Have you ever greeted someone enthusiastically, only to discover they weren’t who you thought they were? We had a bit of an adventure at the Tiede house today that looked a bit like that kind of scenario.

This afternoon I was chatting on the phone with a friend when I noticed a woman with long blonde hair running across my front lawn. Strange. I paid little attention to her, as I assumed she was on a mission of some sort and didn’t seem to be stopping at my house.

I continued to gab on the phone. Suddenly, the blonde woman’s head appeared in the window that faces my backyard. I shrieked and announced that I’d be calling my friend back later.

Apparently Blondie lost her cat…under my enclosed deck. Now, we’ve had plenty of bunnies make their home under my deck (for the record…more come out than usually go in!), but never a cat to my knowledge. Blondie and her 2 pre-teen children came well-prepared. They had three bags of Kitty Treats, and a funky furry thing on the end of a stick. (Supposedly this was “Panda’s” favorite toy.)

Long story…short…we spent a full hour trying to get Panda coaxed out from under my deck. We pulled out tuna, felt under the deck with a yardstick, squirted water through the cracks of the deck, flipped on a laser pointer for her to chase… you name it, we tried it. I even stopped the pursuit for 30 minutes to tutor. I returned to the deck, under which Panda was determined to set up permanent residency, to find Blondie missing. Her stocking-footed children (mind you…this IS Minnesota and it’s nippy out there already) were still guarding the cracks in the deck, should Panda decide to evacuate.

That’s when Blondie returned looking like the cat who swallowed the canary. She had run home to get shoes for her kids. When she stopped to answer the phone, she walked past Panda napping on the floor. Yep. We had a cat under our deck. The other family had followed him and we all saw his/her beadie little eyes. However, our resident cat is NOT Panda. Clearly a case of mistaken identity.

We’ve left the tuna for our feline friend and are hoping he’s able to get help for the PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) that we very likely caused. Truly, we were only trying to help.