Now that spring has arrived in Minnesota, there’s been storms all week. Three tornado watches, thunder and lighting, torrential downpours. On the bright side, everything is blooming and the grass is a lush, deep green. Unfortunately, it’s also starting to flood. Last night was one of the worst dark and stormy evenings, and I had one very unhappy kitty.
Eevee is our oldest cat at five years old. He is always mistaken for a she. Named by my youngest son, an avid Pokémon fan, gender was meaningless. Eevee was born from a stray named Tiger we took in one fall after she showed up at our door, and I soon discovered she was pregnant. We kept two kittens, and our neighbor took the other two.
Our beautiful, fluffy, gentle Eevee is the most timid out of the three cats we have now. He is easily frightened, and extremely skittish around everyone except myself and my kids. And when it rains or storms, he hides. He goes down to the basement and behind the couch where he can be safely wedged between it and the wall. Last night I managed to coax him out, and the cat who cannot stand to be held allowed me to pick him up. He felt like a sack of potatoes in my arms—all 15 pounds of him being carted up the stairs to the living room where my youngest son and I began comforting him. We covered him in a blanket and laid our bodies down on either side of him, creating a barrier in hopes he would feel safe. This seemed to do as he eventually began purring as we petted him, whispering assurances he was safe. A while later he decided he didn’t need us anymore, slunk down the hall, and hid under a bed until the storm passed.
I’ve never had a cat afraid of the rain before, and I think back to when Eevee was about five months old, before we had his furry grapes snipped. One day he disappeared. He had gotten outside, and nature must have called to him because he didn’t come home that night. We drove to all our neighbors and asked about him; we walked the road and woods calling for him; we called the vet and put out an alert in case someone brought him in. He was gone for five days. When he finally came back he was full of mud and leaves, but otherwise fine. I was beyond relieved and grateful.
We have lost beloved cats to the outdoors before. Our house was under construction for several years, and the cats were constantly getting outside without me knowing until later in the evening. Two never came back. I imagine the feeling is similar to a loved one going missing—you always wonder and never stop looking, and anytime you see another who looks like them you are startled, hopeful—then crushed.
Eevee coming home was a blessing, and he was neutered soon after. To this day he has little desire to be outside. My other neutered male cat loves to spend hours in the yard watching the wildlife, but not Eevee. He’s content to sit in an open doorway, or go out onto the deck so long as I keep the patio door open for security. He might venture so far as the garage, or around the house to search for new scents, but never farther, and never for long. I believe his experience in the wild shaped him. I imagine he would have one hell of a story to tell if he could. I wonder how often he narrowly escaped death, for there are far too many predators in the woods at night.
And while I can’t recall the weather—there must have been rain.