I took Aspen, Cedar, Magnolia, and Cherry to work the other day. I had a car, the weather was nice, the kittens are all eating solid food. I thought it would be a nice chance for some socialization. I thought long and hard about who to take; the more outgoing ones? It’d be less stressful. The more timid ones? It’d be good for their socialization. Finally I decided since it was a one-off, better to take the ones who’d be less stressed. They were all really good in the carrier. No fussing. When we got to work I set up their little penned in area. Aspen and Cedar immediately made it clear that the tiny area would not do! So I opened up the pen and blocked off the door — with a flat cardboard box that humans could step over. Aspen, the most confident at home, seemed very nervous; crying and running around. She made me think she was looking for someone; Oprah? another of the kittens? Who knows? The other three were calm and placid. All my co-workers oohed and aaaahhd over them. Brendan, of course, got some great photos:
By lunch time I thought things were calm enough that I could run an errand. I was probably gone half an hour. When I got back all hell had broken loose. I was met at the door by a frantic co-worker; “How many kittens should there be?!!” “Four, why?” “We can only find three!” Turns out the cardboard wall had fallen/been knocked down. Of course with a bunch of people running around looking everywhere, making lots of noise, there was no way she was coming out. I was pretty sure I knew where she was.
I work in a big, old house. When the company started getting bigger and needed more room, the owners did some renovations; opened up the attic and put in a staircase and two more offices. That staircase was built where there used to be a closet. The door to the closet still exists in my office; it opens to the side view and underside of the stairs. The bottom stair is not closed in. So you have a kitten level opening into a nearly inaccessible hideaway! A number of cats before her had gone in there but all were bigger and more food motivated to come out. Cricket went in there when she came to work; she came out for a toy!
I asked everyone to go back to work, that I was pretty sure when things quieted down she’d come out. I waited about an hour with all kinds of bad thoughts running through my head. What if she’s not there and I’m not looking for her? What if she got outside? What if she got into a hole somewhere? Finally I couldn’t stand it. I had to move my computer, keyboard, and phone off my desk. My desk faces the old closet door. I had to swing the desk out away from the wall/door. Then I had to remove the bulletin board nailed into the door frame. I opened the door and got down on my hands and knees. There is a bunch of junk under the stairs, close to the stair opening; there was no kitten. There’s also a crawl space about a foot wide and four feet deep. At the end of it I could see a black circle. Holy crap she’s found a hole and is in the wall! I backed out and was about to ask someone (there was a crowd now) to get me a flashlight. As I turned back to look, the circle in the wall moved! I called and the little brat ran right to me! Y’all know that feeling of wanting to both kiss and strangle someone to death? Instead I locked her in the carrier and put my office back together. We made a higher wall — which she attempted to scale a number of times — went back to work and my heart rate returned to normal. It may not as bad as letting one escape out of the carrier on the street, but it still scared me!
To add insult to my injury when we got home she escaped the room (while I was cleaning up poop, of course) and ran under the couch. The first of this litter to do so. My couch is a fold out bed. Whenever a kitten goes under it (it’s too low for cats — on purpose!) I freeze. I worry about them climbing up into the workings. All I can do is wait for them to come out — which she did. But now she heads straight for it whenever she escapes the room.
All this is going in her bio! Her adopters need to be warned!