Our cat went missing. Not the new cat, the old cat. She’s a good yet reclusive pet. It took us weeks to integrate the two of them and I’m not just gonna let her go. Besides, can a family of six be complete unless they have at least four pets? Seriously, why would we ever have ten beings who consume and eliminate food living under one roof? Someone should have said no to this ridiculous increase long ago! Don’t ask me who – someone with more backbone than me.
We noticed she was gone Thursday. She has hidden for extended periods of time before, but after a thorough search of the premises, we realized she was not indoors. Thus began our search and rescue.
We started by walking up and down the street calling out her name. Wait, we would have started by doing that, but we never really have given her a name. So we just called Kitty and clicked a lot, completely ignoring the fact that she has never so much as inclined her head toward us when called…or clicked at. The only thing that came at our beckoning was our neighbor’s horse. I sized him up to see if he would be an adequate replacement, but he was completely the wrong color and I worried a little about the size of my litter box.
After the sun set, I posted two guards at the back door and commenced the stake out. The Commandant (me) made his rounds for inspection only to find the two teenage guards sleeping. It seems the batteries to their electronic devices had run out, leaving them nothing to do. I was about to rip into them like a monkey on a cupcake until I saw an eerie set of eyes through the window. The cat!
Assuming the cat wanted back in, we all rushed the scene noisily with search lights blazing and promptly scared the crap out of her. She ran away from us and we didn’t see her again that night.
Night #2. I set one guard along with her charger (fool me once) and went to bed. Around 1 am, I was roused and told the cat was back. Using a calmer approach, we slowly walked in her direction and sat down. She recognized us and without the high-beam flashlight blinding her out of her mind, allowed herself to be captured.
Once she realized she was safely inside her familiar home, she laid down in her usual spot and promptly slept for two days. The thrill of it all left me staring at the ceiling for an hour, pondering several things.
1. Does she care about us in more than a “feed me, then subject to me” way?
2. Did she really want to be caught?
3. What made us think that a cat who has never been outside could recognize the exterior of her home?
4. In case of a dystopian apocalypse, I need to trade in my teenagers on someone who will actually guard something sans electronics.
5. Why would anyone name a cat? One might as well name a roll of tape for all the attention paid to it.
Before drifting off to sleep, I recall having the strange sensation that I was being watched by the cat. I would like to think she was pondering her adoration of me, her rescuer. But I am fairly certain that after two days in the wild, the hungry feline was sizing me up for a snack.
Photo attribution: Patrick Feller (Flickr)