• joellen

    The cat probably got in the roof the same way the birds did…squeezed in following the birds…& has been stuck in your roof & just happened to hop down into your closet (via the open top for duct work) – amazing you just happened to open that closet or it would have been a poor ending for the kitty. I chose to not believe the former home owner was anything but an extremely depressed (and sad) lady.

    Wonderful ending – kitty was found & reunited w/it’s owner. Whew.

  • territorial

    Wow!!! Poor kitty. Glad you found Diego and what an amazing storey to share!

  • Marie_Lynn

    Woo Hoo! Way to save the cat!!!

    I have to share a story. To let you know you are not the only one that cries at road kill. Under our garage this year the groundhog had 6 babies. I was so much fun to watch them grow up and walk around the yard. When they got big enough they all went and found their own homes but they all stayed right in the area. So I know where they all live. The other day I looked up the road and saw a lump. I called the hubby over. Is that one of our groundhog babies….he said yep looks like it. I said…it is not moving is it. Nope. So I tell him to go poke it. He refuses. A few cars drive past so it is obvious now that it is dead. So I tell him we have to move it out of the road so cars do not squish it. He of course says I am crazy. So to look less crazy I went up to it once it got dark. It was one of our babies. It really did look like it was sleeping..no blood…nothing. I balled. And said a prayer. And apologized for the jackass that could not bother to slow down for a living creature. I came back to the house and my hubby.seeing my emotional state walked up the rode with a shovel and moved it into the woods.
    So yeah…I am goofy too. :)

  • Robyn L

    I thought I was a fairly loyal assistant until I read that Tyrant was willing to cage and/or stab a bobcat. That boy deserves a hefty raise.

  • bhgilroy

    I laughed so hard I cried when I read about you screaming through the house.

    When I was in 3rd grade I ran into a boy at recess, and my TOOTH went into his FOREHEAD. We had both been running towards each other but we were both looking behind us, and by some freak accident we both turned our heads forward just as we collided. So half of my tooth broke off (exactly the same one as Marlo, actually) and they rushed me to the dentist. It was a permanent tooth, but it was still small because I was small. So my dentist attached half of a fake tooth with a tiny bar, so that as I grew and the tooth got bigger, the attachment would slide down the bar naturally. Years later, in my teens, two dentists in a different city sat hunched over my open mouth, ignoring me, and talking about what genius work this guy had done. When I was about 20 I went back to the original dentist and he fitted on a half-tooth that should last me through my adult life.
    Oh and back in 3rd grade, about a week later I had to see the nurse for something and she told me, laughing, about how that poor boy had to get 18 stitches in his forehead, sick bitch. I never spoke to him, but we eyed each other in the hallways when we passed.

    Oh, and the dentist told me that if we had found the half of my tooth that broke off, he might have been able to re-attach it. So… there you go in case any other kids chip their teeth.

  • tolbiny

    Oh, Christ. I’m weepy just reading this. What a (possibly) demonic woman!
    Great post Heather, I laughed out loud a couple of times. Don’t worry about the tooth, it happened to two of my brothers as well. Active kids will bang and bump around!

  • josephine

    Oh my gosh – that poor cat!!! I’m glad you found his rightful home. That’s just awful.

    Also, I will never again forget your birthday since it’s also my anniversary. Kind of creepy b/c I already an infatuated with your blog, but I like it. :)

  • LaurelLou

    Wait, so who is Susan?

    The toof: the same thing happened to my daughter when she was 15 months or so. Right front tooth. We were on a 3-week trip to England. Finding a pediatric dentist in England is probably about as easy as finding one in Appalachia. We spent like 400 pounds to get it filled in with some compound that was supposed to last for years. We were back home for a few days when the filling compound just fell off. So off to the dentist to take care of any sharp edges. Worst 400 pounds we ever spent.

