Cat

About a week ago, Cat disappeared. She’s been an outside pet for years (there was no stopping her, believe me) and I didn’t worry at first—she’s been known to wander, and in the hot weather we had recently she barely came inside, preferring to lounge in the grass and absorb heat into her fur.

She always comes home at night, though, in order to power the contents of her food bowl and meander off to yowl at top volume outside Dylan’s room. After a couple days went by without seeing her we started thinking, hmmmm.

Once, after returning from a vacation during which we elected to leave out food and water (and a slightly opened window to the utility room, unsafe as that probably was) instead of boarding her, she didn’t come home for a few days and I thought the worst. Eventually she returned, a little scraggly-looking and extra raspy-voiced, but no worse for wear, and I’ve been hoping for the same happy outcome to this situation . . . but it’s been so long, and this time we’ve been home the whole time.

I’ve done the unpleasant missing-pet tasks: driving around looking for her, posting flyers in the neighborhood, calling the pet hotline, placing an ad on Craigslist. Yesterday I went to the local animal shelter and looked through their found pet reports and peered at all the jailed cats—so many friendly animals coming alive in my presence and issuing forth mrows and blrrrts and sticking paws through the mesh of their cages; me knowing some (all?) of them are surely doomed to euthanization—and they told me to keep checking back, sometimes cats don’t get picked up and taken to shelters for months, but keep in mind they’re only held for 72 hours. Jesus.

As each day goes by without her coming home I feel worse, guilty (no collar! No microchip!) and sad and jumping at every outside noise and rushing to the window. I hate not knowing, and the idea that I might never know, that she might never come home and we’ll never, ever know what happened to her . . . oh, it just sucks.

Every day when I’d come home from work she would emerge from her hiding place in the bushes along our front walk and accompany me to the front door, where sometimes she’d come in and sometimes the cacophony of shouting children would send her back out onto the lawn, where she’d roll and stretch and wait for things to quiet down. For a week I’ve been pulling in the driveway, and she’s not there. I keep looking out the living room window and she’s not there.

frontwalk

We turned the cat food auto-dispenser off so it would stop dumping food into a bowl no one is eating out of. Her bed is empty.

catbed

I was hesitating to write anything about her being gone, thinking, oh, she’ll probably show up as soon as I hit publish and won’t I feel silly then. But now I would very much like to feel silly. I would like to once again be driven half out of my skull by a pet who wants in, who wants out, who meows outside doors and bedroom windows, who occasionally crawls inside the dog’s food container to take a stealthy shit, who has been a giant pain in my ass ever since I took her home from the shelter when she was a tiny, evil kitten; who has lived with me in houses, apartments; in Corvallis, Portland, Las Vegas, Seattle; who has been a part of my life for over ten years.

“Where do you think Cat is?” I asked Riley a couple days ago, because I secretly believe children know everything we don’t.

“I think she DIED,” he said. “Because she’s old like Grandpa’s cat.”

“Well, no, she wasn’t that old,” I told him.

“Oh,” he said, and thought for a moment. “Then I think she’s on a cat vacation.”

I hope so. I hope she’s having a good time. And I hope she comes home soon.

119127788_79c9cbe06d

2579767584_6ed7963703

122763869_2daeda8400

499072033_3624a01211

2514025917_7e91510c25

387511206_77c23c368b

3119912822_12cabe6455

2269945387_f9207ba3de

2525212963_bff022284a

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
181 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
M
M
13 years ago

Oh. Oh, I hope she comes home soon from her “cat vacation.”

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

I’m so sorry that she’s been missing for so long. I hope she comes back from her cat vacation soon! Pets drive us crazy, but they are such a big part of the family.

EPMaxwell
EPMaxwell
13 years ago

Oh, I hope she comes back soon! You know how cats are… maybe she has another “family” somewhere that she’s adopted. Maybe she’s just visiting them right now. I say this because we recently had a cat show up in our carport and just stay. After a week we started feeding him and calling him Ceasar. I figured he was sent to me from Heaven- he was awesome with my 3 yr old, he gets along with my dog, and he’s super friendly. Anywa, he was always there ready to eat in the AM and PM, and after a month brought us some ‘presents’ (sorry poor litte mouse). Then we found out he’s our new neighbor’s cat!! They started renovations and moved his bed and food out to the shed, and he decided that wasn’t good enough for him, so he just moved to our house. The neighbor thinks it’s hilarious, and says we can keep him. (His name was Winston, but they like Ceasar better! hahahahaha…) Soooo, the moral is that cats are totally unpredictable and maybe this story will have a happy ending! I sure hope so.

