborhood has been stuck with fliers and car windshield inserts and regular calls are being made to various shelters and vets in the area. Phone leads from the fliers have yielded naught but shelter advice from an anonymous local and a "big black cat" sighting on the other end of Highland from a few days back which, while not exactly helpful, warms one's heart considering that the caller gave the tip in all earnestness and helpfulness.

It is our hope that the Behemoth is nearby and will reveal himself once he's hungry enough to wander, or that he has been taken in by a kind taker-inner who will reveal his presence to a shelter or a vet (or us) soon enough. Possibly once he begins to eat them out of house and home. In the meantime, we continue to search and ask and hope.

(28 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:annicat
Date:February 11th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
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I printed the flier off and gave it to a coworker that is going to be in Boston for the rest of the week on business. He said that he'd keep an eye out for him.
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From:derspatchel
Date:February 12th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. :)

If he spots the cat strolling down Newbury Street like he owns the place, make sure to ask the cat what he's doing with the rent.
[User Picture]
From:violetisblue
Date:February 11th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
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I have a feeling it's going to be like that Far Side cartoon: "Mr. Spatchel, this is Zathu Nananga of the Masai, are you missing a large tuxedo tomcat?"
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:February 12th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
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Cat better bring me back a talking drum if that's the case.
[User Picture]
From:violetisblue
Date:February 12th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
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If I didn't live a thousand miles removed I would be out looking for him/pestering shelters and others. I hope he returns home or is found soon.
[User Picture]
From:plumtreeblossom
Date:February 11th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
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You and Abbie have been in my thoughts. I got an e-mail this weekend while I was away from your roomie asking if I had contact info for any of your friends who might be able to help (which I do, and am glad to provide, though I imagine you've already seen to that). If there's anything I can do to help, please just let me know. I know how much you just want him back.
[User Picture]
From:ratatosk
Date:February 11th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Now that he's actively linking to my LJ, everything is okay on that count, but thank you!
[User Picture]
From:bex77
Date:February 11th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
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There's going to be a new TV show..."WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MR. THE CAT?!" Or "America's MOST WANTED cat"

I'd watch...
[User Picture]
From:antikythera
Date:February 11th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
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Alternately, that gnome in the travel agency ads could have a co-star.
[User Picture]
From:antikythera
Date:February 11th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
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A webcam is a brilliant idea. People can monitor it, or you can set it up to save all the images.

If you see Mr. Th. C____ when you're actually in the house, I would recommend standing on the other side of the inner door with a can opener running so that he's tempted to come further in, and not scared off again.
[User Picture]
From:ratatosk
Date:February 11th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Actually the trick is to walk around to the other side and shut the outside door.
[User Picture]
From:antikythera
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
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I thought of that as well. Be careful on icy fire escapes, though. (I have no idea what the general layout is of this entire building.)
[User Picture]
From:ratatosk
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
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Oh, it's a downstairs back door. The steps are regular indoor steps going up to an inner door to the kitchen.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:February 12th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
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The one caveat with this, I think, is that we'd have to be Very Careful that it is indeed Abbie up in the trap and not another animal. Closing the outside door and then letting a disgruntled skunk into the kitchen would be a disaster worthy of a story, but man will the cleaners be upset (and we would be getting cleaners for that.)
[User Picture]
From:ladivinafemme
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
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Alternately, you could try this with the webcam.

I hope you're successful! I really really really hope Abbie comes home soon.
[User Picture]
From:ladivinafemme
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Okay, I just read that whole page and it sounds like a lot of work that you probably don't want to do. :-P It's pretty cool, though.
[User Picture]
From:antikythera
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
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I am totally going to do that for my own nefarious purposes.
[User Picture]
From:sdn
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
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i'm in nyc, but i have loads of friends up in your area, and have all sent them ratatosk's url for abbie-hunting.
[User Picture]
From:ratatosk
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!!!
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:February 12th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
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Aw, thanks. Any time you're in the area, stop by Davis Square and we'll find some local candy.
[User Picture]
From:sdn
Date:February 12th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
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oh yay! but cat first, candy later. :)
[User Picture]
From:ladivinafemme
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
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oo oo I just had another idea. I just bought one of these for our cats, and it came with a sticky pad so you can fasten the thing to a door or a wall. You could fasten it to the kitchen door and when/if he plays with it (don't know if he's the playing kind), you'd hear him thumping against the door or the stairs or something, and could then go around and shut the other door.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:February 12th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
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He's a frisky fellow when he wants to be, that's for sure, and he likes his kitty fishing when he's in the mood. When he was a kitten we got a suction cup fishing rod so that he could play whenever he was bored, and he took that darn thing off the wall with his first lunge. He be stwong.

Though you gave me a good idea, and I'll be adding his scratching post to the back stairs too. Thanks!
[User Picture]
From:ratatosk
Date:February 12th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
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or that he has been taken in by a kind taker-inner who will reveal his presence to a shelter or a vet (or us) soon enough.

Having heard Abbie at his whiniest, I am starting to think that this could be really likely. I don't have a strategy to deal with it, though.
[User Picture]
From:limax
Date:February 12th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
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My thoughts have been going with you Spatch. I am hoping for a safe return of Abbie.
[User Picture]
From:cemeterygates
Date:February 12th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
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I see the fliers every day on my walk home and keep stopping by your journal to see if she's made her way home yet. I keep thinking maybe she's eloped with Frank, the other fluffy missing kitty in the neighborhood.

Best wishes.
[User Picture]
From:susskins
Date:February 12th, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)

Well for goodness sake

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Abbie is just being the dickens about this, isn't he?
[User Picture]
From:thespian
Date:February 13th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
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I had no idea you were missing a cat. I just looked at the flyers.

On Saturday night, about 8:25 (I caught the 83 at Johnnie's Foodmaster at 8:15, so while I don't normally know times that closely, I do in this case) at the corner of Linden and Elm, (just south of Elm and Cedar/Mossland), I saw a cat that matches your description. It caught my attention because it looked just like a cat I found a new home for about 4 months ago, except she was tiny (7 lbs, at least a pound of it was fur), and the cat I saw looked just like her, only 3 times her size.

When I greeted it, the cat looked at me with some interest, but my arms had groceries, and when I put the bag down to offer a hand, it startled the cat, and it bolted into the indoor garage of the little apartment building (2 buildings down from Linden, on Elm, maybe 5 doors north of Tacos Lupita, across from where Apartment X just moved to).

Obviously, since the cat I saw looked eerily like the one I used to own, there's every chance that there are even more of them, but this might be worth looking into. I'll go out for a walk tomorrow and post a couple of your flyers for you, see if I see the cat again.

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