Worst Dad in the World

Got home form the office, and my cat was gone! He is normally in the window, so I freaked out and tore the place apart looking for him. After a few minutes I hit panic mode, because I realized the door had been open for a bit as I took the trash out. Tunch has been outide 2-3 times in four years- that is it.

Then, I hurt a faint, whiny meow. It seems someone had wandered into the hallway closet when I pulled the ironing board out this morning and had been locked up for 5 hours.

THat was the worst feeling in the world. I think I know what it feels like to lose your kid in a department store.






59 replies
  1. 1
    Krista says:

    Oh no. Poor Tunch.

    I can tell you though:

    I think I know what it feels like to lose your kid in a department store.

    No. You don’t. I was with my sister when her 3 year old decided to “hide” on us in Wal-Mart. We couldn’t find him for 20 minutes, and believe me, every single possible horrible thing that you’ve seen on Law and Order: SVU comes roaring into your head. You want to cry, scream and vomit, because you just know that things like this can happen to any family, any time, and that there is nothing stopping it from happening to you.

    At any rate, did Tunch give you that royally-pissed-off glare that only a cat can master?

  2. 2
    McNulty says:

    Bush is sending the country to hell in a handbasket and you’re worried about and posting about your cat?

    You know what, fuck you John. Seriously, fuck you. No, really, seriously, Fuck you.

    Love,
    ppGaz

  3. 3
    tBone says:

    That’s a terrible feeling. Our 7-year-old cat disappeared in January – one of the kids left the patio door open. He had never spent a night outside in his life, and temps were below freezing. After a week or so of hunting, handing out flyers, etc., we figured he was gone for good.

    So he shows up six weeks later, filthy, starving, and weighing almost half of what he did when he left. He’s fine now, but I’d sure like to know where the hell he was all that time.

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    I think I know what it feels like to lose your kid in a department store.

    I’m not gunna say it, but I’m sure some dog-lover/cat-hater/parent will take (unfair?) exception to this.

    Glad to see you found him.

  5. 5
    Jim Allen says:

    I’m not gunna say it, but I’m sure some dog-lover/cat-hater/parent will take (unfair?) exception to this.

    I fit into two of your three categories (dog lover and parent), and am myself a cat owner (or, better, “I myself am owned by a cat”).

    However, having lost my three-year-old in a shopping mall for a half hour, I’m with Krista on this, and I hope you and John never have to experience the difference.

    But I’m also glad to hear Tunch was merely misplaced and not lost.

    BTW, where did the name “Tunch” come from?

  6. 6
    srv says:

    Tunch obviously couldn’t deal with Fitzmas.

  7. 7
    RSA says:

    Fortunately, most cats have little notion of causality and very short memories; you’re in the clear, John. Except maybe for a few unexpected pee stains.

  8. 8
    ppGaz says:

    I’m not gunna say it, but I’m sure some dog-lover/cat-hater/parent sane person will take (unfair?) exception to this.

    Fixed.

    And oh yeah, I have four cats, one of whom is going on 19 years old and gets literally spoon fed about 15 times a day because she has no teeth left and can’t eat more than a half teaspoon of wet food at a time. She gets carried in and out of the house so that she can snooze in her favorite warm spot near the bird-filled tree by day, and on a special mat in the middle of the dining table by night. Her picture is at my url, she is Squeaker Doodle Who Uses Her Old Noodle.

  9. 9
    Mac Buckets says:

    BTW, where did the name “Tunch” come from?

    Knowing John, I figure it’s from ’80s Steelers offensive lineman Tunch Ilkin.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    Knowing John, I figure it’s from ‘80s Steelers offensive lineman Tunch Ilkin.

    Yep.

  11. 11
    Mac Buckets says:

    Yep.

    Does Cat Tunch have legs like telephone poles like Steeler Tunch did?

  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    Got home form the office

    outide

    Apparently the cat was in the closet, looking for the dictionary.

  13. 13
    tBone says:

    Does Cat Tunch have legs like telephone poles like Steeler Tunch did?

    From the pictures John’s posted in the past, Cat Tunch definitely has a lineman’s physique. Or at least, the phsyique of a lineman who retired 20 years ago.

  14. 14
    Richard 23 says:

    What? No picture of the cat coming out of the closet? For shame!

  15. 15
    Faux News says:

    That’s a terrible feeling. Our 7-year-old cat disappeared in January – one of the kids left the patio door open. He h

    ad never spent a night outside in his life, and temps were below freezing. After a week or so of hunting, handing out flyers, etc., we figured he was gone for good.

