In preparation for hurricane Matthew, Camp Pawsawhile decided to inact their emergency plan and evecuate all residence from the facility into temporary storm fosters. I decided I would be able to take a cat and keep him or her for the weekend. Little did I know that I was about to have a cat for a week who was known to be a little moody.
Carrie came to camp in the summer and had shown all the volunteers that she was not interested in being friends with other cats, and would sometimes even hiss at volunteers when they took her out of her room to stretch. Since I was only taking one cat for the hurrication, it made sense that I was given Carrie. When I got her home she hissed at me and hid under my bed for the next day. I tried to interact with her, but she was not interested in being my friend.
The next day she came out more and sniffed around. The evecuation of Chatham county was called and I began packing us up. She rubbed on my leg some and seemed much more cheery until… I put her back in the cat carrier.
I set up a liter box and some food and water to begin our trip to Atlanta.I let her out of the carrier shortly after I got onto the main road because we were in stop and go traffic, and I knew she would need something soon. She used the bathroom and curled up under my legs for a little. Then became restless and climbed into the holes where my peddles come out! I pulled over and jumped out of my car so nervous she had climbed into the engine and something terrible would happen. Thankfully there was a wall lining between where she had gotten into and where the engine was. (Intern off the hook with loosing the cat!)
We quickly returned to the slow pace of traffic, and Carrie came out eventually to eat some. She lay in the co-pilot seat and yelled at me about our situation and would let me pet her most of the time.
Things were going smoothly until my car broke down! Carrie was a good sport about it and offered suggestions about hiding under the packed bags until the morning, but I decided I should make other plans. After many calls and crying to my dad, my sweet friend Caitlin (who was fostering one of our pups during the storm) offered to come get us. Carrie was not pleased to go back into the carrier, but she let me put her in. When we got to our resting place for the night, carrie met TJ the foster dog, and it did not go very well… she hissed and ran under the car in the garage and wouldn’t let us get her out. We put out food and water and gave her blankets to lay on until she would let us get her in the morning.
We heard Caitlin’s uncle open the garage and jumped out of bed to go stop Carrie from running out of the garage, but to our dismay we couldn’t find her. It was still dark, so decided to wait for daylight to look for her again. We put out fresh food and water for her, made some coffee and watched the news to learn more about how our city was holding up during the storm.
We looked again around the house, but no luck. We took TJ for a walk and looked high and low for anything that looked like a cat. We told all the neighbors to please let us know if they saw her.
After two hours of searching, we returned to the house emotionally exhausted and unsure how I was going to tell our director I lost the cat I was supposed to be saving. (I forsaw an end of my internship). As we were sitting near the door in the garage with TJ petting him. Caitlin noticed a lot of cat hair near the front of the car that had not been there earlier.
Sure enough she had climbed into the engine and had decided she wanted to stay there. After some fuss we were able to get her out and back into the cat carrier as we decided to relocate to have more room for the animals.
Once in our new setting we had much more room for her and she let me pet her and wanted to sit in my lap (but struggled at first to figure out how). We bonded and I desperately wanted to keep her as a foster because I knew she would be so unhappy back at camp.
After the hurricane, we had many concerns about carrie’s well being, and had a donation fund started to pay the pet deposit at my apartment so that Carrie could become sweet again in a less stressful environment. With love everyday we thought she would surely be adopted.
Charm school started roughly a month after the hurricane and will have an update next week about our first two attendees!
Special thank you to those who donated to Carrie’s well-being. She has it in her to be a wonderful pet, and I am optimistic that it won’t take long to come out.