Steve is missing. The last I saw him was around 1 am when I went to bed. I think he got out of Shawn’s window, which opens to the front. We had been airing out the house and forgot to close it, and Shawn was out.
Driven all over town five times and no Steve. I am, of course, a basket case.
It’s about to rain, so maybe that will bring him home. The rational part of me says there is no point freaking out during the day, I guess, because every time a cat has escaped before, they have come at dusk. The other 97% of me is freaking the fuck out.
I’m so sorry, what a nightmare! Every time this has happened to me I’ve freaked the hell out too. Have you tried walking around your neighborhood shaking a packet of treats? Sometimes I’ve caught my cats that way. Is Steve microchipped?
Cats, the supreme narcissists.
Thoughts are with you.
Iowa Old Lady
Oh no. Chances are he’ll come home. He knows where his bread is buttered. But in the meantime, it’s awful.
So glad my cats are cowards and are barely even interested in looking out the window. I’m sure he’ll return.
Oh, shit. I’m sorry. I bet he’ll be home soon, but I know how stressful it is when a cat goes AWOL.
Open can of tuna on the front porch. The smell will bring him home. This works every time for me.
It’s about to rain, so maybe that will bring him home. The rational part of me says there is no point freaking out during the day, I guess, because every time a cat has escaped before, they have come at dusk.
Leave a window open so you can hear him when he comes back and possibly for him to jump into when he comes back.
[‘He’s probably nearby. Of course, with you, nearby is the whole town, I suppose.’]
Villago Delenda Est
Steve’s probably looking for a new source of treats, or just exploring. Cats love to explore, as you know. Curiosity, etc.
Hang in there. Steve knows where home is. He’ll get his humongous furry butt back inside in no time, especially if it’s wet.
Dollars to donuts Steve knows where his tuna is buttered and how to get back there, and is just out having a dude-cat adventure. Fingers and paws crossed.
Steve is being a nawty kitteh, I hope he comes back soon. BTW have you checked that he is not hiding at home in some improbable place? Sometimes bosscat likes to hide in places where no one can find him.
In ten years (well, it will be ten years in a few weeks) I’ve only ever had Bianca get out of sight of the house once, when she was about a year old. She will get out beyond the gate, but not far, and woe betide the neighbour cats who come in here. She gets quite angry with them.
Sending good thoughts, John. It’s the worst feeling , having one of our critters lost. Happened to me with my dog, Kate a few weeks ago. A loose picket in the fence and she managed to squeeze out. Called for her outside, finally got in the car and drove thru the neighborhood, crying hysterical. After about 45 minutes, a friend waved me down, ‘She’s back in the house.’ She’d been in the neighbor’s yard for all of 10 minutes, ignoring my calls, and then sashayed back inside. I was like a parent with a kid after the relief, ‘I could kill you,..don’t you ever do that again!!’
Is there any way he could have gotten stuck under the house or something?
I initially read it as Shawn being missing.
Good luck in your search, I’m sure he’ll be back soon!
As others have said, Steve will likely come back on his own – as I’m sure you know on an intellectual level – but the worry is totally understandable, and something I would feel if it happened to me.
Keep Calm, and Trust Steve (but maybe look for him anyway, leave out some smelly tuna, etc.). Best thoughts and wishes.
Just hang out and watch big men get brain damaged. it is Sunday after all.
My gosh I hope he comes home. My cats have no desire to go outside. Only indoor pets. So I got lazy about closing a door fast. One day one of my two cats ran out. She was just gone and I could never find her. I hope much better luck for you John.
Good vibes out to you & Steve. He’s probably not too far and treats or tuna will help get him back. You really need to invest in screens.
I am so sorry, John. I hope he comes right home.
dusk is when my cat wants to explore. during the day he sticks around.
last time he he had a nite on the town, he came home with really sore paws, and limped around for a week or so. since then, he’s been more apt to stick around.
My advice is to leave the window he left from open, and make it convenient for him to get back in via the way he left.
Oh, I hate that feeling. You know in your gut they’ll come back, but the entire rest of your body is in complete panic mode, afraid they won’t. Beasts. Luckily you’ve let him out enough so he knows his yard, he’ll be back at dust for sure. Until then, stay strong.
