Who would have thought that an overnight
trip to Deep Creek Lake, which was to be a quick getaway for my
husband and myself, would result in the addition of another cat
to the household? But, as my family is quick to remind me, any
trip I take out of the house can result in a search and rescue
for animals. We decided to drive around the lake before stopping
at our lodging. We spotted a Chicago Uno Pizza Restaurant and
decided that a pizza would be good for dinner.
Walking up the steps of the restaurant, I looked inside to see
if there was much of a wait. A tap on my shoulder by my husband,
Geoff, brought my attention to a nearby planter. There he was,
curled up in a ball at the front door, watching all the people
go in and out. Of course I stopped to pet the young cat, but he
was shy and didn't want us to touch him. The look in his eyes
told me he was trying very hard to be friendly -- he just wasn't
I immediately grabbed the hostess, forgetting about a table and
a pizza; I had to know about the cat in the planter. She told
us that he was a stray, the staff fed him and he lived under the
porch. His diet included anchovies, pizza, and other "people food."
She told us no one could touch him, many people had tried and
he would only let them get so close then run off.
I was totally unprepared to rescue him. Humane trap, carrier,
towels, food, everything I needed for catching him in my garage
at home. The manager came over to the table to see what our plans
were for the cat; apparently the entire Uno staff fed him and
kept a watch out for him. We had to convince the manager that
we were OK people for the cat!
The next morning started with a trip to Wal-Mart; we needed
supplies! We armed ourselves with everything for a rescue, confident
that little "Uno" would be easy to catch and on his way home with
us in no time.
Uno was sitting on the deck watching the lunch crowd, apparently
some nice people had fed him breakfast, probably some sort of
Italian dish, as he was cleaning himself and very much at ease.
There went plan #1 of hungry cat walking into carrier to get food.
Plan #2 didn't exist, so Geoff and I just stared at each other
and thought, "Now what?" We tried the quiet approach, Uno took
off. We tried the sit still and let the cat approach us. Uno just
stared at us. We tried the grab cat approach; Uno ran under the
deck. Feeling desperate, I just didn't know what to do. It was
late afternoon and we needed to head home. Finally my husband
tried another approach, the walk up to cat and just pick him up
and put him into the carrier. It worked! Uno let Geoff gently
pick him up. Without incident he went into the carrier -- I closed
the door and Uno settled in. He was safe at last.
As I write this article, Uno is curled up asleep on our sofa. Our first thought was to get him to the vets and then adopt him to a loving home. We accomplished the first part but decided we had already found him a loving home. He definitely seems to enjoy it here, his only complaint: "Where's the PIZZA?!"