We had a lot of excitement in our feline crib this past week, and it completely unnerved little Rosie.

The new flooring came on Monday. That meant a day of moving large appliances, moving furniture to make room for the large appliances, pulling out toilets, and relocating cats into a back bedroom.

Those I could trust outside like Supper, went out, the rest had to be put in the back bedroom.rosieedited.jpg

It was a long day, but we got through it and the new flooring looks great, but Rosie was very upset by all the activity more than usual.

Then on the 4th my brother and his Jack Russell, Bitsy came up for the day. Now I love Bitsy. I actually found her as a puppy for my big bro and the two are inseparable. But Bitsy is a JRT/Dachsy mix with an incredibly strong prey drive. She grew up with two cats, and she’s fine with them, but other cats are just fast moving toys to chase.

So about 30 seconds after they arrived, before we could stop her, she had three cats and one kitten cornered under the bed in the guest bedroom, barking at them at the top of her lungs. The kitten was paralyzed with fear. Rosie and Mia and Tommy were the cats she had cornered.

The last time she went after Mia, poor Mia pee’d on herself.

The problem with Bitsy is once she starts that, she won’t let you catch her and she won’t stop chasing and barking. It’s like she loses her little mind. It bothers me that my brother won’t deal with that. He says every trainer he’s talked to told him there’s nothing that can be done to curb her prey drive. I don’t believe that, but that’s another blog.

Well we finally caught her and I managed to get all the cats out from under the guest bed and into my master suite and close the door.

Then we left for the afternoon and took the dogs with us.

When we came back later in the evening, I discovered part of the new flooring had come up in the back bathroom. Forced air from the ac vents was blowing under it and it was raising up like a hot air balloon filling for flight.

Got it back down and held down with my old electric insulator collection, but that meant the next day more workmen had to come out and fix it. And THAT meant more stress for the cats and especially Rosie and I think that just pushed her over the edge.

She ran out the back door and down to the neighbors and disappeared…. for three days.

I finally saw her Friday evening on my neighbor’s garden wall but she wouldn’t come near me. She did follow me, howling, almost all the way back home, but wouldn’t let me near her and when she got to the edge of our drive, she turned and ran back into the woods. ‘At least she’s alive,’ I thought.

Her son, Rusty, stayed down in the general area too, but finally gave in yesterday afternoon. He didn’t want to leave his mom, I guess. It’s been hot and muggy here and I think he was finally exhausted from the heat and the stress of trying to wait for her. He would come in eat and want right back out..then he’d go down and sit by the garden wall, waiting. He stayed out all night Thursday and Friday, but gave up early Saturday afternoon. That’s when I thought, ‘Well he knows she’s dead or he’d still be out there.’

Out here, we have coyotes and I’ve had two cats disappear to what I think were coyotes. If it had been dogs, I would have found bodies because dogs don’t chase for food, they chase for the thrill of the hunt. Once the animal is dead, they walk away and go on to something else. Coyotes kill for food, so they take their kill back to their den and eat it.

People around here tell of coyotes snatching small dogs, as well as cats. One man told me he heard his Chihuahua yip and came out to find it in the mouth of a coyote. The coyote dropped the dog and ran into the woods, but it was too late for the little guy. It’s one reason I never let my dog out alone.

So to see Rosie alive was a relief Friday evening, but she wouldn’t come home. I was tired and couldn’t stay out there all night with her trying to get her in. I just had to hope she’d make it through the night alive.

Then yesterday, I went down to their house and called for her at intervals throughout the day. Nothing. Normally, she responds. No sounds, no sign. This time, I was sure she was dead. When Rusty came home Saturday afternoon, tired and hungry and made no attempt to go back out, I figured he knew.

Then around 10p last night, I gave it one more try with my flashlight and there she was..sitting on their garden wall again.

Still traumatized, she ran from me but not far. She laid down again, mewing her sad meow, and I pointed the flashlight in her face so she couldn’t see me move toward her and I was able to grab her.

I held her close and carried her home, talking softly to her all the way. As we got closer to the house, I felt her whole body stiffen. She was sure Bitsy or workmen or some other horror was in the house waiting to terrorize her again.

But when I put her down on the kitchen floor, she walked around and saw every thing was the way it was before. All the other cats came up to her and sniffed her as if to say, “Where have you been?” Then she stretched out on the new kitchen floor and relaxed a little.

Rosie hadn’t eaten in two days so she had a good meal last night. Then she walked around the house several times to make sure everything was back to normal. Still, she was a little skittish all night. Still a little worried about things.
But by morning, Rosie was mostly back to her normal self. She’s back outside, but staying close to the house. She’s gone in and out a few time, just to make sure of things, I guess.

I just hope I can get her back in later this afternoon.

Evening Update: Late this afternoon, I went outside and she came walking up to me. I picked her up and brought her inside. Except for having a nice dinner of tuna at around 6p, she’s been asleep on my bed all afternoon. She’s just exhausted. Rusty, too.

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