Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Do not over tighten.

Three days after we brought the cats here, Millie went missing. At first, I dismissed it, knowing that she had stayed out all night before, but when I walked Princess at 4:30 am and called, "Kitty Kitty Kitty!" and she didn't come running, I began to worry. I went out again a little later, and called, and I thought I could hear a meow meow somewhere. Sweetie was able to trace the sound to our neighbor's car, who doesn't feel the need to lock her car doors. He was able to pop the hood, and there she was, wedged tightly in the engine compartment, not able to move forward nor backward.

I was reminded as to how I had acquired that cat, back in '05. I had gone to the feed store to pick up my usual 300 pounds of bunny chow, and saw a tiny grey kitten in the office. The story was that a worker had been filling bags with corn when the chute became clogged. He reached up his hand in order to feel for the blockage, and pulled out said tiny kitty, just a few minutes before I arrived. It seemed sound, and I had been wanting another feline and so asked if I could take it home. Said and done.

(That is also why she is named Millie, by the way. A friend had found a cat behind some new construction in her house, and so named him Wally. She asked if I had named mine Millie, since I had found her at a feed mill. I hadn't named her yet, but soon did.)

Having located Millie, Sweetie passed her off to me, as he had to get to work. I called the neighbor, Tina, and told her not to be alarmed if she heard noises from her car port. I drove to a mechanic's shop, and was advised to put food on the ground, and if that didn't work, to honk the horn and beat on the bumpers and hood. He said NOT to use a water hose, as that only makes cats wet and even more angry. It didn't work. She was stuck.

Sweetie must have called me 5 or 6 times that day for a progress report. 

Tina even called in her neighbors on her other side, Bob and Tom, so see if they could help. That just cracked me up. (Bob and Tom. I fucking hate that radio show. I have never heard anything remotely funny from them.) However, they were of no help, and so it was up to Sweetie to do something. 

Which he did. He removed the alternator in Tina's Corsica, fortunately recently replaced so there were no seized-up bolts. Also? He heroically did this with not enough of the proper tools, because really, we have only just moved here and more than half of his stuff is still in Indiana. It took over and hour to take out the alternator, which gave Millie enough room to hoist her plump cat ass out and into my arms. 

She has always been an aloof kitty, but this time? She was loving being held in my arms as I took her to her food, water, and litter, after 24 hours of confinement. 

Putting the alternator back in was more problematic. Sigh. Such is car maintenance. It took awhile to get  the belt back in place, but in the process, a part was knocked into the dark void. Not a precious part, but a worrisome part nonetheless. It was found the next day, after Tina had driven to work and back. No harm, no foul. 

I am just so glad that Tina didn't have to go anywhere that day. 

Millie is fine. She's allowed outdoors again, but stays close by and is more affectionate than she's ever been. 


Mouse said...

Wow... what an adventure! Our Ms.Kitty was originally found by my husband inside the engine compartment of a work truck when she was a kitten. Her actual name is very silly & unique and has to do with her time spent inside a car engine.

zippiknits said...

Wow! What a close call for your crazy little cat. She just wanted to stay warm overnight. Silly grrrl!

I once had a big white cat named Thumper because his front feet didn't work right so he thumped around the house. I really loved that cat. He was injured by a tom cat, when he was just a tiny baby, so his traumatized mother abandoned him.

Good luck with all the moving of your stuff. hugs!