Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Culvert Ops

"Mom, where's Spooky?"

"Gee, I haven't seen him since last night when all the cats had their bedtime snack."

Proceed to check every nook and cranny, since Spooky lives up to his name, and is spooked under beds and into the smallest spaces he can find whenever anyone he doesn't know comes in the door.  Or when there's a thunderstorm.  Or when his younger brother picks on him.  He's a true scaredy cat. 

While I got out of my pajamas into whatever was the fastest outfit I could grab to go search outside, Riley ran out to start yellin' his name.  As I searched everywhere in the house I kept peeking outside to see if he had any luck finding him.  He was in tears, frantic and worried.  None of our cats go outside, especially not Spooky.  So I was worried too, because I knew he wasn't anywhere in the house.

Soon Riley came to tell me that he looked in the culvert under our driveway and "saw two green circles looking at me and then they disappeared!"  Being 10 he isn't quite into investigating dark and scary culverts without some help, but he had run inside to grab a flashlight for me.  I ran over to look and sure enough, there were "two green circles" staring at me, and then the howling started.

I tried to coax Spooky out of the middle of the culvert with absolutely no movement.  I can only imagine how petrified he was, as he had been in there all night, alone.  We don't have much traffic on our street, but dogs can be heard barking all through the day and night.  Of all the pets to be stuck in such a predicament our scaredy cat was the worst choice.  In 12 years he has made the mistake of going outside a total of three times, and none of them turned out well for him emotionally.  I tried speaking to him in my best "mom voice"  all the time realizing that the metal tube was magnifying it 50 times and no doubt freaking him out even more. I tossed kitty treats towards him to no avail.  Finally I told Riley that although I hated to traumatize him even more, we were gonna have to get the hose.

After I had stationed myself at one end of the culvert with a nice fuzzy blanket to catch and comfort him in, Riley turned on the hose full blast, shooting it towards Spooky and crying the entire time; he thought the cat was going to stay in there forever.  Poor kid.  He tries to be such a cool young man but at heart he is just a softy who hates to see any animal in danger.  He wants to be a vet someday and I know it will be the perfect thing for him.

As the water crept slowly down the tube, the green eyes got closer and closer to me, eating the treats I had thrown along his way.  If cats could talk he would have been saying, "Mom, what the he*$ are you doing to me, but thanks for the treats!" Soon he was at the end of the culvert where I could reach him, and just at that moment one of our neighbors came over to see what we were doing laying in the ditch in the middle of the day and if we needed any help.  (I think my neighbors have become accustomed to seeing me out in the ditch after dark with a flashlight picking crawlers, but never during the day.  I'm sure they've also become accustomed to seeing me throwing empty plant pots across the yard and running my lawn tractor in 6th gear, but that's a story for another day). As soon as Spooky heard her voice I could see his brain working him into full bolting mode, so as he started to turn around and go back into the depths I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and dragged him out the rest of the way, claws dragging on metal the entire time.

He spent the rest of the afternoon being fed extra treats, given lots of water, and enjoying total pampering until he found his favorite spot on the rug under the dining room table, directly in line with the sun shining through the patio doors.  And there he slept off his nightmare.

Poor kitty.  We still have no idea how he got out, but we're sure glad he's okay.

1 comment:

Kristi Pohl said...

HOLY CRIMINY!!!! Poor Spooky, he will have to get some extra lovin' when I come up next week. Like you said, of all of your cats to have such a trauma....so glad he is okay. Now the question is, how long will it take Riley to recover?