Prayers for Steve.
Best wishes for Steve getting home soon.
Things happen, no matter how careful we are. The landlord was painting the whole house, all the windows were covered with plastic, we were away from home.
A sudden thunderstorm dropped the barometric pressure so drastically it ripped open our apartment door and blew open the doors downstairs. Both our cats at the time must have torn out of the place like funny car drivers. One we got back in five minutes, the other took almost two months.
Oh, shit. I am sure he’ll be back, but that doesn’t make the interim time less stressful. Sending best wishes your way.
I hope he comes back soon. I find the best way to look for a lost pet is by bike. Covers more ground than walking but still allows a close look, plus, easy to jump off and walk so kitty can spot and recognize you.
When I lost my kitty I lived in such a small town that I wrote a letter to the editor of the local daily paper, and they actually printed it.
(And that’s how I got kitty back, too.)
I just went and hugged my pootie!
Oh no. I hope he comes back soon so you can stop worrying. Is he chipped? I found a lost dog recently, took him to a shelter and of course he wasn’t chipped. Fortunately we found the owner so it all turned out okay. But people! Microchip your pets!
Friends’ cat had been missing a couple of days when they finally found him, with his claws caught inside the dryer. He was a haughty thing and too embarrassed to yell “Hey, I’m caught in this thing!” yet still managed to act all pissy for a week afterwards. Clearly the humans’ fault.
mai naem mobile
Maybe you should.barbeque(yeah, I know the rain) something outside and he will come running to the smell??
I wonder if you could attach one of those tiles they sell for laptops and stuff to prevent theft to Steve.
My last cat Sophie got out during a terrible rainstorm at night once. I had brought some groceries home late after a 14-hour workday and not been as careful as usual coming in, because I assumed she had the sense not to rush out into a monsoon. Wrong.
She got up onto the porch roof and sat there meowing piteously. My neighbor brought a ladder and climbed up it with a can of tuna and was rewarded with a severely mauled hand when he tried to grab her. I even tried to climb the ladder, but it was a really old one with round rungs, like closet bar, instead of flat steps, and my arthritic feet would not do it.
I barely slept at all that night worrying that she was going to get hit by lightning or blown off or drown or freeze. I got up before the sun even came up, opened the front door and there she sat, covered with dust and blow-in attic insulation, but perfectly dry and happy. She sashayed in and complained that she had missed her dinner and that I must feed her immediately.
I wanted to kiss her or kill her or both.
I hope you don’t have to wait as long for Steve, but that you have the same good results. At least he is big enough to win a fight with another cat and probably could even take a small coyote.
Hope he comes home soon.
PS: there are things I normally say when I’m putting out the cat food. I find that if I wander around the neighborhood saying those things, Tea will often appear. It does have the disadvantage of convincing your neighbors that you’re nuts, but oh well.
mai naem mobile
Hey john maybe you should put a pic of him on twitter. I dont know how many people are on twitter in your little town but it cant hurt.
Strong thoughts your way, John – I’m with the “open the tuna” brigade. My Blinks took off one night when I was still in the trailer – busy streets all around mixed with coyotes so I was despondent when I couldn’t find her.
Finally ringed the trailer with open tuna and the next evening she was back. Damn cat.
Seconded. New cats get an altering/shots/chipping workup.
Also, if you let your cats out or have a dog, there’s a new chip that lets you use a GPS and runs off a piezo crystal. Cutting edge.
Oh, FSM, do I know that gut-clenched feeling of worry-dread.
Steve will probably come home and wonder what all the fuss is about.
Until then, we will worry with you.
@JCT: My cat when commenting here just went up and pawed me. Reminded me I had not gave her tuna for today. Tuna might help to bring her home.
Come home soon, Steve! Hang in there, Cole!
I can’t believe John was looking for Steve in the car. Isn’t Steve too big fit in the car?
@schrodinger’s cat: This. Cats are really good at hiding. Even the big fluffy butts!
Have had female and male cats. Males like to roam at night. Lost two to bobcats because of that. Females don’t roam too far from home base. One male disappeared for a whole weekend once. Disappeared on a Friday evening came back early Monday morning. Wasn’t even hungry or thirsty. I had written him off as the woods here are deep and wild and he was mostly white.
