Here we, or rather (to be selfish), I am.
Happy Birthday, to me…
Happy Birthday, to me…
Like I need another one! To start the day off, I could hear my cat again. Oh wait, I haven’t told you that story yet. Okay, good place to begin.
The night before last, as I was sitting at the computer fertilizing someone’s crops, I could hear a cat meowing… Not just any cat, one my cats. And not just one of my cats, but Eloise. I know how each of my babies ‘speaks’. I know their meows; I know their cries; I know their growls; I know what makes each one tick.
So I could hear Eloise crying. A meow that I know, she’s in distress, at least for her! I go to the window, and I could hear her better. I looked around, but being that it was nighttime, not a lot to see. Went upstairs to the 4th floor. I called for her, but her crying was now a little fainter. Went up to the roof. As I called her and walked to the far end of the roof, it was getting louder, and louder… I looked over the edge of the roof.
Now, let me tell you, heights are not really my thing, but they are. I love going up high in an amusement ride where I am safely, and securely, buckled and strapped in, and there is no way on this green planet, that I will fall, unless all the safety equipment gives out at once. What are the chances of that happening. If you’ve ever seen, oh what the hell is the series called, the one about the airplane going to France, that the kids don’t get on, and then they start, well, perishing (hey, there’s a good word) one by in the order that they WOULD have perished… someone will tell me, I know…
ANYWAY, I had to crawl over the railing I had installed to MAKE me feel secure on the roof. I cautiously looked over the edge, and sure as hell, there is Eloise, crying like a baby. I didn’t take a picture, because I was a bit freaked at the time, and well, I couldn’t because it was too dark. Even IF my iPhone had a flash, it would have scared her, and she probably would have fallen 4 floors to and untimely demise. So, I tried to coax her to jump back up the way she came.
Now, I pride myself sometimes, on being able to ‘chat’ with my cats. I talk to them, the meow or chirp or whatever, back to me, and we can carry on this ‘conversation’, until either they don’t understand what I’m saying anymore, or their bored. Probably the latter. I frantically, yet calmly, run through this brain of mine of what I can lower down to her that she can climb up back to me. I got it…
I’m in the ‘never-ending’ process of building a scratching post. I get the urge, work on it for a few days like a madman, and then it sits for a month before the urge hits me again. So, I’ve already completed a couple of the posts, so I bring one down, lower towards her… she jumps into the house… not MY house, but a neighbour’s house. There is a small window in every room that is big enough to put a ‘window’ air conditioner into. These neighbours don’t have an air conditioner in the window, and the window has not been replaced, so Eloise simply got scared or something, and jumped into the room.
Okay, now I live in Taiwan. I don’t speak Chinese. Now I’m thinking, how am I going to try to talk to this neighbour about the fact that one of my cats is sitting in her 4th floor room? She’s a big lady, not fat, BIG, with a voice to match. I always say hi to her when I see her (in Chinese of course), but that’s the extent of my tri-lingualism.
That room is dark, so I figured that no one was in it. I go to her house, there are lights on, so I ring the bell. The next thing I hear is her booming voice asking, in Chinese, “What, who’s there?” I’m trying with all the little kiddie words I know to try to get her to at least come to the door. Finally, she does. I’m saying words, not sentences, words that I know… she’s not understanding…
I call my roommate, who is Taiwanese and speaks her language, and ask him to translate. She goes back, after about 20 minutes of back and forth jibbering, and rings HER 3rd floor buzzer… From 3 floors above sea level, I hear another, male voice, yelling, “Yes?”, again, in Chinese. Chatter, chatter, chatter… I have no idea what the hell their talking about. Meanwhile, I’m apologizing, but it’s going in one ear and out the other with her.
Finally, her son comes down, escorts me to the room, and, OMG. I thought my house was bad enough when I moved in. This room looks like the room from which, I imagine, hell would be like. It was rather kind of scary. Like, one of those shoes where the psychotic maniac is keeping someone tied up… light hanging from the ceiling, dirty, plaster all over, broken toilet, dirty water… you get the picture. Remember the movie SAW where the guys were in the washroom and they had to somehow ‘unshackle’ their legs to get out… okay, now you know what I just walked into.
I went in, quickly looked around, behind stuff, under stuff, in the bathroom (ugh), you name it, I looked there. No Eloise. Okay, so maybe she went back home. Thanked her son very much, all the way down 4 floors, and went home. Back up to MY 3rd and 4th and roof. Still no Eloise. I called her. She answered, but I couldn’t figure out where she was. Time for bed… leave my door open to the roof, so if she does come back, she can get back in the house. Eventually fall asleep, but not a very good sleep. Remember, I treat these felines as family.
