Sunday, February 5, 2012

Finding the Cat

In my twenties, oh so long ago, I had two cats named Gato and Cujo. We were very close. I was really crazy about them. I suppose I was not very careful with them, though because they got lost a lot. Cujo especially. One time he was lost for a week until I found him closed up in the utility closet under my neighbors house. Another time... well, I'll make a long story short, but I found him after looking every day for three weeks. He was five miles away from where I lived in a small hole in the drywall of a chinese family's house on Clement street in San Francisco. When I finally got him home, he looked pissed that it had taken me so long. Another time, Gato disappeared from our house in Mill Valley. After a few days, a neighbor told me that some people down the street had moved away. So I stole mail out of their mailbox, found their new number in the phone book and tracked them down. They had taken Gato, thinking he was homeless( he apparently spent a lot of time at their house talking trash about me). They kept him in the garage, but he had run away into the hills in San Rafael, and they had no idea where he was. That weekend, My sister Jennifer, my brother-in-law Ben and I spent every daylight hour walking around that neighborhood shaking boxes of kibble, calling Gato and posting flyers. Late Sunday evening, I remember hanging our last flyer at Scotty's market. At least 5 miles away and down in a valley below where Gato had disappeared. We all went home defeated. Two days later, a lady called. She had seen that VERY LAST FLYER and Gato was in her yard. WE FOUND HIM!

So why am I telling this story? These experiences have had a profound effect on me. The life lesson I learned is that the cat is out there. You just have to keep looking.

This outlook on life has influenced the way I feel about my son, Oskar. He has a chromosomal deletion. 10 missing genes that mean he has seizures, hypotonia and severe developmental delays. When he was diagnosed with the deletion, the doctors all acted like they had found the answer. Whenever he has a problem, they tell me this is because of his deletion. To me, it is the equivalent of having your child get hit by a bus, rushing to the hospital and having the doctors tell you that the problem is that your child got hit by a bus. That there is nothing more to know. What got broken? How can I fix it? All the doctors can tell me is that the bus was yellow.

I keep looking for the person who is going to know how to help him. I don't know if there will ever be day when I will give up. I almost gave up on Cujo, and all I had to do was intimidate a very confused chinese woman and get into her crawl space to find him. Some nights I cry because I feel like I can hear the cat, and I don't know where to look any more . Some nights I can't sleep because I can hear the cat and I can't wait to get up the next day and start looking again.

I am writing this blog in the hopes that there are others out there like me, looking for information to unanswerable questions, and that maybe my search can be of use to someone else. Maybe I will find your cat while looking for Oskar's.

But mark my words, I will find the cat!


  1. Dammit Blake, you just made me cry. I have to admit to being a doubter back in the days of looking for your lost pets, but you were always right, and I believe you'll be right this time too : ) Oskie is very lucky to have you.