Abbey the Chimney Sweep


Yesterday evening we had a bit of a scare. Our cat Abbey disappeared and was nowhere to be found. I don’t know exactly what time she took off, but it is pretty likely she was out of the house all day… but at the very least, all evening. It took me about an hour to notice all over a sudden that the girl was nowhere to be seen. After searching the house thoroughly, and feeling confident that she was not in the house at all, I went looking for her in the neighborhood. I think I must have spent 45 mins to an hour searching around our and our neighbor’s yards and also around the entire block. This is one case where if we had some sort of GPS chip on her, I would have been glad.

Now there were three main reasons I was rather freaked out. The first being that Abbey is not an outdoor cat as much as she would like to think she is. For this reason, she really has not outdoor instincts and so my fear was that if she were to meet the wrong cat or dog or even any of the raccoons that live under the neighbors house, she wouldn’t last too long so I was fearful of her safety. Second, if she got lost, she might not be able to find her way back, so no telling where she would end up. She could also be easily run over by some car or something. The third reason is that this past Sunday we had her new owner come meet the cats. Since for reasons for which I will explain at a later time, we feel that we needed to find someone else who can care for them… and we did. She came over this past Sunday and met the cats and now she would be coming over the following Sunday to pick up the two. I don’t know how we could tell her that now Abbey, who seemed to really like her a lot, is lost.

Well just before I was getting ready to retire for the night, I don’t know why, but I decided that I needed to go back downstairs to the front door and check once again, just in case she had come back and was at the door waiting. Lo and behold, as soon as I opened the door, the girl came running it. Thank the Lord she was back…. and even though she was rather dusty with a little greasy streak towards the top of her head, she looked pretty fine and normal. It was almost like she had enjoyed her adventure.

Now that she was back, my next dilemma was whether or not I should give her a bath. In the past, I have had to give her) and her sister Miel a bath because they had ‘soiled’ themselves and not done a great job of cleaning themselves, but this time, I needed to give her a full bath since she was pretty dusty and I didn’t want her climbing all over the bed, blankets etc in that state. I also didn’t know if she caught fleas or anything like that… I was hoping not…

She was not happy with the bath. And by the time I had her covered in shampoo, she was totally uncooperative and struggling to get away. There was no way I was going to let her go covered in soap and water since she wouldn’t be able to lick herself clean and she’d probably get soap all over the place. So I had to somewhat compromise and at least rinse her as much as I could and get as much of the soap off. Giving her a bath in the bathtub has always been awkward due to the design of our bathtub, and that makes it much harder when the cat is struggling. So I finally took her downstairs to the downstairs washroom and finished rinsing her in the little sink in the washroom. This was a much, much easier experience for the both of us. Though by this time I think she had had enough. So I wrapped her in a towel and dried her off after which I then turned on the space heater so she could lay down and warm herself as she dried herself.

I decided I needed to give her another rinse today since she has the slightly strong scent of the shampoo. Now even though she has a lot of hair and I would expect the shampoo smell to hang out for a while, I just wanted to make sure that she was probably rinsed. This time I decided to give her the rinse in the kitchen sink for a couple of reasons. Firs t, the water faucet was more powerful so I could give her a better rinse than I would in the bathtub or the washroom. The second advantage was that I would stand up straight and hold her nicely. It turns out, a third and unexpected benefit of this was that she was actually more comfortable taking her bath there since she could actually stand in the sink. Now granted, she would rather not have to take a bath, but at least she wasn’t struggling like the day before… so this was great. After a through rinsing, I once again dried up in a couple of towels then turned on the space heater so she could warm herself as she dried….

This was a bitter sweet moment for me… to think too that these are the last days I am able to hang out with her… and actually both the cats since they will be gone come Sunday evening…

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