April 18, 2013

Prepare Pets for Tornado Season

I would rather suffer the worst writer's block ever to plague the universe than deal with tornado season.

I hate the panic I feel when weather dudes gleefully report coming storms that will bring rain, hail and high winds, and could produce tornados. Since I live in the Mid-South, tornadoes are a way of life here...like grits and Elvis, and I have them at the top of my panic list. I have a very small panic list, as I am not the panicky type. But if it can harm me and I can't control it, then its on my list.

Kim's Panic List 2013
Computer viruses
Snakes inside house
Black widow spiders inside house
No coffee
No coffee cream
Ray starving while I'm trying to cook dinner
Cheap cookies from Kroger
Gary Busey

Here in the Memphis area we've already had a tornado scare back in late February. Truly odd, but we had a warming trend for a few days so of course Mother Nature went all bitchy on us. I wasn't ready, but I did the best I could to grab cats and stuff them into cages in my walk-in kitchen closet while Ray put on his hard hat and watched the news, shouting out Breaking News Alerts every few minutes. So helpful, my Ray.

Today, warned that we are in for a couple days worth of bad weather, I got my act together and set up my tornado closet for my cats. I scrubbed cages, cleaned blankets, replenished water, medical supplies, batteries... I keep a check list pinned to the wall inside the closet to make sure I have everything ready. I also have a list of cat couples so I don't have to think about who gets along with who -- I just grab and cage.

Buddy and Herman - cage
Peaches and Opie - cage
Gidget - solo blue carrier
Dori - solo - red carrier
Jack -- adios amigo!
(he's a total touch-me-not, so...God be with you, Jack!)

If I get an early enough alert, I can also grab Chauncie Marie, who lives in my fenced yard. She's always appreciative to be pulled from the path of death. I usually put her in the laundry room, but this year I have extra cages so I will be able to cage her -- solo -- and have the laundry room in case Jesse, YumYum or even someone from the Stray Family -- Nikolas, Annie or kitten Patsy -- needs help.

When it comes to outside cats, especially ferals or touch-me-nots, I've learned  to trust God to protect them. Getting a ulcer because Charlie runs for the woods serves no purpose. I've had to accept that if I can't control a cat, I must give him up to God.

This morning I put the final touches on my tornado closet and set up the outside cats to weather the coming storm.

I added the white table this year and placed a medium cat carrier and a smaller cat carrier under it.

The top shelf holds bottled water, Kleenex, and right now the weather alert radio that will be in use when the sky gets all stormy...probably tonight since Mom Nature is a sadistic biache and loves to torment me.

Dori, 6 months old, gets ready for the storms by packing her favorite toys.

We removed the heavy plastic sheeting last week, so the back porch is exposed. It has a roof, but with the sides open, they are pretty much screwed. I have the blankets tucked under the furniture and grouped everything almost like a puzzle to hold together.

I'm pretty sure the cats will run for the woods when the storm comes...they always do...but there is a possibility that Jesse, Nik and little Patsy will hide in the big box under the table. It's protected from the rain. And if they're willing, I will try to grab them to hang out in my laundry room.

In 2009 we had a huge tree crash on our roof in 2009. I had my cats inside their cages, and had just poured myself a glass of juice, planning to join them inside the closet (Ray was out of town at the time) when I heard a crash. I turned around...and I could not see outside my kitchen door. All I saw was leaves! It created a huge mess, damaged our roof, destroyed our backyard for months.

And the scariest part of all was...my cats had to stay indoors the whole summer while the construction guys took their lame-ass sweet time about repairing and rebuilding my yard.

So, this gist of all this is...

Do you have a plan for your pets during storm season? Do you have a list ready, and a bag packed of necessaries that you might need in case you accidentally piss off Mom Nature and she wreaks havoc all over your life?

If not...consider yourself warned!

*cue the scary music.*


  1. You are so very wise to preparre. Being in WI, we do get tornadoes, and sometimes they can wipe out an entire small town. But that is not the norm. We really don't get a many up here as you do in the southern states. Nevertheless, we head for the basement (which is very comfortable) and sometimes if it's bad, I put Mario in his PTU so he doesn't try to run upstairs. I hate tornado season.

  2. I wish we had basements in the South. I haven't had a basement in 30 years. We also have a huge earthquake fault right under us, but oddly I don't think about that. I figure if its my time to go, then let it be quick. But seeing those huge black funnels heading toward the news camera just makes me crazy! So happy dear Mario is being kept safe. You be safe too, hon.

  3. you are so right to be prepared it amazing how many people get caught out by things like this

  4. I grew up in Michigan, and recall the damage a tornado did--ripped off the front of a two-story farmhouse. As we drove by I could see the upstairs bathroom with a footed tub! Talk about seared into your memory! I was probably only 6 at the time. In Florida my Mid-West cluelessness about hurricanes had me grocery shopping for steak while everyone around me grabbed up the bottled water, matches, batteries and packaged ready-to-eats. Totally Clueless!