Your pictures are sooo awesome. What a great tribute to a great pet!

Merrily
13 years ago

Oh, I hope your baby arrives home safe and sound.

Ashley
13 years ago

Oh Cat just come home already :(

Philos
13 years ago

Ohh, sad. I hope Cat comes back soon. My cat’s been demanding a lot of attention today (I think partly because she wants crunchies to eat instead of the chicken wet food) and she’s kind of being a nuisance, but I’d hate for her to disappear.

Mandy
Mandy
13 years ago

I’m so sorry Cat is missing. Ugh. I would be devastated if something happened to our dogs. When my husband called me a few months ago to tell me he’d found our door kicked open by a burglar when he got home, the only thing I was worried about was whether our dogs were okay/had escaped. I hope for your family that she returns very soon, none the worse for wear.

Beth in SF
13 years ago

Oh no, your kitty! We have three pets (2 kitties) and I know I’d be devastated. But, once my dad’s cat left for a week and came back pregnant, if that makes you feel any better…

MinnieK
13 years ago

Maybe Cat is with my cat, Maggie, who has been missing for almost a month. I write a pets blog for the newspaper I work for, and I’ve been reluctant to post about it, because then it will be really true. (Plus, what kind of dumbass writes about pets and umm… loses hers? And of course, then I’ll have to admit that she had a collar, but no tag or microchip. Might as well let Paris Hilton take over the blog.)

But, perhaps, they are on a Cat Vacation together, hopping trains across the country, seeing the sites, and one day we’ll be reunited with them Homeward Bound-style.

I can dream.

EvilKate
EvilKate
13 years ago

Listen my friend’s cat disappeared for almost 3 months and then one day just walked back into the yard meowing to be let in, like nothing had happened.

Here’s hoping CAT is just screwing with you a little bit.

Jennifer
13 years ago

Aw, Cat. Come on home, won’t you?

Your posts about Cat are some of my favorites and while I’m convinced she’s out there, somewhere, having a fantastic kitty adventure, I know your heart is aching.

We had a cat who disappeared once only to reappear weeks later looking a bit rumpled and considerably thinner but there he was, waiting for us when we got off the bus that afternoon. I’m holding out the same hope for Cat.

COME HOME, CAT!

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

hugs…I hate that feeling. I’d never had a cat until recently. Always was a dog person, but the boys really wanted one and then we found one and I love her. Then we got another (yes, 2 boys, 2 dogs, 2 cats) and I’m not sure why I never had one. But ours are also inside/outside cats and I often worry what might happen. We have dog doors for the dogs and they learned very quikly how to use them. I hope she comes home soon.

Ter
Ter
13 years ago

Awwww ::sniff:: Tenae (who could be Cat’s twin) and Phoenie Bean (my two kitties) and I are keeping our respective paws and fingers crossed Cat is okay and returns quickly.

ccr in MA
13 years ago

Thinking hopeful thoughts for Cat and for you.

H
H
13 years ago

Oh, this makes me sad. I can’t handle the thought of anyone losing a pet. I’m so sorry for you. I hope she comes back, and soon.

Allison
Allison
13 years ago

Oh, dear Kitty, come home soon! *sniffle*

papergirl
13 years ago

Our cat Henry did this same thing (we’re in Seattle too)- disappeared for days and days- we were sick with worry (did the posters and animal shelter thing) and started to give up hope. And then, one night at about 4 in the morning – he started tapping on the window. he was back! he was eating out of his dish! he was home! hubby and i were all teary and happy. don’t give up… she might be on her way home from her big adventure at this very moment.

upinak
13 years ago

awww, Cat is so pretty. I had a black kitty once. His names was bones, but I called him boney, he was an indoor cat though and he died peacefully in my arms. He was a rescue and i think he was around 16 when he passed. I think black cats are probably one of the best kinds as they seem to have some of the best personality.

I hope you find Cat. Or Cat just happens to just sash her way back. Animals have become like children to many. i know my 2 cats and 1 dog are my fur children.

Keep your head up.

kris
13 years ago

I’m sorry about Cat. I hope, as Riley says, she just took a vacation and will come back soon!

