So I spent a good part of the predawn hours wandering my neighborhood looking for a cat named Ruby that I’ve never met. As I was finishing my run this morning I saw a cat carrier with a food and water dish alongside the apartment building next to us, and a sweet little blanket with a note that said “Please do not remove these items – our sweet Ruby cat has been missing since 5/9 and she is very timid and we hope she comes back and finds some comfort in her things.”
Ruby is white and apricot so if you see her – please let me know. I looked everywhere – which I’m sure they have also over the last four days, but I’ve got my girls on the case too and we are hopeful.
This reminded me of the time my beloved Wilshire(you know the cat you get right out of college way before kids and he’s like totally your first baby even when your kids do arrive and he’s like 11 and pissed off at you). Anyway, he was missing for three.long.days and we called every vet and animal shelter in the city and also blanketed the neighborhood with signs. Turns out he was accidentally shut inside our upstairs linen closet the whole time. Yeah. So this taught us three things – 1. Change your towels more often and 2. Never ever adopt a cat again who lacks the ability to meow and 3. Check your own home completely before getting the cops involved.
This leads me into telling you what I did all day for my 9 year old daughter – whom I love dearly. Since I could not find Ruby I went in search of a plaid shirt for Eloise. Eloise is in a play next week and needs a plaid shirt to play a cowgirl. I showed Eloise the small selection of plaid shirts that we own. All were rejected. Which honestly drove me to a very angry place because 1. It’s just a shirt and 2. It’s just for a short play and 3. The thought of spending money on a shirt for a costume seems ridiculous and 4. It’s just a shirt.
But then I remembered that it wasn’t just a shirt. Just like when I was 13 and I went camping with friends and they all had blue insulated sleeping bags and backpacks while I showed up with a Budweiser cotton sleeping bag, that I assume my parents received for free for some beer can redemption program, and a shiny blue duffel bag with a braided handle – that YES those items do the job – but they are not right. They are just not right. So after I yelled about what a pain in the ass this whole shirt thing was I proceeded to visit four thrift stores until I found the exact shirt – not too big, not too small, not too brown but not too blue, a smallish plaid containing no pink or purple, not flannel, must not have big buttons, no ruffles, no big collars, not an obvious boys shirt, but not girl-girly, must match a navy bandanna, and of course must coordinate with her new Justice tank top. Of course.
$2.99 later I think I found the shirt and now I’m sitting here on pins and needles for Eloise to get home to make sure this shirt makes the cut all because I had to sleep in a Budweiser sleeping bag on a camping trip when I was 13.
So these are evidently the type of important parenting decisions we have to make these days.
Anyway, crisis averted and now I’m off to search for the cat again because I cannot go to bed tonight knowing there’s a scared cat somewhere in my neighborhood just like the Earth would not spin without the perfect plaid shirt. The things we mothers do because of the comfort of things.