Do You Have an Escape Plan?

No, not for you….for your pet!

Yes, I’m serious. 

It was all over the news yesterday morning and my kids heard the newscaster, (in all his sensationalized glory), informing the masses that if a levee broke, an earthquake hit or a tornado decided to blow through our town we would never see our family pet again, that is if we had not taken proper precautions to ensure their safety.

That’s a fair statement.  But did he have to deliver the message so desperately?  And did my kids need to hear it?

The tone in his voice was all my hooligans needed to hear to send them into berserk-freak out-frenzy mode.

They were horrified, curious, outraged and somewhat angry as to why the Wild Boar and I were such irresponsible adults that we had not provided an escape plan and emergency provisions for our PET!

And in typical child-like fashion, they started buggin’ and buggin’ me until I was willing to commit to some type of action plan to save our pet from the perils of a disaster.

Yes, this is a good idea.  So many beloved family pets have been lost recently in natural disasters and I can’t imagine how devastating this has been to families. Especially children.

So the hooligans insisted we draw a map of the house (even though we’ve done this a billion times), talk about it, execute it, practice it…you know make me FLIPPIN’ crazy until I talked about and discussed different scenarios for our big pet rescue. 


I just wanted my coffee and oatmeal.  I know, how selfish of me but come on, it wasn’t even seven yet.  I was a little sleepy.

Anyway, what seemed like the next eighteen hours were spent gathering supplies in case the earth opened, swallowed up our house…leaving us unable to properly care for our pet or get to him safely in an emergency situation.

We needed something to put him in, some food and some water.  And toys, the pet needed toys.
I had to assure the hooligans that our pet did not take any medications (the newscaster made a really big deal about having enough available meds your pet was taking).

I explained to them that in case of a fire, flood or earthquake we would try to get to him, but I could not guarantee it.  Our lives would come first. 

This annoyed them.  I think they feel I wouldn’t try since I didn’t have a plan anyway.

We did our regular fire-type drill as we’ve done before but this time we loaded up the pet and got out the door.

Nothing too traumatic.

Bless their hearts for thinking of the little guy…

But folks it’s a hermit crab

And not that he doesn’t count, but I can guarantee if my whole family were lost in some type of disaster that little hermit crab would somehow survive it and go on, without any of our help.

Hermit crabs usually only live 6-9 months as a pet.  Our crab is now three years old. 

He’s stealth. 

And now he too has an iron-clad emergency plan.

This is where my days disappear to.

Do you have an emergency plan for your pet?  Would you like to borrow mine?  It includes getting your pet out quickly with their plastic climbing trees and hermit crab hammock.

Post a Comment


  1. Amanda 1

    HA! We have a spastic-2 year old- wonder-dog, Kingston. He’s a fantastic swimmer. We live just under both the Folsom and Nimbus dams along the American River. If they break, we’ll need our dog to lead us to safety. :)

  2. Rita 2

    in blockbuster disaster movies, the dog always survives effortlessly…does this apply to hermit crabs too?

  3. Alan 3

    Never mind the plan; can I borrow your kids? They sound like fun.

  4. Leanne Rioux 4

    I was so looking forward to a pic of the hermit crab!!! Great article. I must say of the millions of blogs out there this is THE best one EVER!

  5. Philly 5

    Oh , how cute !!

  6. Well, at least their hearts are in the right place! What a hoot!

  7. Well I wasn’t expecting a hermit crab!!! That’s a lot of preparation for a hermit crab!

    Seven years ago my mother thought it would be fun to get all the grandkids hermit crabs. Ours is the only one still alive.

    Hey I think I have a new blog post….

  8. Stephanie 8

    I know my boys are attached to EVERY animal that they see. And we live in the country. The worry over every squirrel, lizard, frog, and bird they see. They worry about our dog and cat, too. I may have a big vehicle, but I don’t have the space for all the wildlife around here.

  9. There is no way we’re bringing 4 horses, 2 dogs, 1 goat, and 13 cats into our basement, much less the safe room which is reserved in case it’s really bad. We might try to grab the dogs from the kennel or the smallest kittens from the porch, but there are no guarantees.

  10. Lori 10

    We get reminded about emergency plans around this time of the year as well…hurricane season.

  11. cassie o 11

    that’s too cute!!

