June 15, 2013

One Life Down

Princess Penelope Fancypants is a rescue cat in more than one sense of the word.

Yes, she was an abandoned kitty whom we rescued from the vet. But she also rescued us, and continues to do so, every day.

Earlier this year my husband and I separated. I don't do the whole blogging-through-adversity thing, so all I will say is that it's been rough for everyone, and we are all doing okay.

But last night, things took a shocking turn.

I woke in the middle of the night to a strange sound coming from outside my bedroom window. It was like a woman on drugs singing in an alien language whilst inhaling helium. I live behind a tribe of young men so while the drugs and the helium made sense the female part didn't.

I peered out the window and saw a huge, angry cat. It was either one of the young men transmuted into a feline, or just a huge, angry cat. I went with the latter and banged on the window until the hideous beastie ran away.

And then I realised.

Penelope wasn't in my bed.

Penelope has been sleeping with me since we brought her home. I love nothing more than to feel her soft little body curled up next to me on the pillow. I love nothing less than to have her climb on my face at 6am demanding food, but hey, that's the price that I pay.

But last night, Penelope wasn't in my bed.

Recovering from my her ordeal
I called for her. She didn't come. I began searching the apartment. It's not a big apartment. There aren't that many places she could have been. I looked in all of them. She wasn't there. I woke up the kids by looking in their rooms. And when I couldn't find her in their rooms, I looked in the other, scary places she could have been. The oven. The fridge. The microwave (I know, but it was 3.30am and I was frantic). The drier. No sign of her.

I felt sick. I couldn't believe it. She had disappeared. I could feel myself plummet into despair. I am resilient. I can cope with whatever life throws at me. But I cannot cope with my kitten disappearing from my apartment. No I cannot.

There is a cat flap that leads to the balcony, and I checked the balcony for the twentieth time. And then my heart lurched. Because the tiny gap in the glass fence, that we had blocked up with a pillow, was no longer blocked up. The pillow had come loose. Penelope must have fallen off the balcony.

I grabbed my coat and ran outside to the little courtyard area directly under the balcony. And I took a deep breath and prepared myself. There could be a dead cat there. And I would have to deal with it. Me. And me alone.

I braced and I looked. There was no cat. Thank god.

But where was she?


And I turned and then I saw her. Cowering in a corner, her tail huge and bushy, her eyes huge and scared. My rescue kitty. She was safe.

I scooped her up and took her inside and cuddled her for about an hour. She didn't purr, her tail didn't return to normal, but I knew she was safe and that she'd be okay.

And today, she is. And so am I.

One life down for Penelope. But she has eight more left. And I have several more, too.


  1. Detachable PrincessJune 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    First: I had no idea about your separation. I'm so sorry to hear this news, and I wish your family peace - whatever the outcome.

    Second: I'm so glad Princess is okay! I know how scary it is to have kittens in fights with bigger cats, as my own cat was never one to back down from a confrontation. Here's hoping she's a bit less adventurous from now on.

  2. So sorry to hear about your marriage - that's very sad news...

    But I'm glad Penny is alright. We keep our cats indoors most of the time, but we let them out on the weekends when we go outside to do stuff like put the washing out... but occasionally we'll have no idea where they have got to... a few minutes is OK, but on one or two occasions they've gone missing for hours... that's always a bit scary for over-protective "parents" like us...

    Thankfully they always turn up...

    Of course, there have been a couple of occasions when we've forgotten that we left them outside, only to find them at the back-door a few hours later... that feels REALLY bad!

  3. Kerri I had no idea. That's all I'll say until I see you. Until then, I am so happy Penelope is ok. xxxx

  4. So glad she's safe. So glad you've got such a good snuggle buddy, too. Love to you and your family, puss. x

  5. I'm so glad your kitty is okay. I read this holding my breath, as i was afraid you were going to tell us that she was hurt or that another cat had gotten to her (one of mine is currently recovering with stitches in his side from just such an encounter after slipping out of the house). I have been seeing all her pictures come up in my FB feed and I admit I've grown a little attached to her. I'm really sorry, however, to hear about your marriage. Wishing you and your family much healing.

  6. Oh Kerri, I'm so sorry. I always found the story of you and your husband (as detailed in your books) so inspiring. You are not alone xx

  7. oh I'm so sorry to hear about what has been going on. I know all about keeping some things off the blogxxx so glad Penelope is ok. Last year our cat went walkies and never came back. I rang everywhere, local vets and looked. But she was old so I like to think she went to the bush to sleep. My husband on the other hand offered his suggestion that there are some big rocks and steep drops so it might have fallen down there and tried to get back up again but died or got bitten by a snake !?!?! Not very helpful so I told him never to talk like that about the cat as I got very upset.

    anyway, sending love and strength to you

  8. So glad you found Penelope, I always get stressed when I read about your pets' adventures.

    Sorry to hear about your separation. Wishing you strength and peace in your heart.

