Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lost & Found

Itchy and his brother, Scratchy, were born in my backyard about three years ago. Since then, I'’ve taken them in and fed them and given them their shots and gotten them neutered...all the right things a good mommy should do. I've let them be indoor/outdoor cats because I can't bear the thought of declawing them, and since they were born outside, they seem to like being outside most of the time.

Then Itchy went outside on Friday night, October 14th, and didn't come home the next morning. Or the next day, or the next day. Sometimes in the past he has stayed away for two or even three days, but he has always come back. Now, after four nights, I was starting to get a little worried.

Itchy is also incredibly friendly and loves attention. He meows constantly, whether he wants your attention or not. So my guess was that he'd just wheedled his way into someone'’s heart and home, and my hope was that he wasn't lying dead on the side of the road somewhere. Nevertheless, my worry-wartiness was getting the better of me, because I went ahead and made up "Lost Cat" signs to post around the neighborhood.

Of course, as soon as I finished printing out the first sign, Ray informed me that Itchy had shown up at last. I went out to the sunroom/cat-room to alternately hug him and scold him for making me so worried, and he acted as if nothing had happened. In fact, an hour later, he was meowing to go out again. I didn't want to let him out, and I made him promise to come back. He looked at me with that enigmatic cat look, as if to say, "Well, of course I'm coming back. You have food here."

When I got up this morning, there he was with his brother, waiting to come in and have breakfast. He brushed by my leg and went straight to the food bowl without so much as a by-your-leave. I'm thinking he's still mad at me for putting his tick medicine on him (the cats hate it when I do that). Or he could just not have any sense of the passage of time whatsoever. Or he could be cheating on me with another family down the road. Who knows? I'm just happy he's back.


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