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    April 18, 2005

    There was a surprise in my Junk Mail folder last night...

    I got an email last night about 11:30 from a girl who lives in my complex, saying she had seen a cat that might fit Tia's description. I thought about calling her, but since it was so late, I decided to go have a look for myself. The email said she was hiding in the pool shed that houses the pump and various other pool equipment, so off I went. Just a few calls for her and she was crying to let me know she was there, but couldn't get out. The door was locked! I couldn't see her, but I know that meow quite well and she knew it was me too! The girl who emailed me showed up a few minutes later and told me that she had gotten a glimpse of Tia, but when she approached her, she ran inside the shed, through a very small opening at the back of the shed that is attached to the deck surrounding the pool. At that point, it was impossible to coax her out, as she seemed to be afraid to come out or not quite sure how to get to me.


    I came back inside to call our maintenance man, who about 9 years ago, had to tear apart a section of my chimney, just above the fire box to my fireplace. I know you are wondering why on earth he would have to do such a thing and I am here to tell you that it was because the cat in question was STUCK in there! This is a very interesting story in and of itself, but I shall avoid my mother's way of telling 14 other stories before she ever gets around to finishing the original one. I'll save that story for another time. Luckily our maintenance guy just happened to be awake when I called him and out on a maintenance call. After I explained the situation, he agreed to come and rescue Tia yet again. I know he would have dragged himself from his cozy bed to assist, as he did the last time, but I was relieved that he hadn't yet called it a night. In the meantime, I tried everything to coax her out. Finally, after about an hour, I was able to get a glimpse of her, under a raised part of the deck, which had lattice work just below. Finally, we had some progress! At least she was on the right side of the building now and very close to the hole she could use to get back out. I was inside the pool inclosure, but walked toward the area where the shed and the deck were attached. All I had to do was call her and out she came! I had thought that she would be panicked and possibly difficult to catch, but she just strolled right over. I scooped her up and took her right home!


    She seems to be fine as far as I can tell. She seemed light as a feather when I picked her up and I suppose after 19 days with minimal food and water [if she had any at all], I would be too! Once I put her down, she went to her bowl right away for some food and I sobbed as I filled the other container with fresh water. I honestly thought I would never see her again. In fact, I almost deleted that email without really looking at it because it was in my junk email folder. I had given up hope and I certainly didn't anticipate that the email would end up in THERE of all places. Thank god there was only one email and that the title caught my attention and THANK GOD there was someone who cared enough to help her find her way home.
    Tia, Left and Puff, The community cat and Tia's best buddy, Right.

    I think I'll go catch up on some Tia lovies now.
    Jack LaLanne Juicer


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