So clearly I’ve emerged from about the worst week ever, what with my cat escaping out the front door over a week back.
Obviously, This is picture was taken slightly before Burger cat escaped, given that traffic is pretty much horsedrawn, but all the same you probably get a sense of the environment and the vibe and the doors opening straight onto the street.
Burger is nearly two and has never been outside, and is completely frightened of pretty much everyone but Blackburn J and me. Hence escape is a matter of concern. Being a mature, collected sort of person I choose the sensible option of fully fledged hysteria. I’m running around a medium to high density region in a Melbourne Demons dressing gown alternately sobbing and screaming Burger Burger Burger. Since it is about 8am on a work day in a semi-corporate yuppie-couple suburb, this totally doesn’t draw attention or anything.
Its about now (now at time of writing – not ‘now’ meaning the bit in the story when cat is missing and I’m screaming and sobbing unobtrusively in a built up area) that it occurs to me that I should be sharing this experience with my massive Urbanspoon audience of maybe a handful of dudes – seriously, I’m not the 77th ranked urbanspoon blog for nothing. So to attempt to get this out there, I figure I should mention something along food review lines about some place.
So – I choose Fritz Gelato. I really like a Fritz Gelato. I know that because there are lots of them and all, you sort of start thinking they might just be some boring chain, but I swear they do awesome gelato. I often visit the one at the Prahran Market. The award winning coffee rush ice cream flavour is utterly amazing. When I’m in a traditional, sorbet-style gelato mood I tend to go with a three scoop cone with lemon, passion fruit and blood orange. It’s difficult to describe the experience, especially with formerly missing Burger Cat on lap, so I think you should just visit the website HERE, find a Fritz Gelato and go nuts.
Anyways, with Burger Cat out there somewhere for over a week, I needed a strategy as opposed to running around screaming and sobbing. I probably didn’t even contemplate a Fritz Gelato, which underlines the bigness of the crisis. I was also facing a second, corresponding problem which is that I really do need to be at work – after 2 years of being treated as a kind of uninvited, redundant yet paid lodger, I have suddenly broken though as critically necessary and vital. Clearly any temporary absence isn’t going to be permissable, even by cat freaks. Actually, I’m not sure I know of any particular cat freaks at work. We do have a high percentage of your average, run of the mill freaks, but not necessarily of the cat variety.
Luckily I’m super clever and extra sharp now from Burger-crisis-induced inspiration, which means obviously I ask the interwebs what to do because everything typed into Google instantly produces a perfect solution and there are certainly no weirdos or scammers out there. And look what I found:
http://www.petsearch.com.au which you can go to HERE.
Since it is difficult to know from the website whether this is a genuine, useful service or a cynical money grab, I thought I would share with you that these people are seriously brilliant.
From the beginning … starting with completing this weird-ass form that seems to be scoping out Burger’s psyche, my strength to weakness ratio, as well as the environmental risks – to the week of coaching on the best methodology to locate a displaced Burger, the pamphlets and flyers prepared and distributed by the super cat detective team while I’m being important at work, the alerts sent to pounds, shelters, councils, vets and general subscibers in the vicinity to the refund I have been given for unspent media buy because we caught the cat, the ability Pet Search gave me to cope and function during the week of madness is indescribable. Which is now the second thing in this post I haven’t been able to describe (the first being a freaking gelato). So Christ only knows why I write this drivel anyway given my struggle with adjectives in a pressure environment. It’s probadly the pride I take in my 77th ranking on Urbanspoon.
Obviously those that know me instantly recognise me in this picture – which I placed there by way of a visual segue to the second part of my coping strategy which involves heavy use of alcohol, most of a packet of valium, and virtually no solid food for a week (okay – that bit was clearly not sensible, but you’ll have to take it because that’s the way I roll). Also, my smokenders program which had progressed to quit point fairly successfully took something of a bashing.
Mind you, I had an almost unbelievably productive week at work. Likely, the emotionally wreaked, spasmodic weeping, pill popping piss-artist approach brings certain intangibles to the table in the corporate world. Like my inspirational, impromptu lecture of the most senior people I could find where I used the word integrity totally more than once. That was a wildly good plan because I’m sure you have noticed for yourself how much important leaders love being lectured about the obvious by random, sleep-deprived, nobody-type staff.
Check out that poster! Nice work pet detectives! Burger is a bit offended because she is a Bengal cat with papers and stuff so regards herself as a bit spesh, but I explained that the Pet Detective lady recommends steering away from mention of the more sought-after breeds and all, so Burger swallowed that explanation of the “tabby” slur, and has gone back to sleep.
Sleep. Me and Blackburn J could use a piece of that. We are utterly zonked now, since our personally crafted pet detective strategic advice involved lying around likely cat-hiding regions saying burger burger burger burger burger in a reassuring way, accompanied by a hot roast chicken (for scent), Parmesan cheese (Burger’s all time favourite food), a burger blanky and igloo (familiar cat objects) and cat catching bag (avoid scratches) each night from 3 until 5 am. On concrete. Not even an excellent Fritz Gelato within reach.
Picture that over 8 nights. Factor in the not eating, drinking, valium, chain-smoking, controlled (okay – medicated) panic. So I’m in tip top shape and never felt better. So now seems a good time for working through the thousand sms messages from a gazillion very kind (and occasionally odd) people who got one of my 1000 pet detective letterbox fliers and thought they would get in touch to sort of say Hi and I’m sorry about your cat and all. Which is way touching and nice – and certainly not at all distracting during the wall to wall high-level meetings I’m now attending what with me having a current phase of being important at work and indespenible – only with a constantly ringing phone (which is set to iphone5 duck noise quacktone – really making a solid contribution to my professional reputation). So now I’m communicating the return of the lost cat, and fielding more messages from a massive, regional cat network of which I was previously unaware, saying how good it is Burger is home. I’m suddenly pleased I selected a pretty comprehensive telstra plan.
So – to the cat.
Actually, even with the no sleep, the constant supply of roast chickens, the coaxing strategy etc. I have work to thank for the Burger grab. Which is good, because aside from salary I have precious little else to thank work for in the past few years. As it happens, Blackburn J has this massive blowout with his boss, who really did this time cross a way long way over any acceptable line, so stormed out of work and went home. Apparently (not being present myself what with being professional and therefore still at work) a person over the road targeted by pet detective fliers grabbed him on the street because she had found Burger crouched between her house and the adjoining church (finding God, presumably).
Anyhoo …. There is apparently a good 30 minutes of Blackburn J lying in Mrs Lady’s yard “burger burger burgering” at this church/house, Burger-filled gap. There is a sort of tentative inching process involved, some proww noises from a very dirty Burger, with some occasional setbacks until Blackburn J judges the time is right and makes a lunge and grab manouver and sprints home with hysterically struggling freak cat with a high-velocity claws threshing in all directions.
So what happens next?
Nothing much. I get home and the cat is perfectly fine. She doesn’t even seem greatly distressed after the ordeal, instead stuffing down about 1,000,000 fishbickies and a drink of water. Her latest move is that she has curled herself in ball and gone to sleep on my lap.
Blackburn J is in a celebratory state (slightly pizzled) alternating between hysterical self-praise for cat-grab skills and occasional rants about his boss while simultaneously eating left-over roast chicken. He is also cut to ribbons from a wild series of Burger scratches, so I go get some betedine and attempt a bit of repair work, discovering part-way that I’m actually swabbing his arm with a betedine throat gargle.
Lost cat is reunited with not lost cat. I am exhausted. Once I have slept for a few days, I plan to go get myself a Fritz Gelato.