It started with my tiger cat, Noel, darting out the door Saturday night, the night before Hurricane Irene.
I was still in Kansas City, watching the news as potential disaster spiraled toward my shoreline house in Milford, CT. I had my dogs, Athena the German Shepard, and Malijah the Dalmatian (as the kids always say- “You have a police dog AND a fire dog! How KWL!”) with me, but had left my other creatures at home in the care of my assistant, Sue.
At home were Noel, Hamlet and Poswalda-, the cats, and Boris- the dove.
In addition, my mobile clinic was squarely in harms way and my 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Convertible had a dead battery and was sleeping in blissful ignorance on my lawn.
By this time, the basement had already flooded and I was getting alarming reminders of the two eighty year old trees in our front yard that I had refused to get cut down because they were so pretty. I prayed that they would not topple on the house, not only because that would be quite a destructive hassle but also because I would never hear the end of it from my fiance, Deryl.
Sue and her husband drove down to rescue the clinic and load the beasts inside. Of course, the battery of the mobile clinic had died in the intervening four weeks and Deryl had to help Sue over the phone so she could jump start it. Deryl started by advising her to clamp the black and red clips to her ears as jewelry, but Sue was a bit too clever for that!
By this time, Noel had convinced at least three of the neighbors that she was a starving, abandoned kitty. Considering that I had saved her life, I thought her actions showed despicable un-loyalty. She had come to me as a seizuring 6 week old kitten to be euthanized. Instead, I had chiropractically adjusted her atlas and her seizures had instantly stopped, but her then owners were still leery of the cure and did not want her back. What can one due when you hold a darling kitten in the palm of your hand and it looks up at you with those grateful eyes? She joined us two Christmas’s ago, was named Noel, and has never had another seizure. The neighbors are keen on her antics and sent her home so Sue could collect her. The other cats were inside, meowing for rescue.
Luckily, there are six kennels in the mobile unit, so it was a simple task for Sue to collect my pets and place them in safe cages. That is, until they decided that they wanted out! The meows turned into yowls and poor Sue had to deal with it all while I bit my nails in Kansas and hoped for the best.
Once at her house, Sue’s own dogs which are terrified of normal storms, were doing their best to destroy the house from the inside while the wind and rain took aim at the outside. Boris the dove was placed in front of a window in the room with Sue’s bunny and was the first to alert the family to the collapsed fence and fallen trees. i think he thought the whole ordeal was quite interesting, and wasn’t phased in the least.
After the storm subsided, my neighbors sent texts about the four trees that had fallen. Unbelievably, ours remained standing, although the yard was covered in huge branches. An electric pole had been snapped in two and was dangling alongside of a huge tree that had fallen on a house one block away. No power to the entire neighborhood, of course, and likely to remain that way for awhile.
Thinking of all the medications and supplies we had in the refrigerators, we sent Sue scrambling back to the house with the clinic to start the generator and plug into our home. The details of that day are left unsaid. Needless to say, it involved lots of big appliances, extension cords and instructions on how to start a generator, along with Deryl’s long distance wit.
When we finally drove home from Kansas, and surveyed the damage, we were both bummed and overjoyed. It took an entire day of hard labor to get everything near normal in the yard, and is going to involve a lot more money and labor to fix the basement, but all animals, meds and the clinic were intact thanks to our wonderful assistant, kind neighbors and stalwart creatures.
Two days later the power was restored. And to make it all the more ironic, the crew that fixed the pole and re-attached the wire was from, you guessed it, Kansas City!