Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Missing Day Of A

 The whole thing started at breakfast, when The Ravishing Mrs. TB asked if I had seen A the Cat.

I had not, as it occurred; usually he comes boiling up when I get up in the morning for a brief round of attention, followed by rather insistent requests to have the Catio opened up for him.  The Catio door was open when I got up, so I assumed that he was out there.

No, he was not.

She had made the rounds of the house, so I made them again.  The only places he could have gone were the front yard, back yard, or the garage.  We checked each of those. I had been up in the attic the night before checking a noise; did I look there again?  I did; no cat.

I made a circle out of our front door, calling out "A" and shaking his bag of cat treats, which he will always come for.  Nothing.  I came back to the house and activated the microchip service; The Ravishing Mrs. TB posted on her Social Media.

But life goes on, missing cat or no.  Or in my case, starting the morning with a biennial physical.

I managed to push the events out of my mind until my way home - then, about two miles out from our house, I caught sight of an orange form on the road.

Oh, !@&@*.

I pulled over in a nearby parking lot and scooted out to the road.  It was an orange cat that had been hit head on by a car.  It looked too orange and too small to be A and there was no color, so I put it to the side of the road and drove home.

And then drove back.

I have a rule, when I can practice it, that no-one dies alone - or at least, lies out alone.  I have brought home doves destined to die and rabbits hit by cars and mice and buried them all around the house.  No-one deserves to rot if possible.

I was pretty convinced it was still not A, so I found a spot and buried him.  On the off chance A was outside I put out water and food out both doors and in the garage, having left the attic access down.

And somehow tried to make a day of it.

A missing or sick animal is only second to a sick child in its ability to completely derail your train of thought - or my case, my work day.  I was about 30% focused on work; the rest of the time was spent stalking the front and back of the yard, going in the garage, climbing up in the attic and going almost all the way back, and checking my e-mail to see if there was an alert.  Still nothing.

But in the back of my head, I still wondered about the cat I had found.

Finally, when everyone else left the house, I called my friend at the rabbit shelter.  Would it be okay, I asked, if I used their chip reader to see if I could find something.  Of course, she said.

And so I re-unburied the cat, but him in a laundry basket wrapped in a second t-shirt, and drove to the rabbit shelter. I checked with both scanners:  I could find nothing.  That was not definitive as my friend said the microchips could move around, but I did the best I could.  And then back home, to re-bury the body.

Someone had to go to pick Nighean Dhonn up from school and I volunteered.  Driving out there, I was planning the rest of my evening:  when the sun dropped down a bit, I would get the snack bag and try walking the local streets again to see if he would come out.

Driving my daughter back, she got a picture:  The Wandering A had been found.

Nighean Bhean  had opened the door to the garage and found him there, sitting and drinking water from the bowl without a care in the world.  From the fluff in his whiskers, he had apparently spent his day in the attic, avoiding all of our searches, and then meandered back down (those are about 8' ladders, if you have never climbed one) looking for all the world as if he had been there the whole time.

The whole family rejoiced in the reunion; A, aloof as ever, seemed a bit put off by the whole thing and apparently seriously questions why we were concerned about him being gone.

The orange cat I found I buried a bit deeper, now assured that I would not have cause to need to find the body again.  I do not know its life; I hope its spirit can rest a bit easier in death.  I will try to find something nice to plant over it.

It strikes me as odd, how this little balls of fluff and fur can have such huge emotional impacts on our lives.

14 comments:

  1. There’s nothing odd about it TB. Cats are rotten bastidges by nature, and compliment their human counterparts on the psychological level.
    😉

    It’s been well over a decade and a half and I still miss ours. Congrats on recapturing the little blighter, all is well that ends well.

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    1. Glen, somewhere I have seen - maybe on your site? - the meme that states that if the world was flat we would know because cats would have pushed everything off of it.

      All is well that ends well, but it is amazing to me that in only the space of a year he has come to occupy such a big space in our lives.

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  2. Anonymous4:32 AM

    I'm glad he turned up fine and healthy. Cats and dogs get inside our heads, no matter how much trouble they can cause. Our cats are pretty independent (except at feeding time when a person is their 'Most Favorite Person' :^)

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    1. We are glad as well. It is odd how two days ago we were grumbling about the constant furniture attacks and how suddenly you miss them. And yes, nothing brings out the affection in a cat than food.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. robert orians5:40 AM

    There are people that "bond" extraordinarily to critters . Louie Bromfield wrote about it quite a bit in his non-fiction works . The American Indians termed the condition as being " touched by the Great Spirit". When they raided a village ,settlement, or homestead to pillage and murder the folk , if they came upon someone that was "tetched" they would not harm that person . They said that if any brave were to harm that tetched person the Great Spirit immediately brought severe retribution upon them . So it ain't all bad !

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    1. Robert, I can believe it. There are people that simply have a relationship with animals that go beyond most in a way I do not fully understand (although I wish I did!). I do think it has a lot to do with patience though - animals require a lot of patience to become comfortable with humans, something we in our rushed society ignore.

      Would that we had the same kind of respect for animals as those of the past did.

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  4. He was on a mission and couldn't afford interruption. It is amazing how focused some can become... especially if a nap is involved. I'm happy for the reunion!
    ~hobo

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    1. He was, Hobo. Apparently one he could not explain to the rest of us, but on a mission.

      He has been pretty happy today spending the day out of the heat of attic.

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  5. Good on you Sir for giving the deceased cat a proper burial!

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    1. Thank you Sir. Perhaps too little too late, but at least he or she has a decent resting place.

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  6. Centuries from now, someone is going to be excavating your backyard and pontificating about all the animal sacrificing that must have gone on there.

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    1. It may end up being my one claim to fame, Ed. I should plant other religious items to confuse the issue.

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  7. I'm so glad this story had a happy ending. Even, in a way, for that poor little orange kitty, since you gave it a proper burial.

    Yes. They definitely work their way into our lives. We buried a dog this weekend. I grieve for him, but he was 12 and had dealt with prostate cancer for the past year. So in reality, a blessing. Our pack is aging. We've lost 4 in the past two years and only one of the remaining six is what I'd call "young". Death is inevitable, but that doesn't make it any easier when it happens.

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    1. Kelly, that is the hardest part, knowing that their time with us is far shorter than we would like it to be.

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