  12. That is fantastic! You are raising some conscientious boys there Noble…;)

  13. Oh what a hoot! Those Hooligans kill me… Don’t you just love Summer Vacation time????
    We do have an escape plan for people, but the critters… Now that would be quite the event…makes my head spin just thinking about it!
    Think Noah’s Ark…
    Seems we have critters everywhere! Latest resident is a frog.
    I think we will need to establish some sort of hierarchy – and toss in a bit of social Darwinism.
    He who is smart enough to figure it out on his own, survives/stays… extra points to those that assist.

  14. Ok I totally roared when I got down to “It’s a Hermit Crab!!” I’m thinking dog, cat, not a Hermie! Too Funny. I’m more worried about grabbing my three children and I only have two arms.

  15. The cats are the first to go. Their carrying cases are right by the door (because they’ve been traveling back and forth to the beach every weekend – yeah my cats are so abused!) and we are getting very adept at getting them in quickly. I think it is absolutely horrible that the shelters they set up for people in trouble will not take animals as well. For all too many, these pets are like their kids and it kills them to have to leave a part of their family behind. Luckily, I’m in NJ where the list of natural disasters is practically non-existent.

    We learned the hard way to have carriers at the ready. My mom had a fire in her house when she was the only one there. She got the 4 birds out (one flew away) but she lost a cat to the smoke. I lived about 10 miles away and by the time I got there she and the birds were out but she was frantic about the cat and the bird that had flown. All of a sudden, someone from two streets over came driving up and said he thought he had found one of our birds. There was a parrot sitting in the middle of his street and his wife was staying with him to make sure no one hit him. My mom and I went over and there was Humphrey just waiting for her to come rescue him. It was truly a miracle that we found him and that he was unhurt because by now it was 3:00 AM.

    So anywhooo, the cats’ carriers are close by, the dogs’ leashes are at hand, and the birds’ carriers are right in the next room.

  16. I would have bought it a couple of extra shells to grow into and told the hooligans that that’s all the hermit crab needed.

  17. If a natural disaster hits, Cosmo our cat would probably have a coronary because he HATES change and Ozzie he is a swimmer and if you open any door he’s out like a flash, so I guess what I am saying our plan is no plan :(

  18. You have a very well-cared for crab!!

    We have LOTS of pets and I’d like to say I would try to rescue them in an emergency evacuation–but, honestly, I think I would be so focused on the kids’ safety that I doubt I would be thinking about the pets.

  19. This is why I live in Michigan. We have no emergencies here ;)

  20. You have made me think……I have no idea what I would do with my I have to plan something….great…more to worry about. *smiles*

  21. Funny…a three year old hermit crab. I have a rabbit that is 9 years old. Their life expectancy is 5 at most. Escape plan…the 4 dogs and bird will go in the truck with us. I need to work on something for the rabbit and 4 horses. No horse trailer. Why did you have to make me think so early? Darn it.

  22. Marcy 22

    OMG that is absolutely hilarious!
    An escape/rescue plan for a hermit crab… /snort…
    When tornado sirens go off here, my daughter and I each grab a dog and head off to the bathtub … hubby gets the birds cage and he sits on the toilet lid. We all fit… then we listen to the weather, and the sirens and the storm raging around us. I think we would try to save the pets if a tornado actually did hit but can’t guarantee it:))
    Have a great day !

  23. 88661 23

    No escaper plan here…one can only hope!!!

  24. Karly 24

    I about died laughing when I read that your pet is a hermit crab! That’s hilarious!

  25. Trisha 25

    Too funny! I am glad that your hermit crab will be safe if anything happens to your home!

  26. Husby and I have yet to invest in a pet, though we are pressured by many!! I think I’ll have a baby before I have a pet. Pets are too restricting! I can’t just up and go when I want!

  27. that girl down south 27

    yes, a picture of the brave creature!

  28. This is all fine and good, but is your plan scalable? I mean, what would you have to do with TWO hermit crabs? Did you think of that?? Just kidding.

    We have two kitties and a basic escape plan. Obviously the success of said plan all hinges on what type of disaster and where the kitties are when it strikes. (If they’re asleep on the bed with us when the fire breaks out, my hubby will run them to the car as I grab Claire, etc.) If we can’t find them (they like to hide), they may be up a certain creek without a paddle.

    Your post was hilarious, btw. I’d totally forgotten you had a hermit crab and thought you got a dog or something. ;)

  29. Harmony 29

    At least the Hooligans can sleep well at night knowing that their pet will be safe at all times…good job!

