Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Cat's Big Adventure

When I was 21, I got a cat.  Growing up we always had animals, and I always knew I would be a person who had pets into my adult life.  At 21, I was living with my friend Whitney and her cat Snapper.  After about a month in our townhome, we decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to get Snapper a little friend.  So, after perusing around PetSmart one day and holding about 10 different rescue kittens from the humane society, I finally decided that I needed to take one home with me.  Best decision ever. 

My cat and Snapper quickly became besties, and it was not an uncommon occurance to walk into a room and find them spooning one another.  There was only one problem...Snapper had a hankering for the outdoors.  Upon entering our townhome we had to make sure we only opened the door enough to slip out bodies in without leaving room for Mr. Snapper to make a run for the backyard.  You can imagine this led to many drunk evenings stumbling through our neighbors' yards in high heels trying to find the cat who had mysteriously slipped out as we wandered into the house at 3:00am. 

After graduating college, Snapper and my cat bid each other adieu as me and my furry child heading for our own apartment.  I quickly realized, however that Snapper had had quite an influence of his protege and had passed along his love of the great outdoors.  If left open, my cat would often wander onto the balcony of my tiny apartment peering down at the great paved paradise below him, curiously wondering what it would be like to set paws out the door of our apartment.  His afternoons were spent lounging in the window of my bedroom, cackling at birds and basking in the sunlight.  I often wondered what he dreamed about in the 20 hours a day he spent sleeping, but if I had to guess, his dreams were filled with tall grass, new smells, and chasing small creatures.

Upon our move to my first house, his adventurous spirit only grew.  Having tasted the outdoors sporadically over the last few years at my parents house (he was allowed to wander our the dog door at their place while cat-sitting), I could tell that his thoughts became divided solely between purring loudly, walking on me while I slept, and quietly planning a great escape.  Quite often I would come home from work or running errands to see him sitting in the window or at the front door staring blankly out as if in a trance.  I couldn't totally blame him though.  Despite having provided a loving home for him where snuggling was a morning and evening requirement, food was abundant, and pony-tail holders were a-plenty (his favorite toy), I can see where he felt his life was destined for something more. 

A month and a half ago, I moved in with the boy.  A month before that, we installed a dog door that led into our backyard so our dogs could come and go as they pleased.  I felt confident that upon making the move with my cat, it would be permissable for him to take advantage of the same freedom we offered the dogs and explore the backyard as well.  His life long dream would finally be coming true.  The first week in the new place I kept him in our bedroom with food and water just until some of the boxes has been unpacked and the chaos of the move was in check.  By Friday that week, I let him out to explore that premesis and went on my way to work.  Upon returning home that night, my furry boy was nowhere to be found in the house.  It was understandable could new terrain be fully explored in a matter of hours?  It simply cannot. 

By Sunday, my cat had still not made an appearance at the foot of my bed for morning and evening snuggle sessions.  It has since been over a month, and he has not been back.  Though I am incredibly happy to be living with my sweet fiance, I feel as though a part of our little family is missing.  K and I have known eachother for 4 years, so he has spent a lot of time around my silly cat.  Even though for the first 2.5 years I knew him, K affectionately referred to the cat as "Shit-for-brains", I know he secretly loved him too.  It's weird not having him scratch on the bedroom door in the middle of the night, or jump up on the bed just as we're settling in to sleep, or purr louder than the tv when i lay down to watch a movie. 

In the first few weeks of his adventure, we called for him nightly, spread the word with all of our neighbors, called the animal shelters, visited the animal shelters, and found no sign of him.  When I adopted him, I had him micro-chipped, so I had hoped that I would get a call at any time saying he had been found, but that call has not come in yet.  Many scenarios have gone through my head on where he is or what fate may have befallen him, but I continue to come to the same conclusion: He is on an adventure.  Our neighborhood is not surrounded by any major roadways, nor is is surrounded by a wooded area where other animals may have come across him, and weighing in at a cool 15 lbs on his last vet visit, it unlikely that his frame would lead anyone to believe he is a stray. 

So I am comforted with the thought that he is finally having his big outdoor adventure, or perhaps just an adventure with a new family who thought to give my lost kitty a home.  A couple weeks ago I came home and the boy had put up the litter box, and this past weekend I finally put away his food bowls.  It's a tricky situation trying to decide when to move on.  The last couple weeks we have tentatively discussed whether to get another cat at some point.  I'm not sure that I will be ready for a little while, but I think after 6.5 years with my sweet kitty, I am too accustomed to having a cat about the house to go without for too long. 

Anyways, here's to my sweet cat and his big adventure...he will be forever missed.


Anonymous said...

Sweet Baby is loving his great adventure as you say and no matter the outcome, you have cherished memories with him as all of us do of our furry friends that have shared their lives with us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and emotions. Love ya!

Lauren Holiday said...

This story made me cry!! Although I am sure he is loving his outdoor adventure, it still saddens me that you miss your friend. But hey, did you hear the story about the cat who lived in Ohio I think and about 5 years later he was found in NYC, perfectly healthy?? Now he is back with his family, fat and happy! Thank God for micro-chipping :-)

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