Friday, February 11, 2011

Sasha's Diva Moment

Good morning everyone.  I said a while back when I introduced you to Sasha that her transition to barn cat went well except for her nearly successful suicide attempt.  Here's that story.  It was quite a diva moment.  Don't worry, it has a happy ending.

If you want to know more about Sasha before you read this story, go back to the January post on The Cast of Characters.  I think it's in Part 2.

Sasha had been a barn cat for about three weeks.  She seemed to be adjusting ok.  Then, one morning, she didn't show up for breakfast.  Ok, she may have been exploring.  I didn't worry about it.  The next day, she also didn't show up for breakfast.  I started asking the staff when they last saw her.  The farm is near a busy road, I hoped she hadn't met her end.  I also have neighbors, maybe she'd talked her way into one of their houses.  I didn't know.

On day two, Dod started the search for Sasha.  Dod is not a cat person, but he humored me and especially Cowgirl Slim who had a soft spot for Sasha.  Dod and Cowgirl Slim looked, and looked, and looked.  No Sasha.  They looked in the storage rooms.  They looked in the shed.  They searched the back fence line.  They searched the stacks of hay.  No Sasha.

Towards the end of Day Two of No Sasha, I asked Dod to search the storage room where we kept square bales of hay one more time.  Maybe she was back behind the square bales.  We hadn't heard any meowing or scratching, so I was of course afraid she was dead back there.

I went on to the feed store and took Cowgirl Slim with me.  I didn't want her to be around if my fears about Sasha were confirmed.

Just as I was checking out at the feed store, Dod called my cell phone.  I asked if he'd found her.  Yes.  Is she alive?  Yes.  Where is she? In the wall of the storage room.  In the wall?!  Yes, in the wall.  Sasha, you pain in the butt!

Dod said he'd start moving out those square bales of hay.  There were about 200 of them in there and it was a 100 degree day.  Poor Dod, non-cat person that he is.  He was going to rescue Sasha anyway.

On our way back to the farm, I called Doc's office to say I thought I'd need to rush Sasha in when Dod got her out of the wall.  Doc wasn't in but one of his associate vets would be waiting for us.  It was 3:30 and they closed at 5:00.  It was of course a Friday.  Nice move Sasha!  Thanks!

Upon our arrival, we saw Dod had pulled out about 50 of those square bales.  He had a saw all lined up to go with a long extension cord wrapping around the back of the people barn for it.  He told me he could see Sasha with his flashlight and that she mewed and moved a little when he shined it on her.  Oh, poor Sasha.  Haha.  She was about to show us she wasn't so pitiful after all.

How in the world did she get in the wall, Dod?  Well, there was a gap of about six inches between the plywood wall and the ceiling.  She must have gotten through that tiny space and fallen down the inside of the wall.  Crap! Who would have ever thought a 10 pound cat could manage that?

I sent Cowgirl Slim to get a cat carrier.  I assumed Sasha would shoot out of the wall as soon as Dod cut the hole.  She had to be hot and thirsty in there!  Slim got the carrier and Dod started sawing the hole.

I assumed Sasha would be limp as a noodle from dehydration.  I thought she'd be scared from the noise of the saw.  As animals do when they are afraid, even if they are sick, I thought she'd have an adrenaline rush and try to escape.  So much for my animal behavior knowledge, I was very wrong.

Dod cut the hole and removed a section of the wall.  He reached in for Sasha.  No Sasha.  She had back-up in the wall.  We waited a while thinking she'd come out once the saw noise stopped.  No, she didn't come out.

It was getting so hot in the back of that storage room, we had to take turns going in while the other person came out to avoid heat stroke.  The time was ticking for the vet's office to still be open.  I was losing sympathy for Sasha.

Every time one of us would reach for Sasha she'd scoot back more.  One of us would go next door to the other storage room and bang on the wall trying to scare her forward.  No luck.

More square bales were removed from the storage room.  Another hole was cut.  Sasha backed up more.  Freaking cat!  This went on for a solid hour.  We'd reach, she'd back up.

What's your problem Sasha?  Don't you want to be rescued?  "No! I want to die!  I will be a martyr for all displace house cats who've been put outside.  I'll show you!"  Geez, Sasha, you've got your own stall in the barn.  We feed you and give you water every day.  It's not that bad.  "Yes it is!"  Sasha was being a diva.  We were all losing patience with her.

Finally, Dod looked in the wall and realized Sasha was coming to a support beam she wouldn't be able to shimmy past.  Good, cut a hole there.  Dod cut the hole.  Sasha backed-up as far as she could go.  Dod was able to reach her!  Great!

In one motion, Dod pulled Sasha out by the scruff and straight into the carrier.  Whew!  Cowgirl Slim and I headed to the car with her. We made it across town at a record setting speed.  It was fifteen minutes to closing time at the vet and we were almost 45 minutes away.  Sasha!  You diva!  We didn't make it in 15 minutes, but they waited on "poor" Sasha.

Dod stayed at the farm and did the evening chores.  He would not have time to put all of those square bales of hay back in storage.  Damn! It was supposed to rain that night.  I asked him to throw a tarp over them.  Once baled hay gets wet, it molds.  It's just throwing away money if you let that happen.

Cowgirl Slim and I arrived at Doc's office and skidded in the parking lot.  We ran in with Sasha and handed her over to a vet tech.  They took her back to the treatment area.  We waited.  With about 20 minutes, Doc's associate vet came out.  Sasha is fine.  Huh? Fine? She spent two days in a wall in a hundred degrees.  What do you mean she's fine?

He agreed.  He'd expected a severely dehydrated cat who would need to be left there over the weekend.  But, he was wrong.  They were giving Sasha some fluids in the back and then we could take her home.  Sasha, you crafty wench!

I couldn't wait to tell Doc next time I saw him.  He'd assured me she would be ok outside when I was worried about displacing her from the residence.  He told me cats were survivors.  I would have to tell him he was right--again!

That's the story of Sasha's Diva Moment.  It did not regain her entry into the residence portion of the people barn.  So, she gave-up and started catching mice the next week.

If you have hay stored, you've got mice.  It doesn't matter how obsessively clean your barn is.  The little boogers are there!  Sasha, start earning your keep!  And, she did.

Needless to say, we fixed that gap in the storage room wall and all the holes Dod had to cut to get her out.  It did not win her any points with me or Dod.  Sasha you crafty wench!

Have a great Friday!  Thanks for reading!

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