We have a black cat with a small white patch under her chin who we named Dottie. She is the most versatile cat I have even known. Her mother is Precious, a calico cat. Dottie loves to be petted and brushed. She especially likes to jump up on the back of the couch behind me and give me a new hair doo. Actually as long as her nails are clipped, it feels rather good. Before I met my husband I treasured the affection I got from my pets a little more than I do now. Dottie also likes to lick people on their arms and feet. I guess she thinks she is giving us a bath.
Dottie also finds different places to hide outside. The first time Dottie came up missing was in October of 2007, shortly after I met my husband. She was missing for about 3 months. We looked everywhere for her, but, could not find her. Finally one day I thought I would look in the barn a fifth time in the 23 ft. by 19 ft. tack room under the hay lofts where the stalls for smaller animals used to be. A few years ago my sons and I tore down all the stall frames. I put up stud frames and dry wall around the walls of that room which can now be used for a tack room. Dottie evidently climbed in and out of that room from the ceiling of the hay loft.
When I opened the door to the tack room I saw Dottie as thin as could be. She was as light as a feather. There were also several small dead mice lying on the floor and a large bowl of water half full that I kept in that room for my dog when he accompanies me to the barn. Evidently Dottie does not take after her mother (Precious) who is a true mouser. If that would have been Precious, there would be no dead mice left on the floor. I brought Dottie into the house, fed her a can of tuna and kept her indoors until spring. I always keep my cats indoors after it starts snowing anyway so Dottie had plenty of time to recuperate from her ordeal. However, after being inside all winter they get a little cabin fever and beg to go outdoors.
Dottie only tolerates our dog Coco, a chocolate lab, and hides whenever any other dog comes on our property. The last time I accidentally left the gate open to my deck and our neighbor’s very friendly boxer climbed on the deck to investigate. Dottie saw him, jumped off the deck, and, took off like a race car. She was no where to be found for three weeks. I guess she figured that her once safe deck was no longer a “safe retreat.”
We looked every where for Dottie, but, to no avail. Finally one day while working in the yard, I heard this ‘Meow” but did not see anything. I was hoping it would be Dottie because I love that silly cat, but could not figure where the sound was coming from. I talked to her to get her to keep meowing so that I could find her. Low and behold the sound was coming from the shed. I was a little frightened when I opened the shed door expecting to find a half dead cat because it was summer and that small shed gets really hot. I was very relieved to see Dottie’s cute little face. She immediately ran out of the shed and on to the deck to drink some water.
After that I fed her a can of cat food and kept her inside for a few weeks. What was odd is that she was not as thin as I expected her to be after missing for three weeks. She must have been hiding in the horse barn during the day and getting small amounts of cat food at night that I put out for her cat companion “Buttercup.” Buttercup likes to stay outside on the deck when the weather is good. Dottie could not have been trapped in the shed for very long because of the heat and the size of the shed. She would not have been able to stay alive for more than a few days trapped in the shed. Dottie must have found a hole in the bottom of the shed and crawled into it from there. Well, I think she must have used up at least two of her nine lives. When she decides she wants to hide there is no finding her until she is ready to be found.