Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Missing Cat

My cat is gone. The cat I got when I first got married (our first child!), Ashley. She was a lovely little Russian Blue with beautiful gray hair. She has been a daily part of my life for the past 16 years and 2 months. Ashley was an indoor cat up until June of this year. She had no interest in stepping outside of the house, but suddenly she was streaking out of the house every time there was a crack in the door. She would push her way through and leap out into the yard. It was all really weird, but after a week of trying to discourage her she became an outdoor cat. She would come to the back door and bang the screen door to get my attention. She would act all frantic as if she were a starving orphan (when she ate not 20 minutes prior) I would open the door and she would race through the house to the front door (where the food was) and persistently exclaim that she was HUNGRY! And she did not want to eat inside the house, she demanded that her food be served on the front porch. Weirdo.

I brought her in the house every chance I got and she would claw her way back outside. She simply decided that she was now an outdoor cat. And her personality changed completely. Our other cat (Emmie) goes in and out of the house as he pleases. He has been the ruler of the universe for many, many moons. But as Ashley gained her new independance she became very fiesty. Ashley used to watch Emmie steal her treats and sit quietly by, but outside she became the Queen of Everything and suddenly Emmie was taking a backseat. I watched in astonishment as Ashley would literally push Emmie away from the food as she took the lion's share of whatever she wanted. It was like Bizarro Cat World. Everything was totally backwards and opposite.

Until Saturday, August 8. Hunk was awake at 4 am, not sure why. He said Ashley was at the back door. Nothing unusual, she was waiting for breakfast. When I awoke around 7 am and went to feed her, she was not there. She hasn't been back since. I have worried and searched for that cat everyday since then. I have come to the realization that she is probably not coming back.

I've made flyers, visited Animal Control, etc. I know that no one would let her stay inside their house because she shits everywhere (she is old and had lost a lot of control), also her insistance to be outdoors. We had our house carpeted in puppy pads for her problems, so when she decided to take it outside I admit we were a bit happy. I have a hard time believing that she was just old and died in her sleep, because of the tenacity she was showing the day prior to her disappearance. I would like to think that she just died of old age, but I have visions of her meeting a coyote, or getting hit by a car (not TOO likely, we live in the sticks) and it just haunts me. I HATE HATE HATE to think she might've suffered, or needed help and felt all alone. But she is an animal, she was equipped to handle herself (she had her claws) and she WANTED to be outside.

At times I feel irresponsible for letting her go outside, but then again, I feel like it is the right thing to do to let her be where she truly wanted to be. We have a LOT of land, and while I can't control the animals I feel that she was completely safe from any man-made dangers. I felt better that Emmie decided to stay outside once she was out there - they were fierce friends and I felt that *maybe* they would look out for each other. Emmie continues to look for her everyday, he is lost without her and he has not left the front porch since she has been missing. He absolutely will not come inside the house - I guess he thinks he might miss her if she returns. He is no doubt a sad cat.

I just miss her. Not knowing is just the WORST part. I keep looking at the back door, expecting to see her little gray face getting all frantic as if she hadn't eaten in months. I'm longing for the way she got underfoot to swirl between my legs to let me know that I was indeed "her person". I'm just sad.