Kat
Kat
13 years ago

My children’s favourite cat went missing last year. She loved hunting mice in the nearby airport field so our biggest fear is that a fox hunted her. She was also absolutely the most friendly cat you could ever meet, especially with children. She used to walk into our neighbor’s house to say “hi” to the kids and get hand-outs. I like to believe that she went for hand-outs from an equally friendly family and decided to adopt them. I really hope that Cat comes home soon. If she doesn’t, think of the reason that makes you feel the best and believe it with all your heart; no reason not to, right?

Karen
13 years ago

Oooh, I hope your cat comes home!! My heart would be breaking if that were my pet.

Sandi
Sandi
13 years ago

She’s beautiful. And looks identical to my sweet Jade I had to put to sleep 2 years ago. I never got over it. I will pray that Cat comes home VERY soon. I know your heart is breaking. It’s the worst just simply not knowing.

Sarah
13 years ago

I’ve always loved that her name is simply, “Cat” and something about these pictures shows that she’s got a sly, wise, personality. I think she’ll show up when you least expect it – hang in there!

Lippy
13 years ago

Did you offend the cat? My cat had to be shaved (long story) and we kept laughing at him because he looked funny. He disapeared for 5 or 6 weeks. He didn’t come back until his fur grew back in. He must have been real pissed at us. My SIL lost her cat when she was moving out of her apartment. They looked for the cat for 3 days. Finally found her……in the wall. They had to get someone out to cut into the wall to get the cat out. She did not get her security deposit back. I hope your cat is found.

Tasha
Tasha
13 years ago

I really hope your cat comes home…I am a sobbing mess reading this and looking at your pictures is breaking my heart. I too have 2 cats and the sheer thought of them going missing makes my stomach sick. My cat went missing once though…who strangely enough looks identical to your “Cat” and it turned out she was up on the roof of our apartment building! You will definitly have to write when “Cat” comes back.

Donna
Donna
13 years ago

Not cat or ham cat? Noooooo! That so sucks.
I had a cat that looked just like her when I was a kid, he was a tom and used to fight with all the other neighborhood cats, and always came home beat to shit, but finally, one day he didn’t come home, and about 5 years later my dog brought home a mummified corpse of my cat who’d died out in the field by the house. So we found out what had happened to him, but I would have rather thought he was on vacation too.
And I had a female cat once that was gone for a week, tried to get into the house through the a/c on the roof where I had to go get her out, and she was pregnant.
I feel horrible that cat or ham cat is missing, it’s a whole world of suck.

Christina
Christina
13 years ago

My two favorite bloggers lost kitties…ugh. Both in different ways, of course…but here’s holding on to some hope that Cat will make her appearance SOON. Your stories about Cat always amuse me. And poor Swistle and her kitty. :( Boo! I am so sad.

Josh
13 years ago

Dude, that really sucks dick. I’m sorry about you cat, it seems pretty cool. I’ve never had a cool cat, all my cats have been undeniably crappy. But if I ever got one I would be bummed as all hell if it disappeared. I hope it shows back up, and if not, then I’m sorry.

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

I just saw this and feel so bad for you guys, and for cat who should be home, and hope Riley is right, that she’s on a cat vacation, maybe on her secretly stashed miniature Harley with other gang cat members.

She always seemed ageless and timeless, a magical cat whose fur never turned gray. For all her faux evil and arrogance she seemed really attached to the kids and the family.

Will say an extra prayer to the Cat God – who may or may not be Cat – send Cat home.

Colleen
Colleen
13 years ago

Oh, Cat. Sigh. :(

Cookie
13 years ago

I hope she comes home too. I wish you and Cat all the best. Cat, come home!

Michelle
Michelle
13 years ago

Sob. This is heartbreaking. I hope Cat comes home soon.

Jem
Jem
13 years ago

awwwwwww. I hope you end up feeling silly too. I knew this would bring tears to my eyes :( much love to you. And much love to Cat, wherever you are.

Samantha
13 years ago

I think we would all be amazed if we knew how long cats actually can live outside, on their own. Don’t give up hope Linda.

I’m not a cat person, but this made me weep.

Cheryl S.
Cheryl S.
13 years ago

Poor Cat! Come home soon, buddy!! I have a soft spot for black cats (I have one myself!)

Sarah
13 years ago

I’m hoping against hope that you end up feeling silly when this is all over. I hope for your sake that she returns to you! She is a beautiful cat – one that I would have snuggled to death despite my allergies and the chance of getting scratched.