    So he shows up six weeks later, filthy, starving, and weighing almost half of what he did when he left. He’s fine now, but I’d sure like to know where the hell he was all that time.

    Same exact thing happened to our cat when I was a kid. We thought for sure she was gone and dead and showed up 5 weeks later starved and dirty. She lived a long happy life after that.

    John, is your cat kind of named after “Tunces” who would drive the car off a cliff on Saturday Night Live? :-)

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    Hahaha.

    My cats used to run up the ladder to the attic whenever we opened it up, and more than once we closed it again before they came down.

    Once it started meowing and pawing at one of the vents, and the sound echoed just right so you could hear him in every corner of the house. Sounded downright errie.

  17. 17
    Pb says:

    This happens with one of our cats all the time… he *loves* sneaking into the closets, cupboards, outside, whatever–pretty much anywhere there’s a door. Then, once he finds his little cozy spot, he invariably takes a big long nap.

  18. 18
    Al Maviva says:

    Yeah, very funny stuff John. But you didn’t repudiate Ann Coulter in this post, so your argument about the cat totally fails.

    And what kind of a guy outs a cat (on his blog!) when the cat clearly wanted to remain in the closet? If the cat wanted to be out, he would have gone out when you had the door open. You broke the pledge, so I’m immediately de-linking you. No more sausage for you, Mr. Cole.

    Oh, and RSA, lay off on John about his pee stains. If he wants to pee on himself, who are we to criticize?

  19. 19
    Angela says:

    Glad you found your kitty! Just know that he slept for 4.75 of hours 5 hours. Last summer, my cat Abbie got out after somehow getting shut out in the mudroom. She was nine years old at the time, and she’s on two doses of valium a day because she was rescued wild too late in life to cope with stuff well. She’s often afraid of me and won’t let me pick her up much of the time. She went missing on a Saturday night. I was sure she was gone for good, given (1) her inability to cope with life and (2) the fact that she had never been outside.

    I spent Sunday plastering the neighborhood with reward signs.

    Monday morning, I called in “late” to work and decided to walk around the neighborhood, looking under people’s decks and porch steps, calling her, etc. I got back home, crying and defeated. I felt so bad for her, worse than I felt for myself (she’s a very affectionate cat most of the time). Then I heard a noise – she had jumped into my window well (I’d checked there previously, believe me). I grabbed her, got her inside, shoved an extra dose of valium in her… I was so damn happy.

    So while I know it doesn’t compare to misplacing/temporarily losing a child, it’s one of the worst feelings I’ve ever felt.

    Of course this weekend, she puked on my bed when I went out of town camping.

  20. 20
    tBone says:

    Then, once he finds his little cozy spot, he invariably takes a big long nap.

    Ours likes to sneak into drawers while you’re putting laundry away – so you go back 5 or 6 hours later and open the drawer and he gives you this sleepy, pissed-off look, like “how dare you interrupt my nap?”

  21. 21
    Pb says:

    tBone,

    Oh yeah, he *loves* drawers too, but I tend to keep him out of those. The other cat just likes to take all the laundry *out* of the drawer. Crazy cats. :)

  22. 22
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Believe me, if cats can possibly find a disastrous place to get locked up in, they will manage it. We had one of ours get locked in the crawlspace under a neighbor’s house for 9 days — and then, a decade later, another one got locked in the SAME crawlspace for 12 days. (Fortunately, the place had some kind of water source.) Cat #2, by the way, also once crawled in our paper shredder.

  23. 23

    When Squeek was just a whee little kitty, about six months old. Some friends came over to watch Lord of the Rings.

    Well, one of my friends left the door open, and I started looking around for squeek and couldn’t find her.

    I started panicking. For 3 hours I looked. I went to all her favorite hiding spots, and I went out doors and searched everywhere.

    I thought for sure she was gone.

    I sat there just feeling horrible for another hour.

    Then I heard her cooing sound, and realized she had hidden herself under the dresser. Somehow she fit into a two inch gap and had flattened herself down and slid underneath.

    But man, I felt horrible.

    I guess when my girlfriend was taking care of my cats when I was in London, she said Bubbles snuck into her closet while she was getting ready. She didn’t realize it, shut the door. She came home about 12 hours later. Opened the door, and Bubbles walked out non-chalantly stretched and then walked to the litter box.

