Earlier this year we lost our two lovely geriatric cats after 18 years of loving and peaceful coexistence. They were Pat’s “care animals”.

I talked my wife into getting two more long-haired adult, chipped, indoor cats from Cat’s Cradle to replace her “care cats”, and we got Grimhilde and Pegasus. One was very shy and didn’t have much to do with Pat, but the other was gregarious and enjoyed Pat’s grooming. The cats, unfortunately, didn’t get along with each other at all! So, in line with our agreement with Cat’s Cradle, we arranged for the shy one to be re-fostered and they were in the process of finding a new, more appropriate home for her.

But . . . while we were waiting, the gregarious one ran out between my legs and escaped!! Now what?!? Sunnyside put an alert on Channel 970, we spoke with our neighbors to be on the lookout, and we left food and a litter box in the open garage. No luck, although several neighbors reported seeing a lovely, long-haired black cat in the neighborhood.

After reports of several sightings in the back yards of cottages in Hickory Cove, we asked Sunnyside’s maintenance crew if they’d put out an animal trap to see if they could catch her. And, a few days later, success!! They caught a lovely, solid black long-haired cat and brought it home in the trap.

But . . . when the trap was opened, the cat exploded out of the trap! It immediately tried to run up the walls (literally!!), knocked a picture of the wall, shredded a set of curtains, broke a curtain rod, knocked two table lamps off their tables, spread Pat’s jewelry collection all over the floor, and then hid behind the TV where it proceeded to relieve itself. Wow.

After two days of never seeing this cat, we concluded this was not our cat!! Now, having decided that, I made a bad decision - - I’d catch the cat, put it in an animal carrier, and call animal control to pick it up. (I SHOULD have called animal control and let THEM catch the cat!) So, I cornered the cat and proceeded to wrangle her into the carrier. And she proceeded to wrangle me. And good! Bites, scratches, scrambling . . . and soon there was blood - my blood - all over the place! But the ((*&$^%& cat was in the carrier.

Next stop, the clinic where they started cleaning me up and sent me to the ER for complete treatment. Several hours later, I’m back from the ER with prescriptions for oral and topical antibiotics, and bandages all over my hands and arms. Hard to button a shirt with a gash in your thumb!! Sunnyside clinic had already called animal control on our behalf and they picked up the cat in our carrier which I’d left by the front door.

And, now, finally - the rest of of the story. We’ve had several reports since all this happened from neighbors that they’ve spotted “our” cat still running around Sunnyside! Clearly, there must be several lovely long haired black cats ‘on the loose’, one of which MIGHT be “our” cat. But, given our recent experiences, not one we any longer want!!! And the shy one, now free of the disturbing influence of another cat, has become less shy and personable. So we’re going to keep her.