We Survived Hurricane Irene

By Adele

Cole and Max thought Karen was a crazy when she packed Sam’s freezer with old vodka and soda bottles filled with water, started charging every little gadget that took a charge, and put fresh batteries in 2 radios and some flashlights.

Then she brought in an old kitty litter pail and ran a full tub. She said it was for “flushing the toilet.” Helpful Hint: Loosen the screw on the overflow thingy under the tub faucet and turn it upside down so the tub will hold a few more inches. It buys you extra flushes.

I’m the only cat here who remembers Hurricane Isabel in 2003, so I knew what Karen was up to. We lost electricity for 2 days, along with a freezer full of meat, and had to drink water with a dash of bleach in it for a week. This time, she wasn’t taking any chances.

Irene’s rain started Friday night, and the wind kicked in hard Saturday morning. For us kitties, it was biz as usual. Max acted like he’s in hurricanes every day. He even tried to play with the rain beating against the sliding glass door. But Karen kept looking nervously out the windows and up at the skylights.

Our 30 trees are mostly oaks, and sometimes they seemed to go sideways when 40+ mph gusts hit them.

Occasionally, a big branch would Thump! as it hit the roof.

At 2 p.m., what Karen feared worst happened. The lights flicked, Sam beeped like a maniac, and the power went out.

But only for about 20 seconds. A miracle! Around Richmond, more than 300K people weren’t so lucky, including Karen’s parents.

It was still half-heartedly raining and gusting when we went to bed, but this morning, everything is calm and sunny. The yard is strewn with branches, with wet green leaves slapped across everything.

But all our trees are vertical, and nothing huge fell on Karen’s car or the house. The whole neighborhood seems OK. We totally lucked out.

20 Responses to We Survived Hurricane Irene

  1. Noel McWormald says:

    We were equally lucky… with only a couple of flickers to interrupt the Project Runway marathon we took in while watching the trees in the park dance like crazy–sort of like Kirstie Alley on Dancing with the Stars! So who’s having the parents over for brunch?? : )

  2. catsworking says:

    Sam invited the parents’ fridge and freezer stuff over for brunch, but they weren’t invited since Sam’s a refrigerator and doesn’t know how to cook! But in exchange, he gave them all the ice bottles. They filled a big cooler.

  3. MorganLF says:

    This part of North Jersey ok too, but the flooding is what we are anticipating.

    I did all that stuff too: filled the tub, and freezer with ice, packed a bag vacuumed the house, took shower ,styled hair and stocked up on tons of baby wipes because even in the event of a hurricane it is never acceptable to smell like ass.

  4. Anne says:

    Power outages are a real pain. We live in the upper midwest in a heavily wooded part of the country and frequently when we have storms the power goes out. However, I can remember the OLD days (back in the 50’s) when the power was out for DAYS! These days it’s not so bad with outages lasting only 5 to 6 hrs at most. Have never lost a freezer full of food and we live on a lake so buckets of water for flushing are easily obtainable. Hang in there and rake up some leaves! Good luck!

  5. jimmie chew says:

    glad you are safe, so are we.

  6. marilyn says:

    So good to know you are all okay. Stay safe.

  7. adele says:

    Glad you all made it through with a minimum of disruption. I kept hearing about all the Virginia residents without power and hoped that you weren’t among them.

    And I’m sure it was a comfort to Karen to have someone else in the house , who remembered a previous hurricane. Hope you were able to impart some of you wisdom to your brothers.

  8. Zappa says:

    I tried for a day and a half to get into a grocery store just to do my regular weekly shopping.When I finally got into Trader Joe’s.the line was wrapped around the store with shoppers and their carts filled with…….frozen food……I am still scratching my head over that one.

    Hey Morgan….I am a big baby wipes fan as well



  9. catsworking says:

    Baby wipes… So Karen DIDN’T think of everything after all. She just threw out almost a whole box of cat wet wipes she bought for Yul (and thought she’d finish off on the rest of us) because they started smelling of mildew. Do baby wipes ever do that?

    ZM, Karen said the same thing. When she went to Food Lion on Friday, she was amazed at what people were buying. Ice cream. Milk. What were they thinking? Maybe they all had generators.

    Morgan, glad to hear you weren’t too affected by the hurricane. We were worried about all our readers in Irene’s path (not to mention all of Karen’s relatives in New England) and hoped the storm would peter out by the time it got up there.

