This is our family pet: a short-haired gray colored female feline named Salena. We fostered her through our local humane society around this time three years ago. and then adopted her. People who come to our house comment how easy-going she is–never scratches people, non-aggressive, never nips, and puts up with three very busy children who have been known to use her as a pillow.
She is strictly indoors.
This Saturday we went garage saling as a family. We returned home and started making lunch for the kids. I heard this constant “meowing” almost like the cat was trapped inside something. I opened every single door, cabinet, and closet. No cat. The meowing continued.
“She’s in the walls!” I declared.
So I asked my husband who we should call. Who do you call when your cat is trapped in the walls? My husband went up in the attic and crawled over the insulation putting his hand in every crevice while I did “a google search.” Then I remembered we had been on vacation which probably stressed the cat out. And our yard currently looks like this…
New siding and windows. Lots of pounding, drilling, and extra noise during the day. It spooked her.
No success in the attic. We can’t hear her meowing in the attic but we can hear her downstairs. Did she slip so far she is embedded in the walls? The thought of having to put a hole in the wall and retrieve a dead cat while dealing with the smell would probably traumatize our three children…and myself included.
I call the fire department. The gentlemen on the phone is very sweet, but said there is not much to do. He suggest leaving food out and says most cats who can get in strange places can find their way out.
My husband goes outside and sees Salena darting across the yard. She is jittery and spooked and runs away.
The meowing in the house stops.
So now we’re sitting on the patio and we safely assume our cat ran away and is gone forever. My daughter is sobbing. I am crying too. My husband who never had the greatest affection for the cat decides to drive around the neighborhood and look for her.
An hour later we’re sitting in the house and we all hear meowing again. We’re happy she did not run away but irritated we can’t figure out where she is. My husband says, “That’s it. I’m going back in the attic.”
I go into the garage and go into the furnace closet. The meowing is stronger. When I yell “Salena!” and bang on the wall, it intensifies. Then I realize the sound is not coming from the wall, or the ceiling, but the floor.
So now my husband have to wedge this little door open (I only knew it was there because the cable guy had to go under our house about a year ago) and go under our house amidst all these pipes and wires. I was grateful I was not feeling claustrophobic. We had to army crawl and we were filthy dirty like we had been working in a cave.
Needless to say it took a couple tries, but we got her. She would only come to me. Now she is safe and sound.
We still have no idea how she got in there. Our best guess is there a little small opening from where the chords from the air conditioner go under the house. We just got new sliding glass doors and the kids have not been great about shutting them all the way. We think she got outside and got confused on how to get back in.
My friends at the humane society shared that if your cat is stressed from extra noises from construction, keep him/her in a confined room while the workers are present. They recommended getting a sedative from the vet if she gets too jittery or paranoid. Your cat will “act out of character” if she/he is stressed as we experienced firsthand.
It wasn’t the way I wanted to spend a Saturday, but I am glad it had a happy ending.