Savannah is taking full advantage of all nine lives. At the mature age of 15, the little Bengal that could has lived in Boston, San Francisco, and New York City; embarked on two cross-country roadtrips and visited the Grand Canyon; met and learned to live side-by-side with a very large dog; met and fell in love with a small circle of special humans; outlived her fluffy feline companion; played, ate the wrong things, got into endless trouble and meowed loudly 6,374,988,054 times.
Now Savannah can add "escaped the confines of house dwelling to try her hand at the seafaring life" to her list.
The first part of this story is one I haven't really shared here. We were so excited to bring Savannah home last summer, after finally getting settled in our NYC apartment and properly preparing to be cat parents again. Things started out really well -- as Savannah got acquainted with her new living quarters and learned to appreciate the western exposure. Knowing that a one-room, 596-square-foot space could be a challenge with my little one's vocal ways, we decided to have Savannah sleep in the bathroom/dressing room area each night so we too could get some shut-eye. As I said ... this all started out well enough.
Unfortunately, the situation quickly deteriorated as Savannah became more comfortable -- and more stir-crazy -- in her cramped Manhattan digs. We tried to be patient and turned to our usual bag of tricks, but after many sleepless nights, arguments, tears and one near-incident of the aforementioned vocal one making her way out on to our 11th floor window ledge... We decided that she, and we, would have to reverse the decision. Savannah went back to live with my mom in CT a few months later. We miss her tons but know it's the right thing for everyone. (Well almost everyone, you'll have to ask my mom her take.)
Which brings us to her latest adventure.
While Savannah had been relatively docile in her first 18 months in the country (while we traveled around the world and then settled ourselves in New York), when she returned for round two, apparently she was not so eager to follow the rules. My heart dropped when my mom called a few weeks ago to tell me that she had, in fact, disappeared. Was the seven-pound svelte stuck in a closet somewhere? Was she hurt or injured? Had she slipped out the back door unnoticed one day, venturing out into the early spring chill on her own?
After it was certain that she wasn't inside the house anywhere, I got really worried. Being that Savannah had never, ever been outside, the thought of it was upsetting. While others believed their gut instinct that the cat was tough and perhaps, super-felinely indestructible -- I was plagued by visions of her cowering from traffic, crying out for help, hungry and cold somewhere, alone. This went on for a week as my mom (and brother, and brother's girlfriend) valiantly posted signs and searched and called and looked everywhere in a three-block radius that a little cat could be.
The next call that came was not the one I feared but the one I'd hoped and prayed for: Savannah had been found!!!
She was found five blocks east, living in a neighbor's boat. Yes, a boat. Ahoy kitty! Parked in the neighbor's garage waiting for summer to kick in, this vessel apparently called to Savannah like a siren, luring her into its fiberglass hull for nearly seven full days. The family's teenage son found (or likely, heard) her and eventually used food to get her inside the house, where he read the "I'M LOST PLEASE CALL" tag my mom had wisely put around her neck many moons ago.
Mom rushed right over as soon as she hung up the phone, overjoyed that Connecticut had not been the demise of Savannah Krieger-Campbell after all. She's now back safe and sound with her cat tree to climb, a house to run around in, and a big black dog to contend with. I'm so glad.
The sea is no place for a Bengal, after all.