Piper’s grand adventure

Posted 8/4/19

Cats are tricky creatures, complete opposite to dogs who want love and affection all the time. Cats are their own people – give them food, a place to sleep, a litter box and they are self sufficient – all of which I provide for my feline crew, which makes it hard to believe any of them would ever want to leave on their own free will.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Piper’s grand adventure

Posted

Cats are tricky creatures, complete opposite to dogs who want love and affection all the time. Cats are their own people – give them food, a place to sleep, a litter box and they are self sufficient – all of which I provide for my feline crew, which makes it hard to believe any of them would ever want to leave on their own free will.

When you are two hours away handling one pet situation and your significant other calls you to say you have another pet problem, it’s never good. It’s a “Houston we have problem” situation, only you are not Houston – you are the one in outer space trying to figure out how to get home and save the day.

“What do you mean the cat is in the tree?”

Nothing like a good old duck-dog trained Labrador to tree a cat. Leo’s sister June was convinced that my cat Piper, in all her tiny grey kitty glory, was really a bunny rabbit. Somehow in all the commotion of handling one pet issue I let the grey cat slide out the door by me. I bounded off to the vet, not thinking twice about what else could be going on. Surely Drew could handle this.

“Yes, in the tree.”

“How high? Ladder length? I can grab one at work.”

“More like fire department, power company bucket truck length.”

Over 50 feet nestled in a pine tree, climbing higher each time the neighbor’s tiny yappy dog would bark.

A dozen calls, texts, Facebook pleas and more later with no help being thrown my way other than, “she will come down on her own,” left me feeling defeated. Funny how when you need people to help how no one shows up, I have learned. You have to be a pet owner to understand how we pet people feel when one of our family members are in danger or possibly missing. It wasn’t that the cat wouldn’t come out of the tree – how many cat skeletons have you found in trees? It was that she is a housecat and I didn’t think she could figure out how to come home.

When I finally got home it looked like a night beacon was shining in my backyard. No matter of “Here kitty, kitty,” or the shaking of a food bowl would get her to budge.

“You know, Harry Potter could just abracadabra that cat out of the tree,” Gabe told me while I flicked the flashlight back in the tree limbs, searching for those two beady eyes to let me know she was alive. “I’m really going to have to have a talk with Piper about going up trees.” Beyond exhausted over the situation, I turned to pull Gabe and I back in the house, wondering how the night would progress once the cat found her way down the tree. As I walked up the steps to the back door the other cats were lined up in the window looking, as if they had plotted this entire event.

By 5 a.m. the next morning Piper had found her way out of the tree. Clad in my space pajamas, I frantically called her for her all over the yard with no luck. By 8 a.m. I had to let the canine crew out to potty. June started a ruckus in the backyard. Apparently all of the holes June has dug was simply a set of traps to capture suspecting critters. Low and behold under the deck in a hole tucked under the porch steps was Piper, covered in pine needles and dirt, June’s mouth closing in on her legs.

Once I got Piper inside I woke the entire house up to announce she was back. I had a very happy five year-old.

When I left for work finally Piper was sitting tall on a pile of fresh laundry, the other cats around her, as if she was telling them all about her wild adventure.

One small step for cats. One giant leap for feline-kind.

Laura Pitts is a former Daily Mountain Eagle reporter and is currently director of the Scottsboro Public Library.