We’ve Got You Covered!
Folks who live in Southern California know oh-too-well what those earth-shaking events feel like. Earthquakes are truly frightening for us humans. Just a couple of weeks ago, people in the Los Angeles area were really, well, shaken up by a number of major earthquakes. Those quakes may have been centered in the desert, over 100 miles away from LA, but still caused a lot of angst and worry for those people who live in the city. People are one thing, but what about your CATS? How do your felines react during an earthquake?
You’ll find this interesting… Your cat may anticipate an earthquake is about to happen, before it happens. Some scientists believe the earth has electromagnetic field variations that are generated by underground movements beneath our feet. Your cat may feel or sense those movements, before you do. That’s right, your cat may “feel” the earthquake a few minutes before the ground actually begins shaking. Some cats have their own reactions before or after an earthquake. Sensing a quake, they may whine or meow excessively, trot around the house for no apparent reason or stick closer to you, more than they usually do. See? We’ve always thought there was something magical about our cats; that would explain why it sometimes seems your kitty even has ESP!
Our sitters in Los Angeles felt those big earthquakes and, of course, even if their cats felt the quake coming, those poor little kitties weren’t prepared for the S-H-H-A-K-I-N-G that followed! One of our sitters, Sarah Ayers, has clients who live in an older house, without air conditioning. They leave their bedroom window open to help cool and air out the house much of the year. But when the earthquake struck, their cats, Buddy and Peanut Butter, must have been terrified.
Sarah had visited the morning of the earthquake and everything was fine. Buddy & Peanut Butter were as sweet and playful as they always were. She was scheduled to go back the next morning (after the quake) but was worried when she arrived. Buddy & Peanut Butter weren’t there to greet her at the front door, like they usually do. She looked all over the house, calling for them until she discovered the open window in the bedroom, and the window screen had about a one inch gap in it. Oh, oh, that wasn’t there before! She could see the screen had been pushed out a bit. (Gulp.) During their original meet & greet, Sarah was told by their owners how much Buddy & Peanut Butter loved being outside
Sarah was immediately worried, sending a text to her clients to ask if the kitties had a hiding place she didn’t know about. She also told them about the bedroom window. Their owner told her that Buddy & Peanut Butter never hide. Now Sarah was really worried, thinking the worst after the earthquake. The owner told Sarah to grab a bag of dry cat food, go outside and shake the bag around the yard. Finally, after 15 scary minutes for Sarah of cat food bag-shaking, here they come! Buddy showed up first, darting out from a grove of bushes near the house, then Peanut Butter came running from the other side of the yard. Whew! (Oh, how we love happy endings.) Buddy & Peanut Butter must really like their Meow Mix, or whatever brand of food they eat!
The two escaped kitties seemed tired and very hungry when they returned to Sarah but, otherwise, they were just fine. Nothing a bowl of their favorite cat food and a bowl of fresh water couldn’t fix. Sarah was so relieved that her furry friends were safe. Before leaving the house, she made sure to shut all of the windows and the bedroom door, too.
Just to be sure everything was okay, Sarah went back to visit her naughty felines that evening. Buddy & Peanut Butter were back to their normal playful selves. And our client felt a whole lot better, too, just knowing her cats were okay.
Another one of our dedicated and brave sitters wasn’t on call at the time of the quakes but she was definitely concerned about her client cats whose owners were out of town. She made sure she went to all their homes, checked on the cats and on her client’s property. Once she made sure everything checked out, first with the kitties (of course) then with the property, she was able to contact each client and let them know all was well at home.
We even had a sitter discover the smell of gas upon entering a client’s house. (A common occurrence following an earthquake.) But, as it turns out, the earthquake hadn’t caused a gas leak, the cats had somehow managed to turn the kitchen’s gas stove on! (What, were they planning to cook a little something for dinner?) We can joke now but it really wasn’t a laughing matter at the time. Those kitties could have died from gas fume inhalation.
Our company’s founder, Rita Reimers, lived in Los Angeles for many years. She can personally relate to the shock and aftershocks of a major earthquake. (now living in Charlotte, she traded Earthquakes for Hurricanes!) Rita knows the effect those quakes had on her own cats. During this emergency, our usual same-day visit charges were waived following the earthquake for any extra clients who needed the reassurance of a post-earthquake visit for their cats. We’re just glad that none of our Los Angeles clients, their sitters, or their cats were hurt.
Dangerous things can happen at any time, even if there is not a major earthquake or hurricane afoot. Melanie, who is retired from JFC now, was once visiting a client’s home when she discovered a couple inches of water covering the floor. That was alarming enough but she was even more concerned to discover the water edging closer to some of the house’s electrical outlets. To be on the safe side, Melanie called the fire department to have the house checked out. It turned out to be a problem with the air conditioning unit, causing water to backup into the house. Relieved, Melanie still stayed overtime to comfort her client’s kitty.
As you can see, the Cat Care Professionals at Just For Cats take their jobs and their responsibilities caring for your cats, and your homes, very seriously. We’re cat owners and cat lovers ourselves, and we think of your kitties as our kitties. Now, let’s just hope our Los Angeles-area cats’ ESP doesn’t pick up any more earthquakes anytime soon.