Steve looks big enough to take care of himself if he has to and he’s got a good camo color. Just on a stalk-about. He’ll be back when he’s damn good and ready to be back and not a moment before.
Jack was an outdoor cat who liked to wander. Every time the weather turned cool or warm, he would not return when we rang for him at night–he would show up around 1 or 2am. My husband thought he should spend a cool, wet night outside, but I always got up and brought him inside.
He disappeared a total of 3 times. He liked to climb into things, and his first time missing was the weekend of UGA graduation–moving trucks everywhere. I had images of some sophomore from Valdosta unloading their UHaul to find a cat dead of heat exhaustion. He was gone 12 days; the 2-year-old daughter of a neighbor, catty-corner behind our house, kept telling her parents she heard meowing in the basement. Finally, the dad went downstairs to prove her wrong and found Jack. They had our number and address because we’d put fliers in every mailbox in the neighborhood.
He was skinny, but had survived for 12 days on probably random bugs and puddles from a rain storm that had blown into the basement; I was glad we rang for him every night he was gone, even when it seemed fruitless–he knew we were expecting him. Cats are wiley and smarter than we think–Steve will come home, and if he’s stuck somewhere, keep calling him until he makes enough ruckus for someone to rescue him. (edited for ridiculous typos)
Best wishes, John. Keep us posted.
Oh no! Chances are he’s hiding somewhere close by, but not knowing where they are is the worst feeling.
Here’s an article that talks about how lost pets behave in predictable ways, and how you can use that knowledge to help find them. The takeaway for cats:
It goes on to explain how displaced cats hide in silence so as not to give up their location to a predator. They each have their unique “threshold” at which point they will break cover and return home. Some reach this point after a few hours; others may take days.
I used to volunteer for a lost pets page on Facebook, and we would refer people to this article all the time. For lost dogs too, which behave completely differently than lost cats.
Please come home soon, Steve!
@Svensker: Yeah, please FSM bring Steve home safely, but John, if he comes home and you don’t update this blog THAT VERY MINUTE I will pray to basement cat to take your soul.
A neighbor came over last week to ask if I knew a cat that was hiding under her truck. I went over and called to the kitty but didn’t think that I recognized it at first. When he started talking, I knew who he was. The cat was the feared and reviled Muggsy. Muggsy loves to torment other cats but is people friendly. He lived over a block away. He wouldn’t let me carry him home but we ran and found his owner at home. She’d gone out of town and Muggsy disliked the petsitter. He had been missing for over a week and his owner was in tears when they reunited.
Thanks for the article. I’m going to go crawl around under all the decks in the neighborhood now.
Day 11 and no kitty.
When we lived in Maryland, our guy was always an out-at-night kitty, but since we moved to central Oregon, we’ve kept him in at night for fear of coyotes. About a month ago, he didn’t come home before dark and I searched frantically and fruitlessly for him until almost midnight, then went to bed in tears. He was waiting at the backdoor in the morning. They are pretty resourceful.
@beabea: Cats also have a very keen ability to navigate and find their way back to their homes. Although the cats I have now are indoor cats (although Marvin the Siamese dashes out the front door every chance he gets), in the past, when I’ve had outdoor-access kitties, I never got too worried if I didn’t see one for half a day or so; the cat would be waiting by the door when I got up the next morning. If the cat was gone for more than 24 hours, there was usually a problem. But I learned to be philosophical about it: They were either all right and would be back soon, or they had already come to harm, and either way, nothing I could do would affect the outcome. It makes the pet owner feel powerless, and rightfully so, but domesticated cats tend to stay away from the street, and Steve is large enough to take of himself. (I figure most cats can ably defend themselves against any other animals two or three times their size or smaller, and as Steve is like a 20-pounder, it’d take a pretty large dog to raise concerns.) So in the meantime, put out the tuna and shake the treats can. He’ll show up when he feels like, because he’s a cat.