  30. vanessa 30

    Hermit crab… amazing. In case of emergency I’m gonna grab the cats and carriers and go. I guess we can go into the subway station across the street but I’m thinking that could go very bad, depending on the disaster at hand. Man, now that I think about this, I am very unprepared and a little freaked out. Note to self, make a plan.

  31. Barbie with a T 31

    Just one word of advice to pet owners who have to evacuate…it would help a lot if you at least had your pet used to the idea of staying inside a pet carrier or kennel and keep a good supply of food and drink available in the event you need to evacuate. The rest will come a lot easier if the pet is not all nervous about having to get into a carrier or kennel in an emergency. Everyone will sleep better for sure.

  32. Good thing I wasn’t drinking milk when I read this. It surely would have come out my nose.

  33. HoneyB 33

    How sweet of your little boys to love their hermit crab so much they are concerned about him! :)

  34. Rayrena 34

    Oh your boys are too funny! That solidifies it for me though, when our two dogs pass, I’m not getting anymore animals. I can barely imagine evacuating with a kid much less animals and the last few years we’ve been readying ourselves for evacuation from the wildfires that creep up to our neck of the woods.

    Oh, the limoncello drinks were so good. My husband had a sip and said it was good. Then had another sip and it was really good. After another sip, he said “Wow, I could drink a lot of these!”

  35. Katie 35

    We had one when we were growing up but then again we had a tiny shih tzu. Now that we have big dogs I guess my husband will just have to carry them while I wait out on the lawn! :)

  36. My brother had a hermit crab that ran away from home (it’s shell). We JUST found the shell empty. We never found his little body. It’s not like he had another shell to move into at our house.

    … maybe he ran naked across the lawn to one of our neighbors houses?

    A streaker hermit crab … that’s newsworthy – haha

  37. This just slayed me. Your sons are so hilarious.

  38. Alisa 38

    I guffawed! You made me guffaw! A hermit crab? Can’t you just grab the handle and carry him out? I am so glad The Kids didn’t see that news report. It would take us near to two weeks to plan for all our pets! Again, your kids are adorable. And what a good mom you are to go through all that with them. I don’t suppose you’d be willing to map out an emergency plan for our zoo?

  39. Max 39

    LMAO! You are such a good mom ~ I am still laughing!

  40. Teri 40

    Well, I all moved and my computer doesn’t work… my sons does of course. so I had to sneak in his room while he is sleeping so I could read your blog! And of course you write something funny! Now I am laughing under my breath trying not to wake him up! Ha ha ha… funny and adorable story! So silly! Thanks for the funny way you write! You made my day… moving is so hectic!

  41. Mike 41

    rofl, sounds like a fun way to wake up. I had hermit crabs before…and I was always impressed with how long they could go without food and water. I later (like over a year) discovered as it turns out, they can’t–they just don’t smell when they die! lol, I’ve come a long way since then…

  42. What a thoughtful person… :)

  43. We have no escape plan for the Brute Squad. Since they sleep with me, we consider them “rescueable”! I plan to grab them on the way out of the house… even before my camera and cell phone!

  44. CJ 44

    I do worry about having everything I need for my six cocker spaniels and 2 cats in an emergency.

  45. freddie 45

    First of all i wrote my name in the security code and my email address in my name space and i was just about to leave a comment on my web site address… well, good starting…
    Anyhow, I had to visit your blog, how could I miss “noblepig???” Never again, promised.
    Serious stuff now. We only have a bunch of rather stupid hens in here and obviously a very cool rooster named Arturo. I’m really sad to say there’s no escape plan for them. They say if you scare hens they would stop making eggs, so please don’t tell them they have no run away in case of emergency, they are lazy enough as they are now…

    Wonderful blog!
    Ciao from Kazakhstan
    PS: now that you make me think of it I have no plan for myself neither… :-(

  46. sharon 46

    Your kids are precious. I’d say that’s one lucky hermit crab!

  47. Cathy 47

    Hi Freddie-

    I have a friend who frequents Kazakhstan often and he always talks about eating yogurt balls.  Do you know anything about that?

