Lou is not the smartest cat, or the bravest cat, but Lou is definitely loved and doted upon by the hubby and me. And last night, Lou disappeared.
It’s been hot and humid around here lately, but last night we were being treated to some nice intermittent thunderstorms which alternately had us opening all the windows to welcome in the cool air, and rushing around and shutting them when the horizontal rainfall started up again.
So, I noticed that Lou wasn’t downstairs. I was wandering upstairs to reopen the windows, and had half a hankerin’ for some kitty lurv. I checked the cushion in the hallway. Hmm. Nope. Must be on the bed. Nope! Must be downstairs after all. So I went back down. Lou wasn’t in any of the usual spots. I asked the hubby, “Where the hell is Lou?” The hubby shrugged.
I started calling for Lou, who, beleive it or not, usually comes when you holler, “Where is Lou? Where is Lou?” (To get the inflection right, imagine saying “you” instead of “Lou.”) I checked the usual spots again. No sign of Lou. I started getting nervous. I checked the kitchen cabinets, where Lou likes to go 'sploring. No cat.
I checked in the Room Whereof We Do Not Speak Its Name (the second bedroom that we use for storage.) I checked under the bed. I checked in the shower. The hubby was outside, calling for Lou, although Lou is an indoor cat, and scared of the Outside.
I checked under the couch. I checked the hall closet and the upstairs closet, calling all the time. No sign of the cat. The hubby and I started shouting to each other. “Did you check the _____?” “Why would Lou go outside?” “Have we even opened the door after dinner?”
I was edging up into true panic. This was getting weird. Lou is a creature of habit, and has a small number of favorite napping spots, and, as I said, usually comes when called. We’ve never had to go hunting like this. Even better, I’d taken Lou to the V-E-T for a blood draw this afternoon, and my mind was filled with visions of complications. I was starting to seriously fear that finding Lou would entail discovering a lifeless little black-and-white body.
Finally, I went downstairs to regroup with the hubby to plan a systematic grid search. As I stood in the living room, I saw something sticking out from under the couch. From under the other end of the couch. I’d only breifly glanced under the south end of the couch in my early search, as Lou doesn’t usually hide there. But at the north end of the couch I spied the curl of the end of Lou’s tail.
I dropped immediately to the floor and lifted the couch flap, and there was Lou staring out at me, as if to say, “Why the hell do you thtupid monkeyth keep yelling? I’m right here.” I dragged the cat out and checked for signs of illness, injury, or anxiety. The blood draw site wasn’t tender, no trembling, heart rate seemed normal, and in general Lou seemed fine, with the usual amount of squirming to protest close physical contact when it’s so damn warm and sticky. The hubby commented that Lou had always flinched at thunder, and the designated feline storm shelter, the cushion in the windowless hallway at the top of the stairs, was a about the hottest place in the house right now, whereas under the couch it was pretty cool. Sure enough, at the next crack of thunder, Lou scooted right back under the couch.
Stupid cat. Nearly gave us a heart attack!