  24. 24

    This happens with one of our cats all the time… he loves sneaking into the closets, cupboards, outside, whatever—pretty much anywhere there’s a door. Then, once he finds his little cozy spot, he invariably takes a big long nap.

    My cats can open cupboard doors. Somehow my girlfriend taught them this when I was in London. One day I’m looking around for squeek, calling her name. Can’t find her anywhere, and she’s usually like a puppy following me around. (unlike Bubbles who sleeps under the bed most of the day, and walks on top of me while I’m sleeping)

    Finally I hear this whining noise, coming from the cupboard at the bottom of a bookshelf in the living room. I open the door, and she popped out.

    I guess she didn’t know what to do once she got in there and the door closed behind her. :-)

  25. 25
    Ryan S. says:

    Bad News… I tried to find an example of a worse father. By doing a google search and I couldn’t find one. Aside from that guy who ran off when he got out of prison to give his kidney to his son, but that’s already used.

    But I did run across some humerous things.
    This site for one.
    And noticed something funny. Do a google search of ‘Worst father in the world’ (no quotes) and look at the bottom of the second search page. Hmmmmm… Coincidence or a telling occurence.

  26. 26
    Stormy70 says:

    I have a “cat” check every 2 hours or so, since hiding in closets and laundry rooms seem to be so entertaining. My talkative cat Meadow just shuts up when she’s locked up. I thought cat’s were supposed to be clever.

    Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile, I have been very busy with family and house buying type activities. Now it will be packing and decorating and yard working taking up my time.

    Of course, I will not mention Superman Returns, X-Men and Dead Man’s Chest coming up. And for the chick-a-doos, it is The Devil Wears Prada which is a great read.

    (I am avoiding the Plame Flame thread with all my being, I hope some of you appreciate it!)

  27. 27
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Believe me, Stormy, we always appreciate it when you keep your mouth shut on virtually any topic.

  28. 28
    ppGaz says:

    is your cat kind of named after “Tunces” who would drive the car off a cliff on Saturday Night Live

    Toonces the Cat

    Different spelling.

  29. 29
    Perry Como says:

    Of course, I will not mention … X-Men

    Gah! The goggles! They do nothing!

  30. 30
    Mac Buckets says:

    I’m a reluctant new animal father, as well. My 4-year-old daughter’s been on about getting a hamster (which I am assured is not a rat despite looking and acting like one) for weeks, and she — and the lagers after England’s World Cup win — broke down my defenses on Saturday. So now I’ve got a pet rodent in the house.

    The name’s still up for grabs (and she still hasn’t decided whether she wants the vermin to be boy or girl) — so I’m pulling for “Jane Hamsters of the Left” or “Glenn Rodent,” after Newcastle United’s new rat-like manager.

  31. 31
    Pb says:

    The Other Steve,

    Yep, he knows how to open cabinets too… fortunately he hasn’t managed to open doors or drawers (yet)…

  32. 32
    Wickedpinto says:

    THat was the worst feeling in the world. I think I know what it feels like to lose your kid in a department store.

    I forget who said it, or wrote it. Knows full well that parents don’t lose the children, but the children loose the parents.

    Literaly, I lost my family when I was like 6 or so, I used to hide behind the clothes in the circular clothing racks at K-Mart.

    I had my mother paged, and as she and my big brother approached me, I challenged them. “Where WERE YOU!” indignant that they would get lost like that.

  33. 33
    Krista says:

    Stormy, any thoughts on the Lost finale? My thoughts were with you. :)

    Yes, the fuzzy little beasties are fantastic at hiding away. My long-departed childhood tuxedo kitty, Shadow (named for following me around incessantly after I first rescued him) used to constantly get himself stuck in closets, behind furniture, and in other inconvenient spots. He was allowed to wander freely outdoors, though, as long as he was in by dark. Dreyf, however is not allowed loose outside. He once broke off of his leash one snowy winter morning, and I looked up from making the coffee to see him sauntering merrily down the driveway towards the highway. He was shortly followed by your truly, in the fetching ensemble of snow boots and negligee, waving Beggin Strips at him to try to get him to come back.

    The things we do for those little buggers. :)

  34. 34
    Stormy70 says:

    Hah! Krista I thought about you too! Lost was really good, but now my head is spinning with speculation for next year. It seems so far away. Naveen brought the hotness, of course.

  35. 35
    Krista says:

    I know. It was truly impressive…both the finale, and Naveen. BTW, did you see the Men’s Health with Josh Holloway on the cover? It was quite enjoyable.

