Harley gave us a scare today. We left the house at around 2:30 p.m., leaving Harley, Stinky and Lacey outside since it was a sunny day. When we got home around 4:30 p.m. Lacey and Stinky couldn't wait to get into the house, which was nothing unusual because they always run to the door ahead of us and wait for us to unlock it. Harley wasn't there though, and that was unusual. He's usually laying on top of the swing, but today he wasn't there.
After we took our coats off, we went to the back door and looked around for Harley. There wasn't a cat in sight and no cats came when we called. All of the outdoor cats think their names are Harley or Jybow, because we're always clapping our hands and yelling, J Y B O W.....H A R L EY.
While I was putting things away, Jimmy went out back to find Harley. He came back in and said that the neighbors Chow had gotten loose again because it was now tied to our chain link fence and running around in circles in the neighbors driveway. We then began to panic! because that Chow hates cats, and it has already killed about 6 of our cats in the past. And what's worse, it comes into our yard to do his evil.
We both went out then and as we walked the yard, we yelled for Harley. We continued to yell until the neighbor came out and moved the Chow to his back deck. The neighbor was unusually quiet today and didn't say a word, not even a 'Hello' which was very telling because he is always very friendly. This gave us more fear.
Sandi and Glen then came over to bring us some homemade vegetable soup and we told them that Harley was missing and that we feared the worst because the Chow had broke his chains again and gotten loose. Sandi then went out with Jimmy to search for Harley near the creek. No luck finding him any where. Glen and Sandi left and we decided to just wait for Harley to appear.
It was getting cold out now and as I went to look out the backdoor again, I spotted the outline of a cat way up in the top of the Ash Tree. I couldn't make out what cat it was so I went outside to get a closer look and to my relief, it was Harley. We called for him to come down, but he just sat up there licking his side, not paying any attention to us. Finally he must have gotten tired of hearing us call for him and made his way down to a fork in the tree and stopped. I saw that the next 18-20 feet was a vertical drop/climb, and Harley was too frightened to come any further. He just sat there and wouldn't attempt the climb down.
Then when it got dark I went back outside and I frightened Harley, so he left the fork and went back up the tree to where he had been. Coming down the vertical drop was only half way down the tree, but the rest would be easier if he would just get past that scary part. We have an extension ladder, but it wouldn't have come near reaching Harley. We thought of calling the fire department, but Harley might bolt because he is VERY AFRAID of vehicles since he was hit by one. We had no choice but to just wait.
The weatherman was giving a Winter Weather Advisory for tonight. Some rain changing to snow was expected and it was now very dark so we turned on some lights for Harley. He still didn't attempt to come down, so we waited and waited. It seemed like hours and it was getting colder. I told Jimmy that I was going to stay up all night and wait for Harley. Finally I couldn't take it any longer, so I put on a hoodie, some wool socks, got a flashlight and was planning on staying outside with Harley. I couldn't leave my poor cat out there all by himself....I would keep him company, so he wouldn't be so scared.
As I was walking out to the tree, I saw Harley slowly walking towards me. He was walking in a crouch, close to the ground. I thought he must be hurt, so I spoke to him. At about the same time Jimmy appeared at the back door and I hollered for him to open the door and when he did that, Harley ran like lightning into the house. We were both over joyed at having Harley back inside, but Jybow and Stinky kept growling at him. They smelled him with fur raised on their backs and they smelled where he laid....to them he smelled like DOG. He had some dried saliva on him but no puncture wounds. He was a lucky cat, and now we understand why he climbed to the top of the tree.