The ring is lost inside the house!
September 15, 2008 9:57 PM   Subscribe

Okay. Lost a ring, white gold, somewhere in my apartment. How can I find it? Possible co-culprits: cats.

I've already gone most of the surfaces where it could be. Looked over and under the couches, under the rugs (my cats love hiding coins under the rug, so I figured the ring might befall the same fate). Checked out all the tables, searched through bags and backpacks and the most likely drawer suspects.

I think it was left on a table and either fell off or got knocked off. There's a good possibility that one of the cats picked it up and played with it (they love playing with coins. I try to grab them [the coins] whenever I see them but I seem to excel at dropping loose change around and then the cats pick the coins up with their mouths, bat them around, etc., but never eat them). I hope neither of them ate the ring! Is something like that even possible? If they did eat it, how could you tell, and would it show up at, um, the other side?

I guess I'm also wondering whether it would be worth renting a metal detector if the place to be scanned is an apartment. Is it possible to tune one to only pick up gold and gold alloys? Otherwise I imagine everything else metal would set it off.

This is an old apartment, the kind where there is a little hollow or hole near every doorframe and underneath all of the floor trim. There are lots of nice gaps in the flooring too, but I'm pretty sure they're all too small for a ring to get through.

So, any ideas?
posted by Deathalicious to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
Take a sock and rubber-band it to the end of your vacuum's hose nozzle thing, and then go indiscriminately sweep things with it. The sock will keep the ring from getting sucked into the abyss, and you won't have to comb over your apartment on your hands and knees with your face 10 inches from the floor.
posted by phunniemee at 10:15 PM on September 15, 2008 [3 favorites]

If you'd like, I'll ask my Grandmother to do her little Saint Anthony prayer. It envolves saying the prayer three times and then jumping up and down three times. Saint Anthony is the patron of lost causes, by the way. My Grandmother is 80, but she can totally still do the jumping thing. She swears this works wonders.

(You might wanna try the vacuum thing, you know, just in case).
posted by neblina_matinal at 1:38 AM on September 16, 2008 [4 favorites]

Get a torch and get your face right down to the floor. Shine the torch around and look for reflected light - things show up better when you have your eyes on the right level.
posted by tracicle at 2:56 AM on September 16, 2008

Before you empty it, check the litterbox. (My cat dragged in my mom's favorite glasses 5+ years ago, and she still won't stop bugging me about it.)
posted by whatzit at 3:37 AM on September 16, 2008

Have you looked under the refrigerator or stove? If it was your cats, I'd put money that's where it'd end up.

Yes, its possible for cats to eat it. It may come out fine, or it may get stuck in their intestines or cause a teart. If you think its a good possibility they ate it, time for a vet visit. If not, just keep a close eye on them for odd behavior, and be ready for a mad dash to the emergency vet. (I regularly read a pet forum, and sadly, this type of thing happens more than you would expect).

Another thing to try: Enlist a friend to help you look. When I lose things, I often gloss over areas I regularly view. I'm sure its some kind of mental shortcut. So I get my husband to help and whatever I am looking for is almost ALWAYS somewhere I thought I covered already.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:56 AM on September 16, 2008

(St. anthony is the patron saint of lost *stuff*, St. Jude is for lost *causes*. Thanks, mom.)
posted by notsnot at 4:12 AM on September 16, 2008

Similar situation here and we went with the metal detector. Which worked well finding all sorts of stuff but not the ring, which turned out to have been lost in a completely different location and eventually surfaced a month later. Our ring was lost in a garden - I don't know how you're going to go in an apartment with nails, joists, wiring and so forth. If you're going to go with the detector, have a chat to the hire place first and ensure that you get something with enough sensitivity to discriminate between nails etc and jewellery.

And n-thing the getting a friend to help. A fresh pair of eyes works well.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:21 AM on September 16, 2008

My calico is a notorious jewelry thief, and she always deposits her spoils in her food dish (and eats around all the ooh! shiny!).
posted by ferociouskitty at 4:21 AM on September 16, 2008

(I stand corrected. However, St. Anthony also handles all the unrequited love stuff, and I like to think that trumps St. Jude. Come on, lost stuff and love..? Can't beat that.)
posted by neblina_matinal at 7:01 AM on September 16, 2008

I've had good luck with the flashlight (torch?) method suggested by tracicle. If you lay the flashlight right on the floor, any shadows cast by the ring will be long and big (picture how your own shadow gets on the sidewalk in late evening when the sun is low). It makes it a lot easier to spot things like rings or earring-backs that have fallen onto the floor.
posted by vytae at 7:40 AM on September 16, 2008

I've had good luck with the flashlight (torch?) method suggested by tracicle.

"torch" is British English for "flashlight".

If you have heat registers or radiators, look underneath. My cats' toys always seem to end up under the registers, usually covered in 2" of dust bunnies. And if you don't find it right away, don't give up! Keep looking every now and again. These things have a way of surfacing months later, especially once the cats find it and play with it again.
posted by vorfeed at 9:20 AM on September 16, 2008

Don't just look under bulky furniture, flip it to the side if at all possible. The number of things my cat pushed under the sofa that were hiding off of the floor stuck to the underside of the cushion base was amazing.
Also, under bookcases and the fridge. I would definitely crawl around with a flashlight peering under the cracks at the bottom of the walls, as well. Good luck.
posted by 8dot3 at 1:42 PM on September 16, 2008

neblina_matinal: Wow, I am not a Catholic but your Grandmother jumping would be totally awesome, so please do ask her. And I'm glad St. Anthony is the saint of lost items rather than lost causes. I do not think the ring is a lost cause yet!

We will be going through all of the recommendations in turn; sounds like the metal detector is a no go but our vacuum is totally getting socked. Thanks so much everybody. Once we've tried them out I'l award best answers. Really you all deserve them but I'll stick a gold star sticker on my monitor next to the one that actually finds it [SERIOUSLY].
posted by Deathalicious at 4:01 PM on September 16, 2008

Update: Found.

It was under a suitcase. I wouldn't have imagined there was enough space underneath it, but the cats managed to shove it under there somehow. Although none of the techniques hit it spot on (I guess 8dot3 was closest and gets the golden star) they were all useful and we tried most of them (short of the sock on the vacuum).
posted by Deathalicious at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2008

Glad you found it, thanks for updating.
posted by 8dot3 at 8:19 AM on September 19, 2008

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