That's Zigmund, our cat. Well, cat-in-law. Technically, he's my mom's, but we are hosting him during her stay in Vegas since the pet deposit at her apartment was outrageous. And non-refundable.
Sadly, I'm not sure if this is a reflection on my intelligence, but it took us fifteen minutes alone to discover Zigmund up a tree. Scotty and I both walked outside, calling his name, and we could hear him meowing but couldn't locate where it was coming from. I actually removed the tops of two water irrigation boxes (a Vegas thing - hard to explain), thinking he had gotten trapped inside. It was the three-year old who finally clued me in by looking up and exclaiming, "Mommy! Zigmund's in a TREE!" as though he had just seen pigs fly or a drive-by by the tooth fairy. My first thought? Very similar to Jennifer Lawrence's when she fell over her dress on the way to claim her Oscar. I'll give you a hint - it started with "F."
Immediately, I got on the phone. Because I was panicking, I called 4-11 instead of 3-11. The nice man listened to me extol about my cat-in-a-tree problem and promptly transferred me to the Humane Society for a nominal charge of $2.99. The Humane Society was not helpful; the woman said most cats come down on their own. (I was too afraid to ask about the cats who did NOT come down on their own). Then I called our lawn/tree service. The dispatcher told me she'd call any available guys in the area, but I had a feeling she was just placating me because Victor is still mad that I forced him to replace a section of dead grass earlier in the year at their expense. (Um, hello? You handle our lawn. If it doesn't look right, isn't that your job?) Note to self: stop pissing off the lawn people. They won't help in an emergency. Honey, Kim, not vinegar.
Then I made the very tough decision to call my mother. This was, after all, her cat.
And she handled it like there was nothing wrong. I knew Zig had previously been stuck in a tree in Indiana in 2008 after a brief kerfuffle with the neighborhood dog. My dad spent days calling people, coaxing the cat down, offering food and water, and finally began to construct an actual ramp to allow the cat to safely traverse when Zigmund ultimately jumped out and landed in a pile of soft leaves. That tree was much larger than this tree and with fewer side branches. Although the memory of my dad building a ramp - build it if they won't come - still makes me smile, I can't imagine this situation going on for two full days.
So, heeding her words, I packed us up and went to the grocery store. We bought some bell peppers, a toy for Scotty, and some cat toys for Zigmund as a "welcome to solid ground" gift (if and when that happened.)
During lunch, the doorbell rang. It was our mail lady, reporting there is a cat in our tree. I explained the situation and she just looked at me like I was a lunatic. Scotty, of course, helped the situation by pretending to have his newly-acquired plastic alligator snap at Zigmund and the mail-lady.
And so, we wait. I find this situation totally comically because it's asking that I, the person who loves to manage and direct situations in an effort to keep everyone happy, safe and at status quo, simply WAIT and TRUST the cat to do what is best. Wait and trust? Are you kidding me? Those are not words in my vocabulary. But what other choice do I have?
What do hot air balloon people charge for cat rescues?
I'm not sure who will last longer - me or the cat.
And so, we move into our third hour of CatGate. Be sure to check back for updates...
Update: Yeah, I didn't listen to the "wait and trust" advice. I called in a few favors and the Amazing Smith family arrived on my doorstop within minutes. Jenny, the official cat whisperer, scaled the tree like a fearless ninja while playing cat noises from her phone. Courtney braced the ladder and kept the kids in line by shouting directions. Carson, barely pictured, stood valiantly by his mom and Samantha ignored the whole situation by drawing pictures on our easel inside. Though Zigmund refused the chicken, cat noises, and coaxing, I appreciate the effort! You know it's a true friend when they climb a tree to rescue your cat-in-law.