*hugs*

Christine
13 years ago

I saw this on Twitter and hoped and hoped she would come back without this post. CAT come home! now. There is tuna in it for you I am sure of it.

Best wishes your way Sundry family. The not knowing is the worst.

Tela
Tela
13 years ago

Those pics are beautiful!!! Tears in my eyes. Been there before and sometimes they come home and sometimes they don’t.

You are probably sick of the “try this” comments, and maybe someone has already suggested, but the last time this happened to me it worked (after someone at the shelter suggested it)…go out late at night when its quiet and call for Cat. Sometimes something spooks them and they go into hiding, often very close to home. I thought they were crazy, I had been calling for a week and no response. Sure enough, it worked, she had been hiding 2 houses down under the porch steps.

I hope Cat comes home soon. Thinking of you Linda!

telegirl
telegirl
13 years ago

I’m sorry that you are going through this, it is hard never knowing. Our cat, Bailey, disappeared almost two years ago and it was really hard on me. Surprisingly, because she was such a pain and so skittish that she drove me crazy a lot of the time. But, after she was gone, I realized how much I really loved her. We, too, turned off the Auto PetFeeder and eventually gave it away. We’ll never know what happened to her. But I agree, A Cat Vacation, sounds like the perfect explanation to me.

Stephanie
Stephanie
13 years ago

GAH! You have my sympathies. Been there. Done that. It’s the worst :-( . Here’s hoping he’s just on a little roundabout.

Operation Pink Herring
13 years ago

The not knowing is just the worst. I’ve had a cat go missing, too, and it was just awful. But, that being said, mine turned up after TWO MONTHS missing. Here’s to hoping. Come home, Cat!

Jessica
13 years ago

I’m so sorry about Cat – my fingers are crossed that she’ll cut her vacay short and come home RIGHT NOW! Alternatively, I am happy to ship you my cat. She looks just like Cat, except she is gray (same face tho) – so it would be like Cat got her hair did while on vacation! My kitty is also a total pain in the ass – in fact, as I was reading your post she began the first of an all day in/out annoyance fest by whining to go out (she wants back in already).

Ok – maybe not. So I’ll just keep hoping for good news for you on the Cat front.

biscuit
biscuit
13 years ago

Sounds silly, but I’ve been praying for Cat to come home since I found out she went missing! Please keep us posted!

PS: LMAO @ picture of JB + cat + also the one of Riley + Cat in a scarf! wonderful Cat portraits!

Rae
Rae
13 years ago

I’m so sorry. I’ve been worried about Cat since your first tweet. I’m aching for you over here. I hope she comes back from Cat Vacation. It’s not the same, but I have to give away my cat next Tuesday. I had to move home after a job loss, and the whole family is allergic, so off Harold goes to a new home, because I don’t know how long it will be before I can move out again. I’ve been a weepy mess the past week in anticipation of his absence.

I hope you get your little fur-person back.

shelie
shelie
13 years ago

Ah,I’m so sorry to hear that. I kiss my cat on the head one nite told him to be careful and I would see him in the morning – to my dismay he never came back home- that’s been five years ago. Hopefully, Cat will come back to you – i know your heart is broken, mine still is – the not knowing is the worst.

Melissa D.
Melissa D.
13 years ago

Aw man, I’m tearing up over here. Beautiful pics. I hope she finds her way home soon.

Frannie
13 years ago

I’ve had the same experience. My last cat, simply named, “El Gato”, just vanished one day. I looked everywhere and went to the local SPCA to find him..I still miss him, because even though I have a new cat, she’s not as affectionate as him. Anyway, he went on sabbatical and just never came back. I hope you find her!!!! I also have a microchip on Cat v. 2.0 -get one if you can.

Bethany
Bethany
13 years ago

I sincerely hope Cat returns home soon…I’ve been worrying about it since I saw your tweets earlier this week.

mrsgryphon
mrsgryphon
13 years ago

Don’t give up hope yet – everyone has a story about a “gone for ages” cat who came back (my cousin’s indoor never-been-outside/declawed/wussy himalayan disappeared for 3 months and eventually made his way home!) It’s hard when they’ve seen you through so much and suddenly aren’t there so I truly hope she pops out of those bushes along your walkway soon.

P.S. Your fabulous photos of Cat have reminded me to take a few more pictures of our crazy calicos with the kids!

Leslie
13 years ago

Cat looks just like my cat Jasper. (Well, Jasper is his given name. We prefer to call him JackAssper.) I hope she comes home soon.