One of the worst moments came when Misha was ten weeks old. I walked into the kitchen and found him standing in the sink. Upon closer inspection I saw that his paw was down the drain in the garbuerator. I couldn’t just pull out his paw because his claw was caught on the blade.
The next few minutes I managed to insert my right hand down into the drain and, with four of my favourite fingers, fish around until I found his little claw. I gently squeezed and then lifted it off the edge of the blade. As soon as this was done, my breathing returned to normal.
Another worst moment came when he was eight months old. I was in an apartment at the time, on the first floor. We had a balcony. Misha decided he would try to walk along the iron rail that enclosed the balcony. By this age he was already developing his limited dexterity. Plus his body was not lithe like say, a ballerina cat.
As I mouthed the word “NO!”, his body toppled over the side and disappeared somewhere onto the carport below.
I raced to the balcony and looked down those few feet and was sure I saw him right beneath me, flat as a pancake just like in the cartoons.
I ran down one flight of stairs, out the back door into the carport, and stopped dead when I saw the lifeless shape beneath my balcony.
I approached cautiously. I leaned in from a safe distance. Squinted.
The pancake cat was actually a discarded section of newspaper. I looked up at the balcony. The distance was about ten feet. How could I have mistaken this piece of newspaper for my cat? In broad daylight!
I began a proper search of the carport, calling out to Misha. When I got down on my hands and knees I found him under a tenant’s car. I crawled under and coaxed him out by pulling on one of his forelegs.
He looked stunned, but he didn’t struggle to get loose. I took him upstairs and gave him the equivalent of a hot brandy: I brought out a big basket stuffed with a lamb’s wool rug and placed him on top. This was to be his ninth month birthday present, but he looked like he needed it a month early.
As soon as Misha was settled, I went back to the carport and removed that nuisance newspaper before it scared the wits out of someone else.