The Suitcase Lady


August 18, 2020, 9:21 pm

It appears that we have a little Houdini living in our midst. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since she previously went missing only to be discovered wedged deeply in the engine of our car. She remained there for two days, totally unreachable.

That great disappearance occurred after we rescued Beatrix (aka Houdini) and her three kittens after they survived a barn fire. They were all feral cats so we quarantined them in our garage pending their initial vet visit for exams and shots. Beatrix decided she was going nowhere but into extreme hiding. Hunger finally drove her out and into our waiting live trap.

Last week, Bea topped her engine trick. First, we noticed she wasn’t eating. This was very serious as for the last nine years she eats every dish of food as if it is her last, a behavior probably caused by going hungry when she was feral. Next, we noticed the edge of her mouth was all red and covered with drool. We suspected an infected tooth or teeth; we also rightly suspected that she wouldn’t let us open her mouth for a look inside. A trip to the vet was scheduled for the next morning.

We both realized that getting our girl into her cat carrier the next morning was going to be extremely challenging. When she is frightened, Bea likes to hide way back in a tiny attic high above our big cat room. It’s reachable to us only if we use a ladder. So, using our “superior” human brains, we decided to sequester her for the night in a tiny room with no hiding places which is under the stairs and adjacent to the main cat room.

Early the next morning, shortly before her appointment, my husband went downstairs to get her. I then heard a voice calling up to me, “She’s vanished.” I raced down the stairs and, indeed, there was no Beatrix.

Not being believers in the paranormal, we were stunned. We tried to calm down and employ reason. That led to us noticing some three-inch triangular openings at the side of each step. Could she possibly have gotten inside the wall? I rushed into the garage,  got a ladder and took it into the main cat room where I could peer back into the little attic. A terrified Bea stared back at me. She had climbed up the inside of a wall which had fortuitously led to her favorite hiding place.

Beatrix arrived at her dental appointment a bit late, but all went well. Closing up both ends of her dangerous, nail-studded escape route is going to be a big job. But it is important to have one’s cats be safe and accessible at all times. Queen Bea is just going to have to deal with that.

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