I lost everything in Katrina.

Notes from different corners of the world.
Sept. 16 2005 12:29 PM

My Year of Hurricanes

Three weeks after Katrina: missing cats, Wal-Mart, and a search for day care.

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"Her. Not very good, I imagine, unless she's been rescued already. We tried—"

"I'll just put 'unknown' ... "


And finally the day ends. I sit in my mother's office and scroll through hundreds of photographs of rescued cats. That one there, in a shelter in Gonzales, La., has the right markings, but her head is averted (pettishly?) and I can't see the telltale scowl. In any case, I e-mail the shelter, then go home to another bleary night of TV. One hopes, at least, to find the baby in decent fettle. Tomorrow her hectic journey continues, as she and my wife fly to North Carolina to visit my mother-in-law (a fellow evacuee) and her family, then back to Gainesville, where a kind friend has offered us the use of her apartment through November. As for me, I'll stay here in Norman for the next couple of weeks, alone—working on my book, pursuing insurance claims, going to Wal-Mart, and pausing to gaze now and then at a photograph of my baby daughter in our old home, sitting in a nursery that no longer exists.

Blake Bailey is the author of Cheever: A Life.