  36. 36

    God, you people make me sick. How many more innocent, helpless baby bunnies must be rooted from their warm, cozy nests, tortured, partially consumed, and then vomited onto your living room rugs before you realize the truth?

    Listen up, whackjobs: cats are not your friends. They’re not your “pets.” They’re savage, sadistic, razor-clawed death machines, and they are tools of the enemy.

    We have solid intelligence indicating that the Canuckistanis are gearing up secret labs that will be capable of producing millions of weapon-grade felines within a year.

    And that’s not the scariest part. We have reason to believe that the Canucks have infiltrated thousands of veterinary clinics right here in the US of A. That microchip you had implanted in case your precious little Fluffy-kins got lost? Yeah, that’s gonna look like a great idea when that furry little monster starts receiving transmissions from his Canuckistani overlords.

    That’s right, kooks, your widdle fuzzy-wuzzy baby may actually be a mini-Manchurian Candidate. You think it’s bad now, when he hacks up hairballs on your furniture and pisses in your sock drawer if you don’t feed him on time? Just wait. When the Canuckistanis flip the switch, it’s going to be just like that Order 66 scene in “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” only bloodier and with more meowing.

    Face the facts, bitches: the only safe America is a cat-free America.

  37. 37
    ppGaz says:

    Face the facts, bitches

    Tough talk from a species whose legs end up on keychains.

  38. 38
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Krista and Jim Allen? I’m going to disagree, having misplaced both Kid and Cat for a time. You are right that the feeling on the child not being there is worse. But to dismiss the emotion of losing the cat as nothing is wrong. There’s a strong similarity to the emotions, with the difference being mainly a matter of degree.

    Kirk

  39. 39
    Krista says:

    Kirk – Oh, I definitely am not dismissing the emotion of losing the cat. I’ve cried my eyes out over my pets, and the very thought of losing Dreyf can bring me to tears. I agree with you that the emotions are similar, with one difference: when you lose your kid, you immediately wonder what sicko might have gotten their hands on him or her. Either way, it’s not something I would wish on anybody, and am very glad that your misplacing of your Kid and Cat were only for a time (I trust they were both found safe and sound?)

  40. 40
    stickler says:

    I come back here, not sure why, and you’re all whingeing on about a ‘lost’ cat?

    Let the damned cat out of the house. They’re hunters, let ’em hunt. Then you won’t be so wigged out when they crawl into the linen closet. Maybe your linen closet has a mouse nest in it?

    Cats eat mice. Let them hunt. Fer cryin’ out loud.

    And if he gets hit by a car, or gets et by a coyote, well … and this will sound heartless … adopt another one. The United States suffers from many shortages (leadership, manufacturing, common sense), but cats? Check with your local humane society — there are plenty to go around.

  41. 41
    jg says:

    Stormy did you stick around until after the credits in X3?

  42. 42
    Beej says:

    Several years ago I came home from a lunch date to find that I’d left the front door slightly open and Boots the cat was missing. Since Boots was a house cat, unfamiliar with the perils of the outdoors, and I lived on a busy street, my first thought was “OMG, hit by a car!” However, finding no sign of a feline corpse on the street, I hit upon the bright idea to check the back yard, which Boots eyed with longing when we were relaxing on the screened patio. And lo and behold, there sat my wayward cat, calmly batting at an iris blossom! Boots spent the rest of the day checking out the irises from the safety of the screened patio. I spent the rest of the day trying to get my blood pressure to return to a sane level. Wine can work wonders.

  43. 43
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    I absolutely fall apart when I can not find my dogs. They were gone for 8.5 hours one day last year (my Dad accidently left the gate open and did he feel awful) and I looked nonstop. Finally found them behind a grocery store and two 6-lane roads away. They were wiped out and could barely walk. I punished them by giving them each one hour baths and scrubs. I cried, hugged them and yelled at them simultaneously when I found them. At least they were together and didn’t seperate. It’s a miracle they were not killed, since when I found them was during rush hour.

    Hey what happened to all the pet posting?
    (Sent mine but they never went up.)

  44. 44
    Stormy70 says:

    Stormy did you stick around until after the credits in X3?

    Yes, I did. Very interesting. Can’t kill the franchise just yet.

    Krista – Josh Hollaway rocked that cover. Lost is big on the eye candy. My inner teenage Duran Duran fan gene is kicking in tonight.

    Are there any decent movies out this week? And not some indy crap that is only showing at the trendy theater that is 45 minutes away, and has no parking.

