All things must change to something new, to something strange.
- Longfellow, American Poet (1807-1882)
Bam Bam was just a tiny kitten living on the streets of Santa Ana when I first met him. A friend had noticed this litter of street cats on a couple previous visits to a taco shop there and while there are probably worse places in the world to be a homeless cat than posted up by a taco shop, I figured at least one of those kittens was deserving of being rescued and given a loving home.
He was filthy and infested with fleas when we grabbed him, but I took him home, my wife and I cleaned him up, and then when he was old enough, we got him his shots and had him neutered. Now he’s been with us about six months and he’s as healthy and happy as can be. All told, Bam Bam has been nothing but a joy, but boy did he throw us for a loop last Friday afternoon.
We were settling in for a full afternoon and evening of binge watching Hulu and there’s our little Bam Bam, munching on the popcorn right beside us. Before either one of us had even noticed he’d left the bed, our doorbell rang and it was one of our neighbors asking us if we have a cat. I told her yes we did have a cat and it turns out she found him in the carport that lies under our balcony and she says she tried, but she couldn’t catch him.
Built on top of a carport, our balcony is nearly two stories above the back parking lot. No way did I ever imagine Bam Bam would even try to make that leap, but that’s just what he did. Having been an indoor cat ever since we took him in and knowing more than a few coyotes roam the neighborhood at night, my wife and I went out in a near panic as we began our search.
We split up and searched through the remaining hours of daylight. No Bam Bam. We left the front door open all night. No Bam Bam. When Saturday came, we searched again. No Bam Bam. We left the door open again that night, still no Bam Bam. We searched again Sunday and by the time we were headed to bed with the front door open, we both had a sinking feeling we’d never see Bam Bam again.
Then finally, late that Sunday night, like a drunk returning home after a weekend bender, little Bam Bam quietly crept through the front door.
I was the last person you’d ever imagine becoming a cat lover, but there I was, completely overjoyed and relieved when his first meow woke me up. I realize that Bam Bam escaping is one-hundred percent on us, his owners, and I know two people in particular who are going to give me a lot of shit about it, but all I can say is we are so filled with gratitude he found his way home and yes, the balcony is temporarily closed and the chicken wire is on its way.