When My Roommate Let the Cat Get Out
A few moments of complete terror, thinking my cat lost forever, made me rethink my living arrangement — and my sanity.
Illustration by Jess Smart Smiley
After he watched my cat climb out his bedroom window and onto the roof, my roommate Peter did all the things a dedicated roommate should do. He made kissy noises at the cat. He called the cat’s name. He tossed a piece of string out the window and tried to lure the cat in, like a fisherman trying to catch a fish. And when none of that worked, he climbed out the window, scaled the side of the house and tried to grab the cat, who of course evaded him, the way cats do.
The only thing left to do was to call me at work and let me know what happened. “I’m sure she’ll come back soon,” he said.
“I’m coming home right now,” I replied. Then I got up from my desk and walked out of work without offering an explanation to anyone.
As I rode the bus home, I chewed my nails and imagined exactly what I would do if my cat died that day. Would I get a tattoo to honor her? I wondered. I didn’t have any tattoos. Am I that kind of pet owner? The answer came as a swift and defin…