I only say “drill” because the building evacuated, the fire department came and they checked everything over and turned off the alarm. It could have been very real.

I’ve been asked what my evacuation plan was should an emergency happen, while the nurses were interviewing me in my home after I’d gotten my family caregiver certification for Dismal.

I thought it would be easier than it was. I’d done fire drills at my old company where hundreds of people had to congregate in the parking lot within five minutes. That was clockwork.
This was not.

Shortly before 8am, the alarm woke me up. The fire alarm is building-wide and pulses a digital scream as well as short strobes of light, over and over. The haze I was in while grabbing clothes was nothing next to how terrified my pets were.

When there is a possible fire the first three minutes are crucial.

I got Lila in her harness along with her leash. She couldn’t hear her cues to get her gear together. My conures, Koi and Jak, would not come out of their hidey. I am thankful they are under 70 grams because I had to”man handle”them and get them out and into their carrier. The other girl was sitting in her cage like a happy little idiot. I snatched her into a small cage.

That was it. That was all I could grab. I got my dog, the birds, checked over my guinea pigs and thought about what could happen and what I could handle in 3 minutes. I left my dog and birds outside the front door and looked for my cat.

Tommy Gargoyle was freaking out. He was panicked and dazed and wouldn’t leave. I had to get aggressive with him. Even when I got him outside he would still yell and try to get back into the apartment. Eventually I sat on the lawn with a dog that would talk to the neighbors, three birds in two carriers and wrestling with my 20lb cat, trying to keep him under my shirt and isolate his senses.

Inside the apartment were 4 guinea pigs and three female cats that seem to have scattered to the winds.

so I would possibly lose 7 pets
and not get my bubbie cat out
crappy odds

Within fifteen minutes back inside, I’m making foods for my dog and the birds, have given the guinea pigs some salad and have had the three missing female cats wander back downstairs to see what’s up. I also have laundry going because one cat completely voided their bladder where they were asleep on the sofa as the alarm started. I haven’t checked the rest of the apartment.

The last one back downstairs was Tommy.