I just arrived in Pleasanton after posting my last blog about 4P. 4P is home safe and sound with my parents and the girls. However, there is a kink in this story’s whisker.
It was gently and kindly brought to my attention by someone that knows me VERY well that maybe, just maaaaaybe, 4P is not 4P after all. What?! I hated this thought…hated it! If you know me in real life, you can probably visualize how I may have reacted to this.
“Of course, it’s 4P. I know her ears are grey on the back, she retracts her claws when she plays with my hand, she frolics around like she owns the place… it is 4P,” I said very sternly!
I’m kind of feisty by nature. I ended the phone conversation abruptly. After a few ignored text messages and a handful of missed calls, I got to thinking. “Maybe it’s not her? After all, she did get dropped off at the shelter with 7 siblings, a dad and a mom, and they all looked an awful lot alike except for Silver and Dad.”
Sheepishly, I referenced back to photos of 4P from our initial meeting. Hmmmmm…. I started to see his point. The Original Four Points’ (OG4P) legs and paws were white, stark white. Oh no, I might be wrong. Oh NO! Maybe she had grown into new colors? I mean I was a blondie as a kid and now it costs me a couple hundred dollars a year to stay that way. After I settled down from my “I refused to be wrong” mood, I realized I was wrong, shoot that has not happened in, like, years so I reluctantly conceded.
I texted, “I adopted the wrong dang cat.”
I am certain you can imagine what I did next. Well, I cried, no brainer, but then I closed my lunch bill and raced over to the shelter. Where is OG4P?? I figured, “If I find her, she can get in the infamous “spaying” line on Wednesday, I can snag another handy-dandy cat carrier, pick her up Thursday after work and repeat the whole flight home, sans inappropriate joke telling 70 year old man as a seatmate.”
I walked into the shelter on a mission. I was greeted by what seemed like a newer Cat Police. I began talking to Young Cat Police and tried to recount my story. He only cared about my cat ID which I only had for my currently adopted cat that was in my home in Georgia.
“I am certain that the cat IDs are sequential, as they all came in at once. Can you look it up that way?” I asked. I know a thing or two about cat IDs now.
“What’s the cat ID?” he asked again. I looked behind me thinking the Impractical Jokers were working a skit in the Alameda SPCA. He wasn’t kidding.
“Clearly I only have the ID of the cat I own now. Have you listened to a word I have been saying?” I said calmly, but baffled.
Luckily, the Kinda Good Looking Cat Police was listening in this whole time. Kinda Good Looking Cat Police could hear and feel my passion to find this cat. I knew the predicament he was in. He wanted to help. He knew Original Cat Police (she was working on a computer in the back office) could help, but he didn’t want to belittle Young Cat Police’s ego. His heart won, and he called Original Cat Police over from her desk for backup.
I felt like everything was going to be ok. I knew her. I loved her. She had no idea who I was, and she certainly didn’t love me. You know those kinds of relationships?
Within seconds of my unsolicited recap of the story she said, “ah the Hotel Cat Lady. I remember you.” Dammit I thought. I was annoyingly renowned.
Original Cat Police taught Young Cat Police how to do a deeper search in the computer record system to find OG4P. She was able to drill down to Maintenance Marvin and find all the Cat IDs for the 8 cats he dropped off at the shelter. One of which was assigned to me. The other 7 had been adopted immediately. Mama P (the mom of 4P and her siblings) turned out to be the only one left when I called in. Young Cat Police, Kinda Good Looking Cat Police and Original Cat Police were sympathetic as they saw the tears well in my eyes. I had indeed adopted “the wrong darn cat.”
“So, I did in fact adopt the wrong cat and OG4P is not adoptable anymore?” I asked while my heart sunk straight to the fur covered tile floor. After confirming, they reassured me that OG4P was in a good place. They reminded me that Mama P (4P) was happy and in my home with my girls. They let me know that she wasn’t likely to get adopted if it hadn’t been for me. The stern Cat Police brigade’s compassion helped, and my tears subsided for a minute. That’s a good thing, I am the proverbial “ugly crier” and it is a bit of a scene when the waterworks start.
Still slightly teary-eyed, I decided to head over and see my friend Maintenance Marvin, mascara running and all. When I arrived, I headed straight for the oddly enjoyable bar at the Four Points for a Prosecco tissue. There weren’t many people in the bar, as it was mid-afternoon, and I was immediately approached by the live musician who stopped in the middle of his cover of Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and came over just to chit chat with me. That was weird, super weird, but I went with it as I needed a boost which he was certain he was going to give me. After five awkward minutes of interesting content lacking conversation, he gave me his business card (“laminated so it wouldn’t get ruined in my purse”) he returned to his keyboard and electronic drum machine thingee and started belting out Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel Like a Woman.” I was one hundred and ten percent sure I was literally in the Twilight Zone. What the Four Points lacks in terms of cleanliness and basic “hotel” amenities it makes up for in character in SPADES. I mean this is the “hotel” where a cat jumped out from under my bed in the first place.
