Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I found this story amusing:
SEDALIA, Mo. - A cat was hungry and dirty but otherwise OK after hitching a 400-mile ride from Indianapolis to Sedalia on an 8-inch beam underneath a tractor-trailer.

The male Siamese cat was discovered Sunday after Chris Markley, a truck driver from Springdale, Ark., noticed a woman trying to flag him down. He pulled his rig into a parking lot and the woman pointed out a cat sitting on the fifth wheel frame under the trailer of his truck. * * *
Nothing was holding the cat onto the 8-inch beam or protecting if from falling to the asphalt, according to a police report. * * *

"We've had them before get into the back of trucks, but to ride on something that narrow for that long a distance, that's pretty unusual," Bogard said.
Reminds me of a Himalayan cat that my wife and I had for about two years. It was completely useless as a pet; all it ever did was hide somewhere in the house. Then, last summer, when we were moving from Washington, D.C. to Texas, the cat got lost. And how it got lost is a story of baffling stupidity.

We stopped in Tennessee to see my in-laws, who drove up from Atlanta. We all spent the night at a Holiday Inn. The next morning, as we prepared to leave on our way, we noticed that the cat (Sheba), who had been in our hotel room, was missing. Nowhere to be found. This was completely mysterious, as I knew for sure that we had not left the hotel door open.

We turned that hotel room upside down. We looked in the bathroom, under every piece of furniture, behind all the dressers, in every drawer, everywhere that you could think of. We called the cat dozens (tens?) of times. And there aren't that many places a cat can go in a Holiday Inn room. But it was gone.

We looked around outside a little, but decided it was hopeless. We needed to be going. So my wife told the guy at the front desk that if anyone found a cat, please keep it and call this number, etc.

Later that night, my wife called the hotel again. The cat had turned up. Inside the hotel room. What happened was, the people who were staying in that same room all of a sudden heard meowing coming from inside the bed. Yes, that stupid cat had somehow scratched a hole in the box springs, and had crawled inside to hide. And of course, it never meowed in response to all the dozens of times that we had called it that morning.

But that is not the end of the story. The guy who had been at the front desk in the morning had failed to pass on the message ("If you find a cat, etc."). So when the guy at the front desk in the evening got the call, "There's a cat in our room!," his solution to the problem was to get in a car, drive the cat away from the hotel, and set it loose in a field.

So that cat was gone, for good. I can't say I was sad -- it only got what it deserved. My wife was rather peeved with the hotel, however.


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