Bernadette is home

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The only photo I have so far. Sweet Bernadette.

 

What a wacky few days it’s been!

First, I was worried we would not be approved for Bernadette. In filling out the adoption application I had to note that we had indeed returned Blacki to the Kewanee Humane Society. I thought it might not matter why, just that we had done so. I felt like a failure then, and it still hurts, especially when Blacki’s photos keep popping up as Facebook memories.

I got nervous and called to see if all was well, and, thank God it was. Now, about that weather forecast….

I knew neither of us were going to be able to drive to the Geneseo location. We’d never been there and it was out in the country. Add a never-ending snow to the mix and you get the idea. So did my stomach. I was freaking out a bit. I had my kitten, but then again, I didn’t.

All I knew was, I wanted her here. Her *stuff* arrived: a new bed, litter boxes, litter (thanks again to my dearest friends, Dorothy and Tom!), toys, food and a cat carrier. The only thing missing was Bernadette.

I checked out available rides through the Henry County Transportation service. Yes! I set up an appointment for Friday, late afternoon. The hours they were open in Geneseo was 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

I kept a wary eye on the forecast. It just kept getting worse. On Thursday I learned that the place wasn’t going to open on Friday due to the weather so I called my ride and asked about that afternoon – could I set it up instead of waiting until next week? (Turns out the weekend would have been a bust, too.)

Yes! A ride came at the right time and we set out. The weather got worse the closer we got to Geneseo. We found our destination, I got out and went in to meet Bernadette for the first time.

When she came out, I fought back tears. She was everything I thought she would be – and more. She’s gentle, soft, beautiful. She purrs – a lot.

The storm grew worse and we headed home. Bernadette didn’t make a peep all the way home. I brought her inside, put her carrier on the foyer floor (Gary was in his man cave a few feet away) and opened the door to her pet taxi. Bernadette immediately headed for under my desk, darted into the kitchen, went under the table – then she disappeared. For two days.

Cue the freaking out again. Gary eventually asked if I made the whole thing up. What kitten? He saw no evidence of one, except for litter pan, toys, cat food and water. No kitten, no meows. Nothing.

I had to open her carrier and give her the run of a two-story house with a gazillion hidey-holes for a tiny Bernadette. I alternated between fear and heartache. I cried. I prayed. I worried.

On Saturday morning Gary announced he saw evidence of a used litter box. We heard a “meow”. And after searching two floors, under and around, Gary found her.

She was less than a foot away from his chair in the man cave. She was securely tucked under the freezer and we had a whale of time getting her out, but that didn’t happen until Saturday night.

I picked up our kitten, walked to the living room and held her close. She alternated between tucking her head under my arm and staring with wide eyes at all she’d been missing. She purred almost constantly. I felt her warmth, her softness and gazed into the most beautiful kitten eyes I’ve ever seen.

Eventually I had to let her down. She walked around a bit, sniffed at her new bed, then took off. We haven’t seen her since, and it’s Sunday afternoon.

We’ve blocked off her previous hiding place. I saw things moved around a bit back there and have a feeling she’s nearby. I ordered cat treats and am hoping I can lure her out again, soon.

For now, though, I will close my eyes and remember how it felt to hold our Bernadette. And when I get the chance, I will post pictures of the most beautiful kitten you’ve ever seen.

Margi
February 11, 2018

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