Did you know you can buy a kitten off the Internet for $25? I found a fourteen-week-old kitten on Gumtree. She was already de-sexed, vaccinated, and micro-chipped. I’ve always wanted a cat. My first girlfriend had two cats and I always liked how you had to really work for their affection. That probably says more about me than cats.
A couple of days after my purchase, a nice lady with a baby in one arm and a cat carry case in the other arrived at my door. The kitten had big, ridiculous ears and a coat like a power ranger with little white fur boots. I named her Vivienne and my roommates instantly took to her. It was like having a new baby. Immediately dread set in. I can’t let this hairy baby die. My house is on a fairly busy road so at night we closed all the windows of our old Queenslander. Little Viv slept curled up in my bed.
The next morning I was home alone with the kitten. I fed her the heart-shaped kitten food I had bought from Coles and played with her with one of those little-plush-mouse-on-a-fishing-rod toys. When I went to the bathroom Vivienne scratched at the door, meowing. After my shower, I walked around the living room calling out to her. I looked in every room, under the table and beds, behind the couch, until I realised: one of the windows is open. I ran around the garden and under the house, clutching my bright red towel. Panic. Something has happened. And that’s when I became Liam Neeson.
I have a very particular set of skills acquired over a very long career in the shadows, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my cat-daughter go now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you.
I had to make some quick decisions. Should I put pants on? Yes. Should I call the police? Maybe, not yet. I texted a cat-friendly friend of mine and she told me not to panic but to search for her immediately. Time was running out. I danced into my jeans, grabbed my phone and keys, and set out into the streets barefoot. This is West End and she is only a tiny little kitten. I jogged around the block, looking in gardens and under cars, calling out for her.
When I finally returned to the house, sweaty and wheezing, I began formulating a plan. I could print up some missing cat posters and tell everyone on the street and drive around the neighbourhood at night with a torch. Was the crazy old lady who lived next-door crazy enough to steal a cat? Who should I call first? The Police? My housemates? My mum?
I swung open my laptop and typed ‘what to do if your cat is missing’ into Google. A little meow came from across the room.
Mike Day is a writer and musician from Brisbane. Find him on twitter: @mikedayawake.
Kitty Allison is a writer and vis artist living in Brisbane. You can find her on twitter: @kitallison.