    That chipped tooth became such a special and unique part of her infectious smile. She’s 6 now, and the tooth was carried off by the Tooth Fairy earlier this year. It was really hard to say goodbye to such a beautiful quirk.

    I expected Tyrant to grab that butcher knife and duct tape it to the end of the broom stick, which is what I would have done. Poor Diego would have become kitty satay in two fucking shakes, man.

  • lalala727

    I knocked both my front teeth out when I was 18 months old. I had false teeth until my permanent teeth came in. You have no idea the boost it is to the coolness factor of a 4-year-old that she can pop her front teeth in and out. Boys and girls alike were in awe of my power.

  • Sully

    I lost my cat once and searched for more than 4 hours for her. She was locked in the closet in the spare bedroom.

    I don’t know if the old owner did it on purpose or not, but I doubt it.

  • jan001

    I echo what Larkspur (I think it was Larkspur) said about how happy that house must be now to be filled with love and laughter and only occasional sc-rah-eaming, after all that time filled with the bad stuff of the former owner.

    When I was growing up, we had three cats. At different times, each went missing and was gone long enough that we’d exhausted all options and sadly gave up, only to return on their own. Two of them came back very thin with worn pads on their paws, indicating a long walk home, and the third came back with a broken lower jaw caused either by being hit by a car or being kicked. Happy endings all around – each recovered fully.

    So I’m sure Diego will to, thanks to you!!! Imagining the joy of his owner makes me tear up and want to reach across the internet and give you a huge hug. YOU DID SUCH A GOOD THING! Racking up some seriously good karma is an excellent way to celebrate one’s birthday!

  • LisWee

    When my daughter was two she fell in the bathroom and broke her front tooth at the root. The dentist told us that it would probably fall out, but it just turned gray. That was over 2 years ago and she still remembers just where her head hit on the floor. So don’t feel bad, there are plenty of us “bad parents” out there that have kids that look like jack-o-lanterns. :D

  • craftyashley

    Well, teeth trauma has occurred at our house. A few days after turning three, one of the twins was jumping in the tub. Yes. I told her to stop, and as I did, she fell and her face planted full on into the side of the tub. It cracked one of her front teeth all the way up to the root. We went to a Pediatric Dentist, who took some x-rays, and said the other front tooth was pushed so far back, it had snapped the nerve and would die. That day, being 9 mos. pregnant, I had to watch them yank out both of her front teeth. I was a mess.
    Worst day of my life. But now, she’s fine! She tells random strangers that she “have broke a tooth.” And it’s no big deal. I thought it would scar her for life being the “toothless” twin. But so far, it’s a non-issue.

  • debramac

    Nut lady goes for a triple whammy. She punishes the old neighbor, the cat, and the mean old new owners that made her move out. Me thinks perhaps the cat had to become a hunter while incarcerated and then as the critters became less plentiful had to return to civilization.

    Happy Birthday Heather! Great Story!

  • Brea

    I don’t like to be startled. Horror films are out of the question, and even my kids have learned to not come up on me silently. I scare easily, and am prone to screaming when surprised – which kind of sets others on edge.

    I am so glad the outcome was good for Diego. What a roller-coaster of a birthday!

  • tara wanders

    Happy 35th, Heather.

    Welcome to a checking a new age box in surveys everywhere — I just turned this corner too.

    A similar thing happened to my pediatrician’s son’s tooth (or teeth actually, he knocked em good on a coffee table). I sometimes feel better knowing that people like doctors have oopsies too. Their situation was actually worse; her son’s teeth were pushed in and did damage to the permanent teeth below. I doubt Marlo did the same from the looks of it (not that I’m an expert but I bet an expert would have something even more helpful to say).

    I totally thought Diego was a dog from the photos. Either way, so glad he is saved!

    Also, where might I get myself a Tyrant?

  • erin

    Susan is NOT the woman from whom they bought they house.