5:00 am rolls around. Usually, this is about the time I wake up. Yesterday morning, before the alarms went off, I could hear Eloise again. In a groggy state, I put on my bathrobe, slippers, and head back up to the roof. Here in Taiwan, it’s still not light enough outside at that time of the morning. Still looks like midnight. Go over to where I saw her the night previous, and there she is again. I again try to coax her up, put the post down, and she immediately jumps back into the room.
Friday. I see my roommate, and ask if he could go and talk to the neighbour, and see if HE can find Eloise. He goes over, neighbour is pissed now. Sorry, but this isn’t something I planned. People just don’t realize that accidents and situations happen. At least this wasn’t something that was destroying their lifestyle, Eloise wasn’t attacking anyone, she was just scared, and hiding somewhere in that room of evil (I can’t think of anything more clever, sorry). He looks around, and has the same luck as me.
Now, THIS morning, again, 5:00 am (I should actually use Eloise as my alarm clock instead of my alarm clock – more effective). Up to the roof, look over the edge, and what the hell do I see, but Eloise. This time, she didn’t even wait for me to lower the post, she just jumped back into the room. Okay, so she’s still safe. I know she’s there, but when would I have time to go see. Busy, busy day today.
As I’m leaving for my classes this morning, I raise the gate, and who is standing in front of my house – the neighbour. She’s yelling at me at 8:00 am, and using the symbol for death and saying cat… I didn’t have time to try to figure out her Chinese words. I apologized, and apologized, and apologized. The more I did, the more red her face got. And she continued to say, in Chinese, “cat, dead”. Okay, it’s only been two days. There is no way she’s going to die in that short a time. She’s a healthy cat, the worse she’ll suffer is extreme hunger, and maybe a bit of dehydration. Cats, by the way, can survive for a while without water, unlike ME, who needs a liter every couple of hours.
So, around 3:30, I get the opportunity to try, ONE MORE TIME, to find my cat. Now I am getting worried. I am afraid that she may have been hurt. I’m afraid that they may have thrown her out on the street. I’m afraid that they may have called the pet care workers (or whatever they’re called here) to come and get Eloise out of their house. My roomie just happened to come home for lunch, or his break. I asked him as calmly as I could, to translate and ask for me, to allow me one final time to look for Eloise.
Thankfully, Amazonia is not there, but her son is. He agrees, and let’s me go up by myself. I think the other two times, Eloise was scared (of course) and hid somewhere we weren’t looking. This time, I went into this evil room, and I’m telling you now, NOTHING was left unchecked. I looked in some of the most ridiculous spots. Who knows where a scared cat can hide? Look everywhere. I was willing to start moving furniture (or whatever some of that crap was) around.
I was, again, almost ready to give up, when, for some stupid, ungodly, inexplicable reason, I lifted, something, I know not what, and quite frankly, don’t care, something that was on the deteriorating mattress sitting in the room. Lo and behold, there was my scared little Eloise. She clung to me like snot on a rag. Sorry, there is just no other simile I can think of right now. She meowed all the way home (two doors away). I thanked the son, and he could see that I was a lot more calm now. I thanked and thanked, again, using my kindergarten Chinese.
SO, Eloise is back. She is greeted by the other cats like a celebrity. She walks around the 3rd and 4th floor as if she’s never been here before. I guess to them, since the aging process is what, 1 year for us, is like 7 years to them? So, 2 days for us, is like 2 weeks to her! She was looking around to make sure nothing had changed. The balcony door is now closed. At the new screen door is closed. I changed the screens about a month ago, so their all new and tight. There is NO WAY, these cats are going on the roof again, unless I go up with them, so I can keep an eye them. And even then, well, we’ll see.
Things are back to normal. The hissing and spitting has started again, the growling at each other… like nothing ever happened.
On another note, one of the stray cats that I feed, has now had her third litter. The first litter, I know she had two kittens, but only one I ever see now. Of the second litter, she had two again, but I haven’t seen them in a while. She gave birth today or through the night, to four little sweethearts. One of them was crying madly. I looked out, and could see it away from mom and the others.
I go out onto the roof, mom runs away, watches me INTENTLY, even though I feed her all the time. Here I was, picking up her little baby. I snapped a couple of pictures, and as delicately as I could, returned the little one to it’s siblings. Here are the pics. Mom and family seem okay now, and maybe mom will trust me a little more. She checked out the kids to her satisfaction, snuggled back down with them, and blinked at me in an approving sort of way, and that was that. Here’s the pics.
For a feral cat, mom looks good and healthy, the babies look healthy and fat, which is always a good sign. I think these ones will make it, and if I can, I’ll be their surrogate parent. I won’t adopt them into the house, considering there are 6 already here, that I can’t seem to keep track of, but I’ll definitely make sure these little guys or girls do well.
So, I have a dinner and a party to go to this evening. Happy Birthday, to me. I’ll upload the pics and/or vids when time allows.