It’s 5 a.m. Do YOU know where your parents are?

On September 14, 2005, in Family, by Jody Ewing

My children (much to their intense displeasure) knew exactly where I was at 5 a.m. today.

Outside.

In the dark.

In my pajama bottoms. (And that old raggedy sweatshirt and tennis shoes that haven’t seen daylight in three years.)

Up in the pear tree. (And no, I’m not a partridge.)

What, you ask, is one doing in a pear tree at five o’clock in the morning dressed partially in p.j.s and partly in worn, tattered clothing?

Why, rescuing a stray cat, of course! And an injured one at that.

And why would my children be aware I’m perched like a partridge in a pear tree at five o’clock in the morning — especially when one has school the next day and the other has to be on time for work three hours later (incidentally, a job with the school district)…

Because I roused them from their sound sleeps beseeching them to help, of course!

The 16-year-old’s response: “Ask Jennifer.”

Jennifer’s response: “Moooommmmm!!!!

Luckily for me (and as it turns out, the cat) the pear tree just happens to be outside Jennifer’s window and her window just happened to be open. Who could resist the sounds of that forlorn meow, meow, meow.

I don’t dislike cats, I just don’t happen to own any. My dogs have never been around cats before, which is why when they found one sitting on our steps at 5 a.m. they immediately decided it had no business being inside their fenced-in yard. They did what I assume any other dog would do: they chased it up a tree.

Unsure whether they’d gotten to it first, of course I had no choice but to climb into the pear tree to get it.

I’m also unsure if raw bacon is good for cats, but that’s the only thing I could think of that would carry enough of a smell to get the cat to come down to a point where I could reach him or her. (Hey, it was dark, and I’m no more a veterinarian than I am a partridge.)

I’m pleased to report that with Jennifer holding the aluminum ladder steady while this fear-of-heights animal lover did her good deed for the day, we succeeded in rescuing the cat from the tree and sending it on its merry way. It did have a minor cut on its behind, but Jennifer said it looked more like a scratch from a cat fight rather than something our dogs could have done.

All in all, I have to admit the whole ordeal was quite exhilarating. If you haven’t sat in a tree for a while with stars still sprinkled across the sky, you’re really missing out on something wonderful. It made my whole day.

But probably not as much as it did for the cat — who, my neighbor later told me, had been in and out of both the pear and the apple tree for three days trying to figure out how to get out of our yard.

At least he didn’t go hungry.

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