    Susan is what Heather and Jon decided to name anything that crawled out of the vents in the ceiling. :)

    http://www.dooce.com/2010/07/08/usual-bumps-road

  • Stephani

    Poor, poor kitty.

    I wonder why he didn’t meow?

  • valerie.hope

    If only it was a real mythical bobcat! I silently laughed to avoid the stares I usually get when I read these posts- happy belated, so glad to hear you save Diego!

  • Natalie Green

    My daughter did that to her teeth at about 18 months old. They still look almost identical to Marlo’s and she is nearly three now.

    Good idea to take her to the dentist to check them out. Dentist told me there was some chance they would turn black but they never did (and my daughter has been sucking on her “blanky” for years and as much as we wash it, it’s not the most hygenic practise … eeewww).

    Anyway, we keep an eye on the teeth and try to give them a little brush twice a day (although nothing too military!) and they’re still fine.

    I’ve also heard stories of so many other parents/kids in same situation. I kind of miss my daughter’s full tooth smile … but then, truthfully I can’t remember what it looked like before it was chipped!

    Good luck with Marlo! xox

  • pixie sticks

    dude. you’re going to need to burn some serious sage. Prior lady crazy pants left some bad juju around. great story! good luck.

  • Tracye

    Wow.

    I don’t know what to say about Marlo’s tooth other than she looks deliriously happy in that pic like, it totally never happened. And that’s a good thing.

    The previous owner of your house sounds crazy. How could she lock an animal in a closet and let it slowly die like that?

    THANK GOD you bought that house. Everything happens for a reason and in time.

    If I were the owner of that cat I’d report the previous owner just in case some animals go missing in whatever neighborhood she moved to.

    Cruelty to animals…is just unforgivable.

  • malisams

    Oh, thank you. I needed the hearty belly laugh I just laughed while reading this. Marlo’s adorable little fang. You screaming down two flights of stairs…because you saw an emaciated cat in the closet. Jon refusing to investigate because he’s allergic. Tyrant grabbing the knife. It’s all just too much. Is there ever a boring day at the blurbodoocery?

    VERY glad to hear that you reunited the kitty with his owner, though…I would lose my shit if my cat disappeared. So, there’s your inadvertent good deed for the year. :) Well done.

  • Bratfink

    Just a couple things….

    1. Honest-ta-God, you have the weirdest shit happen to you.

    2. This reminds me of the raccoon incident.

    3. Why didn’t Chuck or Coco alert you to this?

    4. I couldn’t help it, I cried. I’ve got 4 cats (none of which could ever be described as fur and bones) and I am sooooo glad there was a happy ending to this story.

    5. I got a feeling Marlo may end up like my kid. All the ERs in the area knew her by name, and also got out the mop bucket when they saw her coming. The first thing she always did was puke inside their front doors, then they could address whatever emergency brought her there.

    6. Lastly, THANK GOD IT WASN’T A BAT.

  • mary919

    My daughter cracked both of her front teeth at the food court at the mall when she was three. I ran her to the dentist and he ended up putting caps on her teeth because of speech development he said.

    They were big and odd looking and I was heartbroken for a long time over it. But it never bothered her and her teeth and her speech developed just fine.

    The one thing I will say is that she doesn’t mind going to the dentist at all and never has– I think because she had so much work done at an early age. I’m sure it does the opposite to some kids.

    ALL THAT SAID– Marlo is littler and it doesn’t look like the tooth was all the way in so it probably just looks like half but is actually less than half. The dentist might be able to file a little off to protect her perfect lips.

    Happy Birthday, Oh Mighty Saver of Cats.

  • rspell

    My son chipped his tooth when he was just over a year old. In Target. I was so proud that he did it in The Motherland.

    He didn’t take off quite as much as Marlo, but it had a sharp spot on it. I was a bit freaked out about the whole thing, having heard horror stories about abscesses and dead teeth, so I took him to a pediatric dentist. They did x-rays and filed off the sharp point (gently!) an told me what to look for.