  9. Hi Kerri, so sorry to hear about your marriage and I also hope that everyone continues to be ok whatever the outcome. I'm so pleased to hear your darling new addition is ok; what a scary thing for you both to have gone through. Much love, Kirsten

  10. multibloggingmumJune 15, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    oh dear ... I thought it was going to end badly too!
    Hope she stops being so nosey and stays with you from now on.

  11. If I have my way, she will NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE AGAIN! Thanks love x

  12. Thanks Kirsten. Much appreciated x

  13. OH! SO sorry to hear about your cat. That's awful. And smack your hubby for me. xxxxx

  14. Oh good god. Don't know whether to laugh or cry! xxx

  15. I hope everyone knows that all the good parts of our marriage haven't been negated by the fact that it's over. And thank you xxx

  16. Thanks love. I really appreciate that. And I've grown ridiculously attached to her. So relieved she's okay!

  17. Thanks honey. And we WILL meet one day! x

  18. You do realise I'll be showing you endless pics of PPF, right??? xx

  19. You do realise we are Facebook friends and follow each other instagram....

  20. I know... but R has done it too... so bad R as well!!! :(

  21. The problem with being a cat owner is if there is the teensiest tiniest gap somewhere they will find it! Don't know how many near heart attacks my cats have given me over the years! So glad Penelope is ok. Gorgeous little thing she is. I too am sorry to hear about your marriage. My heartfelt wishes to you for a good outcome. xx

  22. So Relieved that Penelope is safe and sound, back in your loving apartment. As for your separation, no doubt you will take whatever comes your way with strength and courage and copious amounts of Nutella. Here's hoping you and your family move forward in whatever direction works best for you all xo

  23. I read this while holding my breath. Thinking that poor Penelope, no, she can't be dead. I LOVE her even though she isn't my cat!! Bizarre I know but I have loved all your pics of her. My darling rescue kitten Snoop has a not so lovely habit of walking behind my car as I am reversing out of the driveway. And of course she then sits in my blind spot so I have to get out of the car and she where she is. Give your beautiful girl a big hug from me.
    P.S. Sorry to hear about your marriage. You're very brave bringing it up even now. Big hug to you too. xxoxx

  24. Oh my lovely friend... Glad so glad your Pretty Girl was found...& saddened by your other news but sense that by sharing you are indeed getting some love and care from those of us here.. Your parents are awesome I know and your darling kids must bring so much joy. My DD has been faced with her own separation from fiancé who is Dad to her baby born last year. As well as 3 teens she has a baby to solo parent and now a dream home to sell. No-one tells the "after it's over stories" thank you for sharing yours in your space. Love to you Denyse xxx

  25. So sorry to read of all you have been/ are going through. I hope Penny can contain her curiosity for a little while and stick to providing comfort rather than trauma. Many hugs xx

  26. Thinking of you xxx

  27. shit hey? When shall we do wine time? We must be leading the same life and there is no way it can be spewed on the interwebz... but my stories are in my head. thinking of you and the general filth that ensues. It's fucked. But as I like to say that mine is a gift wrapped in shit and I have my pressure hose at the ready! I hope the sun and the cat keep going and being there always! love gemma nutshell

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  29. So sorry to hear about your worries, Kerri, so glad that PPF was safe and well (naughty minx). A disappearing pet is harrowing and the lure of nocturnal adventures to a kitty is great, even for a refined princess like Penelope. I get that pets rescue humans - so true! XX

  30. Sorry to hear about you and your husband. Sending lots of hugs, it can't be easy.
    As I was reading this post I thought poor Penelope might have had a fight with the transmuted Rabbi's wife!! Thank goodness she didn't. Stay safe little Penelope. xox

  31. Benison O'ReillyJune 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    I too am very sorry about your marriage but your point about the shared happy memories is really important one.

    So, so relieved about Penelope!

    A few weeks after I got my second kitty, Charli (we thought she was a boy but then discovered she was, in fact,a girl & dropped the 'e'), she went went missing. I discovered her several hours later stuck on perilous branch high up a tree over a busy road. If she'd fallen it would have been + for her for sure. It actually required the police, the fire brigade and RSPCA Rescue to get her down. It transpires she'd been attacked by a cat, run across the busy road, got hit by a car & injured her back and then had climbed up the tree in fright. A few more hours and she would have been dead, because she'd gone into urinary retention and could not wee. It cost me nothing for the rescue (your tax payer's dollars at work) but $2000 in vet bills. One lucky kitty whois living on borrowed time now - several lives down the drain in a single evening .

    Don't tell Penelope, though - she might get more ambitious. PS You could post a pic of her hourly & still wouldn't get sick of her! xx

  32. You two should definitely meet! Two ace ladies xxx

  33. Sweetie I had no idea. Glad Penelope is ok. And I rather hope you are too xxx


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