A. That cat is big enough to take care of hisself.
B. He will be home when he gets hungry, i.e. soon.
The couple of times that Mr Cheese has gotten out and was still gone when I went to bed, I would leave the slider open a few inches so he could get back in. Never failed, every time the next morning he would be sleeping in his usual spot.
Hoping for a quick reunion.
@MomSense: So sorry to hear your kitty is still lost! One thing I found helpful with cat search was to look at dusk, shining a bright light into the hiding spots and looking for the eye reflections. I bought a rechargeable handheld spotlight for about $25 at the local big box hardware store, and it made the job so much easier than using an ordinary flashlight.
The lost pets page I worked on, has a “Lost pet to-do list” with more suggestions in case there is something you maybe didn’t try yet. I hope you find your lost kitty! I’ve been there, done that and it’s awful.
I’m pretty sure Steve will make it home. I have a couple of indoor/outdoor cats. Usually they go out for an hour max and then come back in, satisfied and ready to crash, but every now and then they take it in their heads to wander. My rule of thumb has become don’t worry until they are gone a week. Now that’s almost impossible to do, so here’s a hint for finding a pet that strayed. Take a piece of clothing that you have worn, but not washed, or used sheets or something that has your scent all over it. Put it out where you think he might be. Place a bowl of water next to it. Then wait and watch. If they can smell your scent, they will come looking and the water will give them a reason to stay. Do not leave food because other animals may come to eat it and they will scare your cat. Anyway, my thoughts are with you. It is awful when you don’t know where they are.
For what it’s worth: When I’ve misplaced a cat outdoors, they seem to revert to a nocturnal pattern — wandering at night and sleeping it off during the day. And especially the first night they are out, they do this. And I get the impression that when they sleep they really hole up somewhere undisturbed (far in under a barn or porch), and don’t hear the calling. And they don’t come when called if they are sleeping … so sometimes they have eventually turned up right next door from under the neighbor’s house.
Sometimes I’ve found them by going around the neighbor’s garage or barn and tapping a can with a fork. That metallic sound seems to carry well and get their attention ! (In case they got locked in a garage, I go back there a 2nd time an hour later to give them time to wake up and come to a window.)
It can take a couple of days, which I attribute to their unpredictable sleep wake cycle, esp if they are prowling all night for mice, etc and sleeping all day.)
Lately I’ve been using breakaway collars (made in VT) with 2-3 bells added. I started doing this to keep her from catching birds and filling the house with chipmunks, but I can also listen for her if I’m looking.
Incidentally, it being fall, the hunting is most plentiful now, since mice etc are gathering berries and seeds as fast as they can, and this can distract the cat … if they are hunting they don’t respond right away.
Hope Steve returns soon.
Another Holocene Human
I would totally lose it, too. Especially if sounds of her favorite treats being opened didn’t draw her out of … wherever.
I hope Steve comes home, John.
Speaking as one who’s gone through recovery to addiction, watch out for the warning signs that you might be thinking about drinking.
Stress such as you’re going through right now is one of my triggers.
Oh yeah… sometimes when desperate I have tossed catnip out around the doors … or tuna juice. I don’t put food down for them as a lure, because they may just eat and go off again. To calm ourselves about the situation, we used to say he was “out on a vision quest.” I think the most effective method for us has been tapping a can with a fork (loosely so it reverberates), every few hours, starting just around the house and then around the neighbor’s houses has been Eventually I might widen the circle, but I usually try to avoid encouraging him to go in the wrong direction.
Waiting is hard. Really hoping Steve will return soon.
@glocksman: I appreciate you looking out for Cole.
Howard Beale IV
When I had my Himalayan Minuet, she got out one day while I was’t looking. Had no clue, walked around the condo complex, didn’t see her; so I put up Lost Cat signs, and I left the garage door open just a crack. Early next morning, there she was in the garage.
I hope Steve comes back soon. I know I’d be panicking if Martha, my known to bolt golden retriever ran away. I do have a tiny suggestion. Get screens for your windows before you air out the house again. That way if you forget to close a window, you won’t be kicking yourself until your cat returns. The tuna on the porch thing also sounds like a good idea. Martha likes car rides, and the one time she hit the road, we caught up to her a mile away and offered her a ride in the car. I guess that probably wouldn’t work with a cat.
