Chicago Memories: Salem on the Loose

Casper cuddling Salem at Abby's. (I dropped the camera in the lake our first or second day at the kosher house, thus the lack of relevant pictures).

The kosher household was gracious enough to let Salem stay inside. We brought in his stuff, but just risked it as far as him staying in our room (the vast majority of rooms in the house didn’t have doors). He disappeared pretty quick. We told ourselves we wouldn’t worry until 24 hours had past. It did. We asked housemates and searched. Nothing. We waited a bit longer and then did a thorough inspection, starting in the basement.

The basement was full of…not “junk”, but the typical stuff that fills basements. There were bicycles in various states of health, luggage, etc. We took flashlights down to look for Salem and I started to walk about, calling the kitty’s name. Casper, on the other hand, being an honorary feline himself and basically possessing connected souls with our own legit feline, scanned the walls with his eyes trying to find the “place with the most corners”. Casper found him nearly immediately.

The wooden steps down to the basement were up against bare dirt. There was some stuff stuffed (oh, I have such an enormous vocabulary) between the stairs and the wall and Casper navigated behind that and shone the flashlight up under the stairs. And, there, with his tail curled around him and tucked in between two stairs, was Salem J Earle, Puddleby Ticklewhiskers, President Howard J Kitty Taft, looking absolutely terrified and covered in spider webs.

I helped Casper move more of the stuff out of the way and he was finally able to grab Salem. He was shaking and we took him upstairs to the loft. We gave him food and water and treats and wiped him down with a warm cloth. We barricaded the door and from then on he progressed from hiding under pillows in the loft to eventually trotting from under the bed, up the loft stairs and wherever he pleased in the room with confidence.

That was our most frightening time with Salem but I think it reinforced to him that though we may be moving around a lot, we’ll never abandon him. When we moved on to our next couch at Lindsey’s, he adapted quite quickly and has been doing well ever since. We are so incredibly proud of how well he handles our crazy lifestyle.


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