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May 15, 2015

"Only two per cent of lost cats (including indoor cats) ever make it home"

Photo 3

The headline up top — along with a picture of a cat — was also the boldface headline of an ad that appeared one day last week alongside a New York Times article (not about cats) on my computer.

It got my attention in a big way.

Is it true?

Just two per cent?

Who knows?

Although the number seems awfully low as I think about it.

Nevertheless, it wasn't the two per cent per se that got my complete and undivided attention: rather, it was the possibility that Gray Cat (above and below, pictured around noon today) could slip out an incompletely unclosed door unnoticed in less than a second while I was walking out to get the paper or the mail and then vanish forever.

That scared me.

As I continue to barely manage to do what needs doing each day in this, the second year of (as remarked upon here previously) my fourth episode of major depression (the others occurred in 1977, 1991, and 2001), my take on events both actual and possible has altered markedly from how I reacted when I was well.

Everything is difficult now and every possible negative event seems catastrophic as well as likely, just the opposite of how I would normally deal with and view both actual and hypothetical scenarios.

Photo 2

The result of reading that lost cat headline was that it immediately made me start to think quite obsessively about the fact that a couple years ago, after I'd declared Gray Cat an indoor cat for life after considering the pros and cons for several months (much influenced by feedback from the many cat people among those reading boj), I removed her collar with all its attached identifying information, figuring that since she was always indoors, it was an unnecessary encumbrance that added nothing to the quality of her life and probably annoyed her, though I must say that I couldn't detect any difference in her behavior or mood after I took it off.

A parenthetical note: After bringing her in full time, I couldn't detect any change in her mood or overall demeanor in the days, weeks, and months following the end of her life of freedom in the great world.

That's not to claim such changes didn't happen: all I'm saying is that I couldn't tell.

I didn't, for example, find her hiding under beds or in closets or in the almost invisible little nook above the refrigerator under a kitchen cabinet, or going on a hunger strike or the like in protest.

But I digress.

After about three days of considering that compelling figure of two per cent (!), giving the subject hours of thought, it became obvious to me — self-evident, in fact — that I needed to put Gray Cat's collar back on and keep it on forever, regardless of her indoor status.


I mean, it stands to reason that having my phone number and email address on her collar (yes, she has a chip, implanted shortly after I adopted her from the surrounding neighborhood in 2007 when she was, as I later learned, three years old) should improve the odds of my reuniting with her.

Yes, for those wondering: it is a breakaway collar whose functionality I tested when I bought it by buying a second one for stress testing by me as to the amount of force required for it to break should the collar snag on something, an event far more likely, it seemed to me then and still does now, to occur outside the house than indoors.

The only thing I didn't reckon with was how very unhappy — and willing to demonstrate her dismay — Gray Cat would be being pinned between my kneeling legs as I buckled the old collar in its previous configuration, using the same hole in the collar (sixth from the tip of the part with the holes) as I'd used before.

Even after practicing the act of fastening the collar several times before actually going ahead and putting it on, Gray Cat managed to pry one forepaw free and sink an unclipped, needle-sharp claw about an eighth of an inch deep into the distal pad of my right middle finger as I labored to complete my task.

That hurt.

And it bled like stink.

All fine now, though, and all is now well: her collar is back on since Wednesday of this week and and she hasn't evidenced any overt discomfort or unhappiness with it, and I'm significantly less anxious.

In the end, that's what this was all about, wasn't it?


Photo 4

a photo taken 15 minutes ago of (relatively) newly collared Gray Cat napping atop the treadmill motor housing, invitingly warm when the machine is set at 1.5 mph, my current preferred boj pace, down some from the 2.0 mph I operated at 10 years ago, in boj's early days.

And yes, I am quite aware of the dust accumulations on the treadmill and printer: they are representative of things in general around here, in my current incarnation.

You should see the inside of my microwave!

On second thought, maybe not.

When I'm in my usual state of good mental health, there's no dust to speak of and the microwave is spick-and-span.

Just about now, such things don't really matter at all to me; in fact, I don't even notice them consciously unless someone draws my attention to them.

Lucky for moi, Gray Cat doesn't seem to give a meow about the state of domestic affairs vis-à-vis housekeeping, as long as she gets her daily doses of love, full water and food bowls, and a clean litter box.

That last is something I pay close attention to, fer shur.

May 15, 2015 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (23)

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