Hope you find Steve soon!
@Howard Beale IV: That’s how my Hermione, the devil tortie, came back. She usually never left the yard, but got freaked out one day by a neighbor starting up a weed whacker just across the fence from where she was sleeping, and just went flying away.
We did the usual looking, calling, etc, but she didn’t come back till the following morning (around 4:30 a.m.), coming back in through the cracked-open garage door. She had torn a claw, and was very nervous for several weeks, but whew! she’s back.
John, here’s hoping Steve will show back up after his jaunt. People’s comments have lots of good advice; but knowing cats, he will most likely just wander back in.
I’m praying for Steve to come home soonest.
Our Louis is in the hospital with (we think) a kidney infection, which happened also in June. I don’t know why it’s recurring. We went to visit him and he was freaked out so I sang Shirley Temple songs to him and combed him for a while until he purred. And yes, he loves Shirley Temple songs.
Now I have to keep checking the blog for Steve’s return.
@Juju: Ah, yes! Wanna go for a ride?!!?!? I remember that well from my dog who liked to bolt. Worked like a charm!
@gogol’s wife: My boy kitty has a UTI condition that makes him prone to infections and crystals in his urine. I forget with the initials of the condition are. It started when he was less than one year old, and it’s not uncommon in boy kitties.
If that’s the issue, lots of water and wet food helps tremendously. Also, I put something on his food every day that reduces inflammation.
Here’s hoping Louis gets better quickly. And then, you may begin your career as a Youtube sensation.
“On the good ship, lollipop…”
When Steve returns I have a feeling he will be exhibiting an air of supreme nonchalance.
I’ve been in your situation a lot. What usually happens is that it turns out that Contessa has found a new hiding place in my apartment. Have you tried the Temptations treats AKA kitty crack trick? I’ll start shaking it and shaking it and voila, she’s suddenly out of her hiding place. Can there be a new hiding place for Steve?
I’ll ask about that.
I don’t think I have a future there.
John just tweeted that Steve is home.
jgc just tweeted that Steve is back. Thank fucking god, I got up very late today and saw that he was missing and was getting wigged – Cole can’t lose a second buddy so soon…
Indeed – now I can go make myself some breakfast and relax with the women’s world championship team time trials – mens up next.
wouldn’t let me edit to add “because of course it’s all about me”
A note for Cole and anyone else whose cat has ever run away and come back at dusk: don’t drive all over town. When an indoor cat gets out they will always be within a 3 home radius of yours, so they are either across the street or in one of your neighbors yards, most likely curled up sleeping in a ball near or up a tree, on top of a garage or inside one. The inside the garage one is the one kitty doesn’t come home from, ever — especially on a hot day when your neighbor goes to cut their grass, locks up the garage that your cat stupidly went into to be “safe” from the lawnmower noise and kitty then dies of a heatstroke or starvation/dehydration within a few days. So, next time: check your neighbors and your own garage, ask them not to close the garage door until kitty’s dinner is usually served and go home and wait … hope this helps, coming from someone with multiple adopted semi-feral cats who know where their food is.
Dasuquin? Our vet recommended this after our rescue Rocket developed his second UTI in three months — apparently it has the same positive effects on the bladder lining that it’s supposed to have on aging joints.
Both cats now split half a 6oz can of prescription anti-UTI food twice a day; Rocky gets a capsule of Dasuquin sprinkled into his dish. (As long as they get the same food, Rocky sticks to his own dish in his personal apartment and Piper eats downstairs in company with the dogs.)
@Anne Laurie: Mine is actually Cosequin- perhaps just different brand names for the same thing?
My boy kitty and girl kitty get the same exact food, but they often switch bowls midstream, so they both get the cosequin. :-)
I was able to avoid the prescription food by doing this: feeding small meals, 4 times a day, two of them with high quality wet food, two with high quality dry food, plus water mixed in with the wet.
My pet insurance would have actually paid for the prescription food – forever – but I didn’t want the hassle of fighting with them forever because “I want what s/he’s having”. We may get to that point someday, but for now the regimen above works pretty well. He gets the occasional infection but I have learned to catch it early and he doesn’t usually get the crystals.