Thursday, May 5, 2011

gone missing

Yesterday, I was very unhappy.

The cat had gone missing.

Usually she's ready to come in around midnight but Tuesday evening Emma went out and I went to bed early. I expected to find her sitting outside one door or another in the morning which is where she waits til we get up when she has spent the night outside.

Only yesterday morning she was nowhere to be found and did not come when called. OK, no biggie. She's not shown up right away before.

By 11 AM I've put on long pants, shoes and socks, a long sleeved shirt and I am wading through the poison ivy in the wild space calling and looking for my cat.

You have to understand that this required an incredible act of stupidity bravery on my part as I am highly allergic to poison ivy. Even though it's been since early adulthood that I have been afflicted, I still remember how awful it is.

Living as we did in a woodsy area, there was probably not a single year that I didn't get a whopping case of poison ivy on my feet, legs and arms. At least I did until I finally learned how to identify it. Now, I can zero in on it at 20 paces.

My last big whopping case of it as a young adult was managed through pure stupidity on my part (no bravery involved here). I was living in a different wooded area and decided I would pull up the poison ivy growing in the vicinity, big thick well-established ropes of poison ivy. But, you see, I was wearing gloves.

After that I totally got it about poison ivy.

So back to the cat.

Didn't find her in the wild space and checked the streets and ditches with no sign of her and I needed to get to work. Surely she would show up but by 2 PM, still no cat. 4 PM, no cat. 6 PM, no cat. Now I'm convinced that something bad has happened. If she could have gotten home, she would be home already. The longest she had ever stayed out before was about 12 hours. At 6 PM it was only an hour or so from being 24 hours. She'd have been hungry long before now and would have come home.

Yes, I know, this a cat we're talking about. One who had proved her skills as a huntress by gifting me with assorted mice and voles over the years.

About an hour later I was standing at the back door gazing out into the yard at large trying not to give into my negative feelings and not entirely succeeding when I turned and went out the garage door and just gave her an unemphatic call. Not 5 seconds later, much to my relief, she came tearing out from around the back end of the new shop building, cutting a beeline to the gate of the fenced little back yard with all her hair standing on end as if she was being chased by the devil.

Naturally, I followed after especially since she didn't even spare me a passing glance, me who had just been shedding a tear over her demise.

I picked her up and carried her in, fur all filled with sticky grass seed and totally unrepentant, the whole time she's craning her neck behind looking to see if 'it' was still after her. Satisfied, she trotted off to her food dish.

Feed me.

I never did see what she was running from, (though later I did see the german shepherd, the one that got in the turtle pond, at the back of the property sniffing around) I don't know where she was all that time, but today, at least, she's been sticking pretty close to home.

The other thing about yesterday is that, while I was spending so much time outside looking around and listening for distress signals, I noticed several other things.

Like the small hawk that seems to be building a nest in the top of the pecan tree closest to the garage/shop.

Like the immature crow who was hanging out in the raintree. It was nearly as big as a full grown crow but didn't have any tail feathers to speak of and it didn't seem all too sure of itself. It's little 'Mama' cry sounded more like a bawling calf than a caw.

Like the little bunny family grazing on my neighbor's back half acre in front of the wild space 'tree' line. Two adults and a baby. Bunnies. Not the jack rabbits with their long ass ears and their long ass legs that we used to scare up when I was a kid living in that woodsy place.

So even though I feared the worst for my poor kitty, there was pleasure to be had in the other creatures around me.


  1. I'm glad she's home.

    And very glad that you have such a great eye for everything around you.

  2. little cat! oh i was not looking forward to the ending of this one but there you are . . . a major suckboy when it comes to little animals. i'm glad your little cat came home. steven

  3. I admit, I had to skip ahead to make sure she got home all right. She's such a beautiful cat! I'm glad she came home and set your mind at rest.

  4. So happy Ms. Independent decided to grace you with her presence, even if she had to be chased home.

  5. I was trying VERY HARD to not skip ahead to the end (I have firm rules about that), but like Fireblossom I almost did. So glad the silly critter is ok - and love that you were so observant of the life around you as you looked. I need to work on that skill - I'm one of the most unobservant people I know!

  6. What a relief! I was worried, too. I love happy endings.

  7. Wait, wait a minute Ellen. We know all about Big Mama, but who is this pretty kitty? I read through the whole post waiting to see her name, and nothing! Please introduce her to your readers!

    P.S. I'm glad she's okay :)

  8. Well isn't she a little tigress! A love a cat with attitude. Then again, don't they all have attitude? So glad she's safe and back home.
    And watch out for that ivy - I got a very, very bad case of it last summer (wrote about it, too), but I did something dumb while weeding. I didn't wear gloves. I still have a lot to learn, I guess. ;)
    (And all the critters--so sweet!)

  9. I'm so glad she came back. I keep my cats inside now. I had a cat that did what yours does. She went out every day for 12 years and one day she didn't come home.

  10. Its a relief when they finally come home - both of our cats have been extraordinarily good, it was the Border Collie sowing his oats that used to worry me! Husands chuckles of "Boys will be Boys" didn't help!

  11. I'm glad she came home and is okay. I can't believe how much your cat looks just like my Esmeralda. I miss her so much! Your description of everything you noticed in your woods around you, reminds me of home and I really miss my woods. :)

  12. Glad that had two happy endings - kitty is home and no poison ivy.

    Sure it wasn't the hawk that was hunting her? I know we had to watch our dachshunds when we live around them, they were forever trying to snag one of them.

  13. Scary when they don't return.I keep mine in late at night, to many critters to fight, bite and eat them.

  14. you had me ready for bad news, glad it wasn't the case!

  15. Oh, she was a lucky thing! Life is teaming with danger and possibilities out there. Who knows what she was up to. Glad she is back and what a relief for all of you.

  16. Glad she's back. I know all about these damn creatures and their inconsiderate habits.
    Frighten the life out of you, they can.

  17. For the love of cats...our cat is currently afraid of a very large stray that comes around in the evening leaving her scent around the house. We have seen Scout chased into a tree several times by this bully. We are exploring several options about how to address this issue.

  18. I was just out "puppy-proofing" my backyard yesterday, in anticipation of my new companion. Puppies are easier to contain than kitties any day! So glad your kitty found her way home safely and that the nature around you helped sooth your heart during the wait.

  19. Big sigh of relief there. I had a similar panic last week but didn't have to fret about it for as long as you did. I'm glad she's safe. Isn't it amazing what we notice and enjoy when we just stop for a while?


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.