I closed my tab, grabbed my, um, second Prosecco, dropped a five-dollar bill in Dude Man’s tip jar and went on my way. My friend was voluntarily staying at the Four Points, as he does because of the aforementioned “character” of the place, so he met me to settle me down. We were going to find Maintenance Marvin and talk about what had gone down. We made our way across the property down the winding path (lined with blooming citrus trees!) that follows the stream that runs through the property. I started to calm down a bit. The sound of broken fountain pumps gurgling, the sight of mature pool algae and broken concrete walkways has always had that effect on me. We made our way to the maintenance shed where the cats used to live. I was anxious to get confirmation from Maintenance Marvin that Mama P was OG4P’s real mom. As soon as we saw him, he remembered us. I showed him the picture and he confirmed, “That’s Gloria. The mom of the cat that stayed in your room.” Like it was completely normal for a cat to have stayed in my hotel room. This guy was as stoic as they make ’em.
I went on to fill Maintenance Marvin in on the fiasco. He kinda understood. He passively let me know that OG4P’s last sister was just around the corner under the dumpster. He kept her because he loved her so much, but he was going to have to take her to the shelter the following week. Where in the world did these cats keep coming from? Take 8 away and 8 more just appear! He told me she was just like OG4P except that she was black and white. It was obvious there were LOTS of branches on this particular cat family tree. She was friendly, played with toys and was social with the guests. Immediately when I saw her, I fell in love at a motel for the second time.
While my friend was in the corner playing with the cats, I told Maintenance Marvin “I would like to take her home tomorrow.” He was shocked, I think. Or maybe he was happy and relieved, I think. He is a bit hard to read. We hatched a plan together for the second great cat extraction! My friend and I would get the handy dandy carrier from Target as well as some toys and treats. Marvin would catch the cat and put her in my friend’s room while we were at dinner and the cat would stay in the room until my flight out the next day. I was concerned Maintenance Marvin could get fired for this, but he didn’t seem too worried. After all, he was the Employee of the Month for the last 7 consecutive months according to the plaque at the check-in desk. Maintenance Marvin was definitely a do-it-all fixer.
On the way back from procuring the cat supplies for the great escape my friend turned and looked at me and asked “where is this cat going to stay tonight and all day tomorrow while you work and wait for your flight out? Does Cat Saving Todd live nearby?” I turned to look at him and said, “your room.” My friend turned ghost white and then a little red and I thought that I should have gotten him a beer before laying that on him. “Wait, what?! I’m going to have a feral cat in my hotel room when I get back from dinner and it is going to be there all night long? What if I get caught with this cat in my room? I lose my Marriott status!” I mean this guy has broken more rules than I even knew existed. “Trust me” I said in a bit of a begging voice. Thankfully, I still had dried mascara on my face from the earlier tears.
Sure enough, we stopped by the room after dinner and played with my new cat 😉
My friend is a saint. He kept the new cat, later named 4Q (L M N O 4P 4Q– get it?) aka “Cue”, overnight. He didn’t even complain about the constant meowing and pawing at the door all night long. Oh wait, maybe he did. Before making our way to the airport, my friend deep cleaned his room to delete any evidence of having kept a cat in the room for 18 hours. He is like that guy they called in to clean up John Travolta’s mess in Pulp Fiction. Remind me not to make him mad.
After 3 hours of LOUD meowing, “ow”ing as she does, in the car and in the airport I was ready to leave her in the airport bathroom. She finally settled down and didn’t make a peep on the plane for 5 hours. I wonder if force feeding Benadryl to prepubescent girl children would have the same effect.
We made it safely home where she was reunited with her mom. She wasn’t super excited to be there, and Mama P didn’t seem to be too excited either. It appeared they had forgotten each other. Cue hid for 3 days. Finally, the same cat whisperer who told me 4P wasn’t 4P attempted to get her out from under the bed.
At the time, I was grocery shopping. I texted to inform him that there was a great batch of Bloody Mary’s in the fridge, and he was welcome to one. He told me he would have one to celebrate getting the “damn cat” out from under the bed. After 45 minutes of trust building, the cat came out from under the bed. I got another text. Turns out Cue is a boy. I suppose Maintenance Marvin had the English words ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ mixed up. Heavens.
Just when you think stories are over, they only get better.
Do I miss OG4P? Of course, I do. I think of how she would be, what she would look like, how she would snuggle me and even if she is really a she. I know she was immediately snatched up into a great family as were all her cute and teeny siblings. Mama P on the other hand is medium sized, not cute kitten small, and average looking at best. She isn’t even really all that nice. Ultimately though, she was the bearer of the little girl that made me fall in love and led me to two adoptions I would have otherwise never made. This little lady and her snuggly son make the Foster Family complete. OG4P – we love you and miss you. Cue and Mama P, Welcome home my dears. We are still gonna call you 4P.
Until next time Always Clean your tray tables and your paws.