At first, I didn't really believe she was gone; thought she most likely had hidden somewhere because of the fact that there was a stranger in the flat. She's usually quite shy with people. But, she wasn't in any of her usual hiding places, so in the end I had to agree with Caroline that she must have slipped out. We went looking for her, but...no joy. I jammed the door downstairs open, in hopes that she would find her own way home.
Which she did (clever kitty!). At 4:30 in the morning, I heard a scratching at the door, followed by a plaintive little meow. Funny, how you can pick your own cat's meow out of a dozen similar ones...I got out of bed, opened the door, and there she was, the little madam, looking as if butter wouldn't melt! Next time, I won't panic so much. She's definitely well able to look after herself. Not like Leila, who isn't able to find her way out of a paper bag -- literally. Believe me, I've seen her get lost in there.
Not a smart cat, my Leila, and not a very brave one either. She hates being taken to the vet's. Her eyes grow big with fear, her ears go back, her heart starts to race, and she tries to crawl under my coat and flatten herself as much as she possibly can. She doesn't like the vet, who's the nicest, gentlest woman you ever met; and who's never hurt her at all. Except for when she stuck that needle in Leila's scruff the last time. And the time before that. And the time before that. And the time before...but other than that, never.
I'd brought a sample of Leila's urine, so they analysed that. Just as I thought: it was full of blood and grit. Last time, the vet had called it struvite stones, but this time, she called it 'urge bladder'. She explained again that they didn't know what caused it exactly: it could be a genetic defect, it could be a bacterium, it could be the weather...She prescribed bladder relaxants and diet food (the mushy kind that Leila doesn't like), charged me 60-odd euros, and told me to come back for more of this preposterously expensive catfood in 5 days time, as Leila's going to have to be on it for a month at least. She's not to have anything else, except for water, plenty of water.
Which means that Clio isn't going to get anything else, either. My flat's an open plan; there's no way I can feed her anywhere where Leila doesn't see or can't get at it. This morning, I had two complaining moggies at my bedside. Their bowls untouched in the kitchen.
I wrestled with Leila to give her her pill, and came away with only a half dozen scratches, a shaken cat, and a guilty conscience. I then left instructions for Caroline not to give in to the girls' pleading eyes, and shut the door behind me with a sigh.
Sometimes, having cats is very hard.