I am not a cat person.
I’m a dog lover. Always wanted a dog, still don’t have one.
Our rental doesn’t allow pets other than fish, hamster and chickens, which we all have.
Anyway, last week we spent four nights in a rustic cabin outside of Boulder, Colorado. This trip was kind of spontaneous and not super well planned in advance. Therefore I knew there was something a bit fishy about this place when I first made an inquiry and the owners wanted to speak to me on the phone.
A woman asked me some personal questions, if someone in our family would have cat allergies and told me that if we’d stay in their cabin, we shouldn’t use any fragrances. Really? Nothing should cover up the cat smell, or what? Nevertheless, there weren’t loads of other options left and the outdoor hot tub with a view was definitely a selling point.
We spent three nights at the Sunshine Canyon Drive and it was lovely. We enjoyed the views, the hot tub and the girls their playtime with lots of cats. As it turned out, the landlords were not only cat owners, but Siberian Pearl Cat breeders. They had about 15 cats in the cabin on the other side of the property, two cat-walks and about eights kittens (3-weeks and 8-weeks old).
On Saturday we went to Brainard Lake for a few hours to fish and hike and since the afternoon was kind of rainy, we decided to head back to our cabin and just hang out before going out for a nice dinner in downtown Boulder. I was really looking forward to go to OAK at Fourteenth on Pearl Street.
The weather in Colorado is very unpredictable.
I actually enjoyed it a lot because it reminded me of a German summer.
It can be hot and sunny in the morning and a couple hours later it starts rumbling and bucketing down.
This afternoon, our host finally let the girls have four of the kittens to play with. I have to admit, they are adorable. My husband and I sat outside and enjoyed a pre-dinner G & T and it was blissfully quiet. We should have seen it coming…
When it was time to go to dinner, we told the girls to return the kittens and get ready. But they could only find THREE. Two of the kittens had already voluntarily returned to their little punnet, totally knocked out from playing. We’ve put the third kitten in there, too, and started searching the missing one. Our girls swore that they just played with two of them, while the other two kitten were hiding behind the sofa. My husband and I got quite irritated and slightly nervous about the possibility to have lost a $1,500 kitten! Yes, that’s how much they cost!
The kitten quest went on for a while and the longer it took, the more convinced my husband and I became, that this kitten had fooled us all and snuck outside. For the next 30 minutes, we literally turned the cabin upside down, but still no kitten was to be found. We looked behind beds, checked every cabinet and closet, the washer and dryer and even behind the fridge.
Our girls were super upset, one even started crying.
Eventually I told them to go to our host and to tell her what happened. They were very reluctant to do so, but her reaction made us all feel a bit better. She actually started laughing and told the girls that the kitten never would leave the house. She said that we should just go for dinner in Boulder, because the kitten would just show up after a couple hours.
I was pretty angry about the whole situation. On one hand I couldn’t really believe that this kitty was gone, but one the other hand I knew that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a nice dinner. So we told our girls that they had to stay behind while we’d drive into Boulder to grab some takeout, hoping they’ll find the kitten meanwhile.
My husband and I got gas, a bottle of wine at the liquor store and food at Panda Express. With driving back and forth it took us about an hour and we had the weirdest conversations in the car.
First of all, I’m pretty sure that we’d never talked so much about cats in our life.
Secondly, we thought of all kinds of chores and punishments for our girls. From being grounded (We’ve never done that!) to how they could earn money to pay for this kitten. In hindsight, it was kind of a hilarious situation.
We even discussed the legal situation. My husband’s opinion was that since the owner gave our girl the kittens voluntarily, she might not even be in the situation to press charges. But I countered that any judge who’d see the picture of this kitten will be definitely on her side and probably have us pay for the kitten and the personal suffering, too.
Going back into the cabin we found a lovingly set table and two shamefaced girls.
They hadn’t found the kitten.
I was pretty hangry, opened the patio door shutter and sat down to eat and have a glass of wine to calm myself down. While my butt hadn’t touched the chair cushion yet, my older one yelled: “There she is!!!”
And there it was.
I think I started laughing hysterically, calling my husband to come back inside.
The girls were besides themselves with joy.
The kitten had returned.
I have to admit that you couldn’t really be mad at this adorable mini cat anymore.
Apparently the sofa had like a fabric pouch underneath that you couldn’t see or feel and that’s where the kitten had hidden to nap peacefully. And now it was in an excellent and very playful mood.
We had a lovely dinner with him (Vera told us later that he is a boy.), Chinese Food and Chardonnay.
We all played with the boy kitten until he was exhausted again and finally returned him to his owner who had been right all along. That’s why she owns 15 cats and we don’t.
After all this kitten talk, I think that this story will be remembered for a long time. This is what I love about family vacation. It’s not always the most beautiful sight, the most adventurous hike or the most delicious dinner. It is about making memories together.
Like having our van towed in the middle of the Californian desert.
I loved listening to our girls giggling in bed until late that night. Telling each other the highlights of the lost kitten story over and over again. Thank you, little kitten.
I’m still a dog person.