  10. Nina says:

    Glad you and your human are safe. I have 5 friends from Virginia to Boston, everyone came out unscathed.

  11. Imabear says:

    Glad you are all okay. Our kitties would have freaked out, I’m afraid. But then we don’t even get thunderstorms out her in L.A.

  12. Britta says:

    Glad to hear you are all okay. Lots to be concerned about with those nasty storms. 2004 was a trying year for Moore cats. Their porch (homebase) was destroyed but they didn’t stray. When the winds calmed, they returned and perched on the downed aluminum panels to bask in the sun. Beautiful sight for us to behold. Hoping the new, improved and enclosed sanctuary provides better shelter for future events. All the best to the “Working Cats” and human employee.

  13. catsworking says:

    Britta, it must have been gratifying that none of the cats decided to split when their porch was destroyed. I’ve always wondered what mine would do in the same circumstances, since they’ve never been outside. Max is just beginning to show some interest in the front door, and I hope he doesn’t go through a bolting phase, like the late Fred did. Fred got out quite a few times and scared the crap out of me. Fortunately, he always stuck around the perimeter of the house until I could catch him.

  14. Britta says:


    Hate that “getting out” thing. Try to be so understanding when a visitor says “oops” but they really don’t understand the ramifications. “Sorry” doesn’t cut it when there is a cat on the roam in an alligator, bobcat, panther, rattlesnake populated environment.

    We now have a strict containment policy.There have been fool hardy episodes of noncompliance by human guests but they have learned the hard way that certain procedures are absolute requirements (that old human cattle prod works for disrespectful visitors) First and foremost, we protect our brood and that is the law of the land. While our fortress is fairly strong, we do worry about a monster storm and how best to handle. Hence, grateful that Irene went away from our coast.

  15. kittiequeen says:

    God bless all of you. Im glad that everything worked out as well as it did. Karen—more people should learn from your example as to being prepared for potential disasters. All of you stay safe.

  16. Tuxi says:

    Hi! Mom and Aunt Terri have become jaded with storms and waited until Fri. night and Sat. morning to shop. Mom went to Lowe’s and got a strip of 16-AA batteries, 16-AAA batteries, actually found a 4-pack of C size and a 4-pack of 9V. Not so much for flashlights, but remotes, book lights, smoke detectors, and other gadgets. She did get some LED flashlights, which she said are brighter than the “dim bulb” regular. To me they look like something from “Doctor Who”!

  17. Tuxi says:

    As for groceries, nothing in the way of a Glenn Beck stock-up. The electric never went off and these 2 never ran water for toilets or even froze water in Ziploc bags as the Weather Channel’s Bryan Norcross kept pleading to do. Mom did have the Shop Vac ready. And we did have water come in. PA had record August rainfall and the 6″ Pottstown had brought some cleanup for Mom. She took out a total of 360 gal. out of the family room-it was a half-inch to inch deep in spots. Just about dry now.

  18. Tuxi says:

    That should be six inches. The three-hundred-sixty gallons is correct.

  19. catsworking says:

    kittiequeen, I think after the scare we got from the earthquake earlier in the week, people were a lot more prepared for the hurricane. But when the power went out, short of running a huge generator, there wasn’t a lot anyone could do to save themselves. Sure, they could go out and forage for ice, but after a week, the freezer stuff has got to be funky.

    We were just lucky we didn’t lose power.

  20. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, Karen learned her lesson from Hurricane Isabel. If she’d filled the freezer full of ice, she wouldn’t have lost all the meat because that ice would have lasted past the 48 hours we were without power. This time, she had a big stash of bottles ready to go and started freezing them days in advance. She ended up giving them to her parents when they lost power, and it helped them keep food in the house. In fact, her father, who scoffed when he first saw her bottle collection years ago, says he is going to start saving them himself.

    And because the water supply got screwed up with Isabel, she didn’t take any chances with losing use of the toilet and filled the tub. It’s one thing to be in the dark, but another to have to “hold” it for a week because you can’t flush. Hmmm… maybe we could have trained her to use a box.

    We also had plenty of batteries in all the sizes we needed, and an LED flashlight. They really ARE a lot brighter than the regular kind, shining white light instead of yellow.

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