  45. 45
    DecidedFenceSitter says:

    Gee, I generally bitch at the girlfriend for locking them in a room, cause I generally only notice it when both cats don’t show up for feeding, in which case I go upstairs and start opening doors.

    Still doesn’t beat the time that I opened the coat closet and came face to face with one of the cats sitting on top of the coats, having been there for at least 8-12 hours.

    Ooops.

  46. 46
    Krista says:

    Stormy did you stick around until after the credits in X3?

    Hm. I didn’t. Now I’m intrigued! Must find out what happened. (Also must find out what colour they used on Famke Janssen’s hair…)

  47. 47
    my cat says:

    My neighbor’s indoor cat escaped to the outsied world. he was an enormous and excessivley hairy Persian kitty named Max. My neighbor is enormous herself ( but not hairy) and disabled so she wasn’t able to put up sign for him.
    Time passed. My neighbor noticed that she didn’t have to vaccum daily. She no longer woke up in the night with her nose pugged with fur. She realized that she didn’t miss him
    Then the cat made a serious tactical error. After six months on the loose, he came home. He was still enormous and hairy.
    She took him to the vet and had him euthanized.
    I was really shocked when she told me this story.

  48. 48
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Krista, re finding kid and cat, I merely point out that my wife is neither a widow. It was close, both times, but I was saved by wee small voices sounding from unexpected locations.

    Kirk

  49. 49
    Krista says:

    That’s horrible! People who have their pets euthanized because they’re no longer convenient — well, it makes my blood boil. Someone dumped two kittens on our lawn last weekend. We found homes for them, fortunately (I’m allergic). But to my mind, when you take an animal into your home, you are responsible for it, through good and bad. And I’ve never had a whole lot of respect for cowards who run away from their responsibilities.

  50. 50
    Krista says:

    but I was saved by wee small voices sounding from unexpected locations.

    Nicely put. It almost sounds like a metaphor for something larger. :)

  51. 51
    Marcus Wellby says:

    You can’t open a drawer, closet door, or cabinet anywhere in my house, at any time, without the cat coming out of nowhere and leaping in.

    She has taken to opening cabinets and drawers on her own later — every drawer and lower cabibet is scratched with numerous claw marks.

    My wife insists the cat is looking for an entrance to Narnia.

  52. 52
    Krista says:

    Dreyf has taken to scratching the door when he wants out, and scratching the oven door when he wants food. He couldn’t give a shit about Narnia, as long as his every whim is fulfilled…

  53. 53
    Jim Allen says:

    Kirk? What Krista said.

    I’ve spent my time searching for a lost cat (while all our cats have been “house cats”, one exuberant one managed to escape the house but, sadly not the traffic), and I know how devastated I was when I had to take our 15-year-old cat to the vet’s that one last time. But I’ve also lost a kid in a shopping center and neither cat experience came close.

  54. 54
    Jill says:

    Pussy

  55. 55
    Wickedpinto says:

    Jill Says:

    Pussy

    Funny.

  56. 56
    JSmith says:

    “It seems someone had wandered into the hallway closet when I pulled the ironing board out this morning and had been locked up for 5 hours.”

    One of ours did that once – it was none the worse for wear, and headed off to have a snack upon its release (after giving me a glare.) Sometimes they just get by you.

  57. 57
    Office Worker says:

    It’s a little strange for me to read all these entries about lost house cats wandering back home, because about 6 weeks ago a lost housecat wandered onto my lawn! Like the returning housecats described earlier, she was absolutely filthy and so starved her hipbones felt like sharpened spikes when you petted her. We took her to the vet and boarded her there for treament (flea infestation/severe anemia/malnutrition) while we canvassed the neighborhood with flyers and put up posters. No one ever came forward to claim her, so we took her home. She gets stronger every day and is just the sweetest little thing. She’s a delight. (Except to our other cat!) So, if you ever lose a housecat, try to remember that sometimes they end up in good, grateful hands. Maybe that will help.

  58. 58
    Vlad says:

    When I was a kid, my dad accidentally locked one of our cats between the screen door and the front door when he closed the house up for the night.

    The cat was ROYALLY pissed.

  59. 59
    tzs says:

    Cats are great at playing a) Offside (being always on the wrong side of a door. This goes on for as long as human patience can stand and then a bit longer) and b) Schrodinger (also known as walking-through-walls.)

    You didn’t shut Tunch in, John. He just pulled a Schrodinger on you. This is so a cat can walk out of a closet with a dreadful glare at you and make you feel horribly guilty.

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