Surviving Sandy With Cats

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

Well, we made it but we’re not out of the woods yet. More than half of our area neighbors in Westchester County N.Y. remain without power. WIFI is spotty, traffic lights are more off than on, making driving a wild west affair.ย  Uprooted trees drag lives wires and yet I feel blessed beyond measure to be sitting in my favorite library tapping on a laptop finally connecting with email and you dear readers. Thank-you for your many emails of concern and good wishes. The library closes soon and must hurry.

I’m not used to being restricted with WIFi but the past few days have taught me not to take anything for granted. Being a hardy Canadian, I’m used to harsh weather but nothing could have prepared me for Sandy. We’ve weathered Nor’easters, power outtages, flooding, major trees uprooted but I’ve never wrestled one on one with a force like Sandy. While lollygagging getting blog posts edited for the week, the cats knew and hid under the bed and in the closet. Even dare devil Odin lost his taste for adventure. I should have known better but assumed we were better prepared than most with a generator, chainsaw and half the contents of a hardware store. I didn’t flinch when the Internet died but something inside me wilted when my beloved grandmother pine tree with a girth too wide to place my arms around, snapped like a toothpick. In a lull of wind gusts, I ran outside to place my hands on her moist innards and cried. The length of her stretched and blocked our neighbors driveway but there was no time to mourn when Sandy swirled for round two.

A person’s home is refuge, a safe place to weather the elements and our house has stood since 1860. I’ve always felt it to be a fortress until I heard a loud pop on the third floor. There are four original quarter round windows and one invited Sandy inside with full force. Ripped off its hinges, glass scattered, I pushed with all my might to block the dark hole with a large canvas painting wedged between the radiator and the wall. The wind engulfed me and we were definately not in Kansas anymore. I didn’t notice the blood on my hands or anything other than the will of survival and power of nature. Adrenaline pumped out orders to hubby. Get a tarp ,scissors, staple gun, drill. NOW! I found an extra screen. Cut plastic tarp to fit, stapled gunned it the screen in my Martha Stewart moment and popped the sucker into place. Sandy pushed back and we were no match for her until screws drilled into the window frame worked. We celebrated with a hot bath and a cool movie.ย  Odin was the only one who cared to watch A Cat in Paris with us.

To be continued…



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  • nadbugs

    Oh dear, oh dear — well, well done through this trial. But I cannot imagine losing that tree. I look at the oak next to this house and just pray I will go first. So so sorry. But you and family are well and, as everybody else has said, that’s the main thing. Head-bonks.

  • d

    I am so relieved you are okay. Hurricanes and the aftermath are humbling beyond belief and do a quick job of putting life in perspective. You have been in my prayers and if I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

  • TXMadCatter

    Glad you came out with little damage, although I, too,take the death of an old tree personally. When Ike came thru in 08, we in north Houston, had no electricity for 9 days, but I felt very fortunate compared to those on Galveston who lost everything, and those who were still without electricity weeks, even months after the storm!

  • Bermadette

    Just glad the six of you are okay! Your older house is probably sturdier than most, but big mature trees take no prisoners when they go down by force of nature–I’m sad for your grandmother tree, but she had the consciousness not to take anyone with her, perhaps her last act of love and guardianship. Most importantly, Merlin has made it through the hardship. Look forward to more de-tails.

  • Marg

    We are so glad that you and the kitties are all right. That does sound horrible. I hate it when a tree is lost. Hope things get back to normal really quickly for you. Take care.

  • Debbie

    What a frightening experience–I refuse to call it an adventure! But I’m so glad to hear you and yours made it through the crazy storm. So sorry about your beautiful old tree–Mother Nature, in all her beauty, can be a real bitch too. Sending prayers that things will be back to “normal” soon. Take care.

  • Pam Kimmell

    So glad you are all OK…..I thought about you often through the storm and hoped everyone in Sandy’s path would make it without damage to their homes. It will be a very long time before things are “back to normal” up there I know…we were SO lucky here as well.

