Not without my cats

One of my biggest fears is to be in the middle of an emergency situation at home and not being able to get the cats out to safety. My cats hate loud sounds. Let me tell you, there’s a reason why the term “scaredy cat” came to be. Whenever they hear the fire alarm, usually in test mode, my cats would bolt – one under the bed and the other who knows where.

Several months ago, as I was cooking dinner, the fire alarm went off. It was the first real alarm I had experienced since moving to the condo 3 years ago. Hubby was working out on the 3rd floor and I initially thought it was a test alarm. But after several minutes of not hearing any news from our security team, and unsuccessfully trying to get a hold of them, I came to the conclusion that it was a real alarm. So I turned off the stove and prepared to get the cats. At the same time, the loud speaker finally went off with instructions to exit through the stairs as there was an emergency. So I texted hubby to get the hell up and help me with the cats so we could get out.

Hubby ran up six flights of stairs. When he got here, we proceeded to get the cats into the carrier as quickly as possible. Nikki was under the bed so we acted as a team. Hubby lifted the bed and I picked Nikki up. Puzzle was a lot easier as she was hiding in my closet. With the cats in the carriers, off we went down the stairs and stayed outside until we were told that it was safe to go back in.

Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing. But had in been a real emergency, we would have been in a lot of trouble given the length of time it took for us to get out. But boy was I glad to have had hubby there with me. I really didn’t think I’d be able to handle that type of emergency. How would I have gotten Nikki out from under the bed on my own? How would I have carried out my cats in two heavy carries by myself?

Well….today as I was busy writing, the alarm went off. Hubby was out playing softball. The loud speaker went off, announcing an emergency on the 17th floor and for us to exit through the stairs. What are the chances, right? After 3 years of living with no emergencies, we get two only months apart from each other. I decided to use the biggest carrier, thinking I could just stuff them both in one, to make it easier. Of course Nikki was already under the bed. After struggling with lifting the bed and finally getting Nikki in the carrier, I proceeded to get Puzzle. She was under my night table and she was hissing and swiping at me. Definitely one unhappy cat. She ran past me and hid in between the shower curtain in our ensuite. I finally got her but I couldn’t get her into the carrier. She struggled out of my hands. So I decided a cat carrier wouldn’t do. I took out my Aritzia yoga bag, picked her up, and stuffed her in there. When I turned around to get Nikki, I discovered that I didn’t close the carrier properly and she had bolted out of there. Just great.

Now the thing with cats is that they can hide really well. Nikki hid beside the bed, under the blanket. It took me what felt like forever to find her. Finally I found her and put her in her carrier. With the two of them in tow, I left the condo and went down the stairs. They were heavy as well to carry but when your adrenaline is pumping, weight suddenly becomes a non-issue.

I’m not sure what kind of emergency it was as I still have not received an update from the security team. But not long after I got outside, the fire trucks started leaving and we were allowed to go back to our units. So I assume it was another “nothing” situation.

But nothing or not, these types of emergency situations make me nervous. I’m glad I was able to bring us all out to safety, even without hubby. The entire time I was trying to get my cats and having a hard time, I knew one thing for sure – I wasn’t leaving without them no matter what. This thought, and the fact that they were giving me a hard time, scare the crap out of me. What if I didn’t get out in time? What if what if what if?

So for those of you with cats – what is your emergency plan? Because I need one, a better one. One that will get us out faster.

For now, I am thankful we are safe. And more importantly, that my two babies are safe.

Posted on August 20, 2012, in Pets and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I know how difficult it can be to round up the kitties even when it’s just a trip to the vet. I have the same worries about a stressful emergency situation. One thing you might find helpful is to put the carriers, open and ready, in the bathroom. Gather up kitties, one at a time, and bring into the bathroom and close the door. If kitty gets away from you, he can’t hide under the bed. It’s easier to maintain control in a room with no hiding places! I do this every time, and it makes getting them into the carriers much less dramatic.

    • Connie, that’s a great idea! Puzzle went into the bathroom yesterday so I had an easier time getting her in. But problem is as soon as that fire alarm went off, Nikki bolted and hid under the bed right away. Didn’t even give me a chance…

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