Joule Cortez Medanic-Watt





Having two cats, never mind living and planning a home together is changing our focus. Even inside the home there are new frontiers to face and deal with. This adventure casued David to me how we would handle the same kinds of curious urges about the world if we were to have children.

We came home after being gone for 7 hours and Joule (the black kitty) was nowhere to be found. I called out every window (the cats think all windows are the same as doors and this house has a lot of both)- no response. As she's learned to answer to "Joule," her response time has increased from 20 minutes now down to about 5. After about 10 minutes, I heard a curious scratching coming from the downstairs. 3.5" (I'm not exaggering!) to the left of the stacked washer/dryer unit which fits very tightly into the bathroom closet to see a little black paw reaching out at me.

Not only had the swinging doors that cover the washer/dryer closet swung shut behind her, but Joule had gotten behind them- up on the machines and then fallen down between the washer and the wall. For who knows how long, she had been able to go only forward and back about 5 inches- and not able to turn around or do anything else!

Had she been there terrified through the wash cycle? Why wasn't she meowing? David managed to shift the unit and inch to the side so we could get our arms wedged to pull her up to the gap she originally fell from (as she sat on the washer). I pushed her up and he lifted as best he could reach. She cried a bit as we forced her body up. Other than strangely quiet, she seemed unharmed and responded well to our hugging and cuddling. It was clear she was a little freaked out. Minutes later our little one was playing and heading outdoors again.

One day we see a little face peeking down at us from the roof through the kitchen skylight shown below- once Joule learns (I hope she never thinks it's cool!) to navigate the roof tiles with her claws.

When our pets and loved creatures are suffering, we respond. But what is it about a personal relationship with an animal that changes our vested interest about whether or not they are suffering? Is a big part of it "out of sight, out of mind" a.k.a. if we can't perceive atrocities, we can live with their existence somewhere in the world- so long as we don't know about it? What if cats, or any animal for that matter was in a cage of similar imensions or unpleasantries such as the pounding of a washer or dryer- unable to move- with no one listening to their cries? I began to wonder what Pasha would have done had she heard Joule (she was out all night) and couldn't have heard Joule crying inside the house. Would she have sat near the washer doors- keeping Joule company? They are becoming friends though Pasha plays the "old, grumpy lady."

David originally wanted to name Joule Cortez since she was such an explorer when we first brought her home. Last night's episode has christened her with a full name, complete with a hyphenated recognition of her joint parentage.

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