    The boy is fine. And my relationship with Target has remained intact.

  • Amy J.

    I really enjoyed your post about the cat. I’ve felt your writing has changed alot over the past year or so and wasn’t as enamored, I must admit.

    But lately you seem to be more like the former dooce I started reading years ago. Today’s post was really you.

    I’m glad the cat is ok. I would have freaked out too thinking about that poor kitty in the attic. I wonder why you guys couldn’t hear him meowing. Maybe he was eating the birds trapped up there, lol!

    I’m so glad you found him alive and not his poor little body…that would have been just awful. He looked alot like my cat Townes that I had years ago when we first moved to Memphis.

    Anyway, I laughed at this post and enjoyed it and wanted to tell you.

    Oh, and poor Marlo’s tooth!! Poor thing. I believe you’ll just have to get it pulled. Thank goodness it was just a baby tooth though. She sounds like my five year old with her ability to hit things hard with her face and head.

    Enjoy your house and hopefully there will be no more noises. I know you’ll be completely paranoid that there are more poor animals trapped somewhere. That lady had really bad mojo…I hope she took it with her.

  • The Naked Redhead

    Look, I’m just gonna say it…I don’t like Susan. At all.

  • apostate

    I think that cats are the most disgusting animals to walk the earth. But I’m glad the kitty is okay.
    I think your former owner took the term “crazy cat lady” to a whole new level.

  • socaldede

    My whole body hurts from laughing AT you…not with you. Just gotta say.

    I was a victim of premature dentistry myself and following several years of adolescent psychiatry I am doing just fine.

    My front tooth issues happened at four. We were on our family boat for the first time that summer. I was in the back of the boat with my rubber swim cap and horrible orange life vest (I looked terrible in orange, still do) and, when Dad moved the awnings to open up the galley, a bat flew out and over my head.

    I screamed, like the girl that I am, and dove for the floor. I landed like a turtle flipped onto it’s back…legs flailing and my little orange vest caught on some brass boat thingy. My mouth had hit the edge of the galley counter as I went down.

    When I picked myself up, I had half a front tooth, a rubber swim cap filled with blood and a mother screaming louder than me. Mom passed out, I passed out and Dad got a beer. I love my family.

  • socaldede

    Oh and P.S. I love how the photos of Diego look like a mug shot.

  • Miss Lola

    Dooce…a pediatric dentist can determine if you need to file the edge of that tooth a bit so she doesn’t cut her lower gum..kids fall ALL the time and hit their baby teeth..I think that is why God gave them baby teeth..to survive being a toddler with all the bumps and bruises that go with learning to navigate the world!

    Regarding that crazy lady who previously lived in your house…I would have that beautiful home blessed in a heartbeat by a priest..seriously, I would do it. It sounds like she was a bad one….poor kitty…Glad you found him, sorry you had a scare!

  • Janice

    I have empathy for Marlo’s broken tooth but I know nothing about babies so I’m skipping forward. I feel I owe Tyrant an apology for suggesting he be fired for the influence he would have on your children with his whistling. The influence of the person Tyrant is; someone who cares enough to go to such lengths to reunite a kitty and his human far exceeds the minor annoyance of two more whistlers in the world.

  • betttina

    Oh, this made me cry. What a happy AND sad birthday gift!

    On Saturday I found a tiny baby possum crying in our front yard. I cried to my husband, he took it a bowl of milk, we brought it inside and it spent the night in our bathtub before we took it to a wildlife rescue association. He’s just fine now. :)

    Last Saturday my mom’s cat caught a bunny and brought it inside as a gift for my mom…but it was still alive and uninjured. It took us an hour to catch the baby bunny and get it back outside.

    I am dreading this Saturday. My fragile, IVF nerves can’t handle anymore wild animal rescues.

  • Cooky

    Tyrant is worth his weight in gold.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us, Heather.

