YOM KIPPUR. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2011
“Hurry up, Leila. We have to leave for SHAARE TIKVAH BNAI ZION. Services start at 8:30 am. It’s already 9:10, and I have to be there when the past presidents are on the bima! It takes at least 20 minutes to get there!” exclaimed Neil.
“OK. I have to leave Inky’s food and water and clean her litter box before we leave. She’s upstairs in the brown room and didn’t come down with me yet. Having done the tasks, we left hurriedly, calling to Inky, “Inky Baby, your food is ready for you. We have to go to synagogue and will be back very late. Take care of the house. We love you!”
Checking all the doors first and then rushing out the front door, we were off to the long, long Yom Kippur day at STBZ.
Services were over at 7:30 pm. We had been invited to join Bill at a friend’s home for breaking of the fast way up north. Bill came out to get me, while Neil searched for a parking space. Upstairs to a very busy, crowded scene--to the buffet table groaning with all sorts of luscious dairy home-made dishes. Neil arrived. Our hostess invited everyone to come to the back porch where she blew the shofar for a Gadollah performance.
“Leila, Bill is going with me to our car, then we’ll take him to his car. It’s too far for you to walk. We will come back for you, so please wait outside. “Goodnight, my Father. Goodnight, my Mother,” and a kiss from Bill.
“Thank you, My Bill. I love you,” a goodnight kiss thrrough the open door, and back to 3501 and Inky.
It was 10:00 pm. “Inky Baby, we’re home!” we kept telling her as we climbed the front steps. Neil opened the front door, expecting to see Inky waiting in the hallway. No Inky.
“Inky Baby, Where are you?” NO INKY. Searched EVERYWHERE, constantly calling her.
Her usual places were empty--her Queen’s chair, the blue tunnel, climbing tower, chairs, couches, dining room table, Brown room upstairs, Bill’s room, our room, closets, basement, office…NO INKY!
“Neil, I don’t understand it. Where could she be?” “She’ll be someplace new that we don’t know about,” he responded. “It’s late, I’m tired. Let’s go to bed. First I have to take care of something. Leila! Look here in the mud room. We left the door open! I thought I had locked everything when we left!” He went out onto the porch, saw nothing, came back in and locked the door.
“Leila! Someone broke into the house! Come see what happened! One of the windows to the dining room has been smashed open, but it looks like nothing has been taken!
There’s signs of someone monkeying with the watches here on my desk. The bag with the camera is still here on the stool, there’s nothing out of place in the dining room or the kitchen. The computers are still here. Let’s look everywhere…maybe the burglars took Inky with them!”
“INKY BABY…WHERE ARE YOU?” Again a complete search of every possible place in the house,but now also in the back yard, the porch, the tubby-room, the alley …NOTHING!!!
“Let’s call the police immediately!” We were instructed, “Don’t touch anything, leave it the way you found it.” Two policemen arrived, with all sorts of questions, cameras, etc. to see if there was any evidence. NOTHING! “We’ll have another officer come to check for fingerprints, footprints, anything that might help,” they promised.
The outside storm window had been taken off, carefully leaned against the round table, the glass completely smashed out leaving a pile of the shards laying on the green “grass” carpet on the porch. The window had been unscrewed and opened up, the glass smashed out, the shards falling on top of the ones on the porch as well as the dining room floor. They had apparently been wearing gloves (no blood anywhere) and proceeded to crawl into the dining room through the smashed window frame. They took nothing, destroyed nothing, went through the watches box on Neil’s desk and then left through the mud room, unlocking the door to get out, pushing open the screen door, and disappearing.
“Here’s Inky’s picture. Can you help us and report her missing? She’s more important than anything that happened to the house.”
“No, we don’t do that. I will take a picture of your picture, but sorry. You have to do the searching yourself. We have all we can do to search for missing people! We an report whatever we can report and get the other policeman here for further research.”
And the police left.
We waited …and waited …and waited…No policeman came!
Neil went to his computer and printed up instructions on what to do when you have a missing cat.
It was after midnight when a police officer finally came.
“Sorry, I can’t find any evidence anywhere. I advise you to contact your neighbors to help you in the search for Inky. Contact the animal shelters; but we cannot help you find her. “
And SHE left.
Out on the back porch again. “Inky Baby, come to Momma” over and over and over.
“Neil dear, please put the floodlights on in the backyard so if she is there we can see her and she can see us.” Nothing.
Neil had to go to sleep. I couldn’t. Computer time to pass the hours. Out on the porch every 15 minutes calling “Inky Baby…Where are you? Come to Momma.“ No response. Composed an email to the family and very close friends informing them that INKY IS MISSING and that any plans we had might have to be postponed.
The information Neil had printed about what to do when your cat is missing had some excellent ideas so I put a pair of my shoes and the dress I had been wearing outside the back door. Filled her food dish and water and put it outside the back door also. Brought her cutie basket with her favorite toy mice (sprayed with catnip) to the porch in hopes that these items would entice her.
Back to the computer. Now it’s 3:45 am. Time to check the back porch again.
Opened the back door, and the screen door--nothing touched in the Enticement Department Items.
Looked at the Tubby House bathed in the yard lights, and gracefully coming around the corner was my lovely ball of calico fur heading for the stairs leading up to the porch and the back door.
“Inky Baby…Come to Momma!” Thank goodness there was no sign of any damage physically to her. She climbed the stairs, checked out the Enticement Items, ignored them, and walked into the mud room as though nothing had happened.
“Just taking a little walk, Momma” she seemed to say as she headed into the kitchen, the dining room, the bathroom to use her litter box and over to the broken window to possibly go outside again????
It was imperative to block that open window as best as possible until Neil could replace the broken glass. What is available at 4 :00 AM? Ah yes …put the 20” box fan in front of the window, pull the shade as far down as possible, move the drapes in front, and push the small cabinet against it all.
And who do you think is inspecting the entire operation right under my working hands? INKY HANDELMAN… pushing close to probably jump right outside again.
“No Inky. Don’t you dare!” I pushed her away. Thank goodness she knows what “No” means.
She was hungry. The wet food dish was filled quickly and she dug in very delicately. Then off to the living room to check out her belongings. Quickly she climbed up to the top of her cat tree and began an extended cleaning of her paws and tummy
It was time to bring in the Enticement Items from the back porch, and put them where they belong, but I was too tired to put my shoes and dress anywhere except on the stool at the door.
“Oh my … I’d better notify the friends and family that Inky is back!” So another email was sent to them …HOORAY … INKY IS HOME! Now we can all relax!
It was 5:00 am, and I finally climbed upstairs to go to bed. Had to read a few more chapters when I felt Inky Handelman, climbing on top of me for her nightly petting, then she disturbed Neil by trying to climb on his head and he quickly moved her off. “Everything is back to normal, Momma. I don’t know what you made such a fuss about!”
And so…today Neil and Bill have replaced the broken glass from all the windows and this epistle has been created Isn’t it lucky that we had no plans that required changing?
And that Inky is home safe and sound …until her next adventure.
Addendum from Lydia
What a relief and horrible adventure! I hadn’t seen your earlier email about the broken window and escape, but then I read through this one. I know Inky is happy to be home. She is a princess and I know she does not enjoy socializing with the lower-class outdoor rabble.