    Hugs to all, Pam and Sam

  • Ingrid King

    I’m so glad all of you made it through, but what a terrifying experience. And I’m so sorry about your tree. Losing an old tree is like using a friend. But thank goodness you, your husband and the kitties are all okay. All my best to you for a quick and complete return to normal.

  • Sparkle

    I am glad you made it through… and I bet you are REALLY glad you did! It sounds terrifying! My human and I have been thinking about you and hoping you and the kitties were all right.

  • catfromhell

    We (mje, Mommy, Kozmo, the hairy slobbery sisters and Daddy) is happy to hear yous is A OK. we has worried about our friends and family.
    We sends yous lots of purrayers and thanks yous for letting us know yous is OK
    Nellie and Mommy

  • Katnip Lounge

    Thank goodness you are OK. There’s just a few more I need to hear from…

    The loss of your tree is heartbreaking; I hate to see a tiny plant die let alone a wonderful friend like a tree. Even though it wasn’t funny I chuckled at the mental image of you scurrying around fixing the window. It will make a great story in time.

    Again, I’m glad you and the family are safe.

  • Da tabbies o trout towne

    Dood. !!!! Way happee everee one is all rite and safe. Tell yur mom ta investz in an ipad:)!!
    Seer ee iz lee, great to see yur post coz know we noe everee faired de storm. Sorre bout
    yur hous and de gramma tree tho and post again when ya can. Meowloz.

  • Skeeter and Izzy

    We are glad to know you guys are all safe. The tree is a sad reminder of the true power of nature and try as we might we cannot control her and she reminds us of that from time to time.
    We send out purrs and prayers to all,human and animal alike, that have been touched by Sandy. We find out what we truly have in our hearts and souls when we are pushed to the limit.Prayers to all the forces that protect and guide us that all will be overcome with strength and grace. Luvs and Purrs Skeeter and Izzy >^..^<

  • Rykerz Boyz n Allie

    Tragedies like this do make you take a second look at the things we take for granted, don’t they? We’re so sorry for your dearly departed pine and the window blowing off its hinges — but are very glad you all are safe and warm.

  • CarenOsrinGittleman (@CatChatCaren)

    omg!! You had to be TERRIFIED! I can only imagine! I know I emailed you before the storm (at least I am fairly certain that I did!) and was going to email you today if I didn’t see a post. I assumed that you wouldn’t have power, never thought you would experience what you did, thank goodness you are all SAFE! That is the most important thing. I am so sorry about the tree but thank goodness it didn’t fall on your home!

  • Lynn Delage

    My sympathies. We stayed in place for Hurricane Ike in 2008. My dog and my cat enjoyed that aftermath because we had to open all the windows since we had no electricity or a/c (it was September which is still very warm here in Texas) and they could come and go as they pleased. We lost some trees on the back lot but had no immediate damage to the house. We did have to replace the roof and part of our fence was broken down by falling branches. As long as your humans and animals are safe nothing else really matters, it can all be replaced.

  • Anonymous

    Layla, thank goodness you and the kitties are ok. I’m sure Martha Stewart would have been proud of your spur-of-the-moment window repair! I’m so sorry about the loss of Grandmother Pine Tree – I understand your tears.

  • Kat & the Teenage Mutant Ninja Kitty Horde

    Thank goodness you’re safe! And yes! Trust your cats! I help keep my daughter who has anxiety disorder calm during storms by pointing out “See? The Horde isn’t hiding so we’re fine.” God help us if they ever do but so far ::knock wood:: we’ve been okay!! Purrs & Prayers from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Kitty Horde to everycat, their furfriends & feeders!

  • Connie Marie

    I have been worried since Tuesday! I’m sitting here looking at emails
    All of a sudden yours pops up! I actually jumped.
    It really hurts to lose a tree like that, so so sorry.
    Really glad everyone is OK. NEVER IGNORE WHEN YOUR CATS HIDE.!!!!!ยจ
    Connie Marie

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