  48. Julena Jo 48

    Cathy, I thank you for sharing your life with all of us in cyberspace. I relish every installment, and today’s made me laugh aloud again. Thank you, thank you! A couple of thoughts popped into my head as I read today, though. First of all, there was no hermit crab photo, was there? Did I miss it somehow? I need a photo. Secondly, when you asked Freddie about yogurt balls, I almost lost it. Given that some of your entries are, shall we say…um…”colorful”…I am ashamed to admit where my mind went. *embarrassed*
    Anyway. Did I tell you how much I enjoy your blog? :)

  49. Liz C. 49

    Oh Yeah! I too, had an emergency plan in case disaster struck. I’d yell “Okay everyone down to the storm shelter… there a bad dirt storm coming!” Well, that’s about as bad as it gets around here except when rain meets dust storm, making it a mud slinging storm. Those are fun. Luckily, we never had to go down in the creepy storm shelter…

  50. Egghead 50

    Ha ha! Hermit crab. I used to keep a turtle for a short time until I overfed him and he really became slow, like dead standstill. Literally. Nope no pets right now so no emergency plan. Well except for the chickens. Must have eggs you know.

  51. Flea 51

    Dude, what the heck kind of toys does a hermit crab play with? And you don’t have a dog because …? Oh, wait, because you read my post about brushing the dog, right? :)

    Our dogs are family and I always have a plan for them lurking in the back of my head. The cat? Not so much.

  52. today my son was wondering how loud or quiet he would have to be so as not to cause an avalanche…we live in Manhattan.

  53. We don’t even have a plan for us except to go to the basement in case of a tornado.

  54. Terrie 54

    You really had me going…until I read the identity of this most beloved pet. LMAO! But above all, how wonderful that you’re raising two such compassionate little boys.

  55. Lennie 55

    You are officially the first person I have ever known who has a hermit crab as a pet. Your family rocks!

  56. melissa 56

    That cracked me up!! And aww, that’s sweet they want to save him. But still. *Laughing* The complexity of it all!

  57. You’re too funny! I don’t have any plan for pets, cause my pets are just borrowed from my oncles, but I used to have a plan for my dolls. I think I would save my laptop now…

  58. Erin 58

    Please don’t tell this to my children because I REFUSE to set up an emergency plan for R the fish.

    As far as the dog goes, well, I assume that since she never leaves me alone she’d probably just follow me right out. LOL

  59. Shirley 59

    Those hooligans of yours are the best! I laughed out loud when I read the pet in question was a hermit crab. Here’s hoping you won’t ever have to enact an emergency plan for any of you!

  60. OMG what a hoot! That gave me the very best giggle!!

  61. At first I chuckled, but then you gave me food for thought. I would grab the kitties, but I never gave thought to the hermit crab I’ve had for 3 yrs. And he is right by the door. Thanks to you, the hermie has an escape plan too!

  62. “This is where my days disappear to.”

    Cathy, darling – not that I speak from experience, but time spent with your lil’ one’s is time VERY WELL spent.

    Great job!

  63. Hey Lady! I’ve got an award for ya on my blog!

  64. Here’s our plan in case of emergency: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. That pretty much wraps it up; and we haven’t practiced it overmuch because we do it pretty much every day…lol

  65. We have them too, and Piglet would love a little hermmie hammock. 2 dos, 3 cats, 2 HC’s and 2 fish. Our plan is not planned. I will die saving the crabs and finally be a hero.

  66. OMFG…when you said “Hermit Crab” I think I might have peed a little. LOL I didn’t know hermit crabs played with toys?

  67. grace 67

    i’m such a sucker for animals that i always wonder what becomes of them during a crisis (and i should probably be glad that i never find out…). when i’m asked what i’d grab on my way out the door of a burning house, i always say my pooch. however, a hermit crab? the laptop might come first. :)

  68. That was a hoot. This is my first visit so I had no idea all this hub-bub was for a crab. Thanks for the laugh!! Although I can see where it wouldn’t be quite so funny before 7 am.

  69. ALF 69

    A hermit crab! Ha ha ha! I’m pretty sure I would die trying to make sure the pets got out with us. The dogs, sure, they follow me everywhere but the cat, that one will be tricky since she spends most of her time hiding from us.

  70. Mrs. L 70

    At 16 my cat hates change, hates the cat carrier and refuses to wear any collar of any sort. She’s also never been out a day in her life (okay except for that one day about 14 years ago and she was terrified once she realized she was outside). I know where the carrier is and we have cat food in our emergency pack. We also have folks we can take her to if our home is gone (of course if there is an earthquake big enough to displace us, it would probably displace everyone else too!)

  71. mindy 71

    Um, grab cat and run? Shoot, we have the carrier buried somewhere in the garage, as Simon is not a good traveler. Might have to revisit that, actually…

    I got a giggle out of your tenacious hermit crab!

  72. Elle 72

    Too funny!!!

  73. Tipper 73

    I’d like to borrow your plan for Ruby Sue!


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