    You are the highlight of my day today.

    So glad Diego found her Mommy. Poor kitty!

  • noL

    I believe you are creating some excellent new karma that house needed. Hooray for Diego & Happy Birthday!!

  • Moxie-Dude

    Well that’s one way of celebrating a birthday. I would have settled for a bottle of Vodka and a hot bath but look at you! You saved a cat!!!

  • Tara Newhole

    Wow, what a GREAT story. Just last week, we lost the 2nd of our oldest two – they were twins – within less than 2 1/2 months of each other.
    And, just tonight, one of my oldest friends lost her kitty of 16 years. I really needed some Happeh Kitteh News tonight.
    Thank you for being You, and Thank You, from me, for Diego’s Life.
    love ya,
    ‘Tara’

    oh, and p.s. – I’m pushing 40 years old and people still have to tell me that roadkill is ‘asleep’. <3

  • BOSSY

    Wait, is this post sponsored by Kleenex? Please pass one in this direction.

  • cory212

    Thank goodness your life is so full of adventure. I would be thoroughly bored without you, Heather.

  • nikiejo

    My dd did that at 2yo to her 2 front teeth- had to have them filed, not too bad. Then at 5 she knocked out her front tooth root and all- so now we’ll have a space for a long while.

  • Naperville Now

    Happy Birthday, Heather.
    After reading this post, I need a nap.

  • MustangSally

    OMG I lost a cat named Diego when I was in Australia for 3 weeks (long ago…). Neighbor friend who was catsitting didn’t tell me he’d disappeared until I got home because she didn’t want to ruin my vacation. :( He was all black, long-haired and was a total sweetheart.

    Your new neighbor was very, VERY lucky she got her Diego back. Moral of the story – don’t name your cat Diego. I think the name is cursed.

  • eema

    OMG Heather, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad you were there… you were meant to buy that house and save that beautiful animal’s life. POOR Kitty!!! I know you are more of a dog person, but I have two cats and they are amazingly loving and intelligent. TGFY Thank God For YOU!!! :) YAY!

  • mrs.notouching

    I’m just totally enjoying all the comments re: who the eff is SUSAN?! You know you will have to make a whole blog post about that now :-)
    P.S. Happy belated birthday, Heather! Love you.

  • bwsf

    Oh my gosh, HEATHER! Kitties have such a special place in my heart. Somehow this story made *me* cry (I think it was the possibility that the old owner had locked that kitty up, that’s TERRIBLE). So glad this story had a happy ending for all.

  • The Christine

    Well is the cat going to be re-named Susan, or not? :D Very glad it survived the ordeal.

    My daughter chipped her tooth on a bathtub when she was 18 months old. It was a little smaller of a chip than Marlo’s, but it effectively smoothed out over time and is no longer noticeable. Our pediatrician said it was nothing to worry about. As if one can fail to worry when one’s children’s teeth are in a shambles.

    Just to sort of pull all this together, Marlo needs to go as Snagglepuss for Halloween.

  • hello_katty

    I’ve got nothing better to say than, O.M.G!!!!!!

    (Happy Heart Dance for Diego)

  • undernova

    About that tooth! My daughter knocked her front tooth out (root and all) on a tile floor at the age of 2. The dentist put in a false one that was that was held on by a retainer behind the rest of her teeth. I would assume that they might glue a cap on Marlo’s because leaving the spot empty could cause her other baby teeth to shift around when they come in. Maybe…

    And congrats on being the cat hero lady!

  • WhatForMomma

    My nephew knocked out all of his front teeth jumping off of coffee tables. So, you know, yeah, hillbilly baby, like someone else said. He’s four now and still running around without. Given the partial and possible weapon of sibling destruction, I’m betting you have a better dental option.

    My first thought when I saw the cat was that he looks like Coco’s feline doppelganger.

    And yes, an almost cry at the end. But I may have been drinking this evening.

    Cathy