"Americans used to say where there's a will, there's a way. Nowadays, it's where there's a pill, there's a way out." - - Burnt Toast

Gulliver's Travels

Earlier this year my favorite cat, Wildcat, disappeared from Camp Burning Toast.  We didn't think much of it at first as we were used to his frequent disappearances, sometimes two or three days at a time, sometimes longer.  But this time it seemed different.

After a week, I was quite worried.  After two, I was fearing for the worst.  Regularly, I would ride around the property on El Kabong with the hopes that the engine noise would help draw him out of whatever obscure hiding place he was in.  My mind would drift often, conjuring up images of him flattened or being hit by a car and slowly dying in the scrub alongside a road.  Or worse yet, a potential encounter with coyotes of which there a many.  Legions, in fact.  I would try to right myself and not think of such things, but after all he was my favorite cat.  A cat who was much like a dog.

Over the last few years he had a regular habit of meeting me at the top of the hill near the gate where he would happily climb in the truck for the two hundred yard trip down to the house.  I missed him each day when I turned the corner at the gate and he was not there and I couldn't enjoy his silly companionship in this simple act of bonding.

Eventually, my searches became less frequent but I had never really given up hope.  I never felt inside like he was gone.  I imagined that he had simply moved on like many of my cats have before.  Black Kitty left and I am pretty sure that I see him from time to time at another house up the road a bit.  Something was always nagging at my heart with Wildcat.

On one fine, hot summer evening my better half and I were outside pottering around in the flower garden when my love shouted in a breathless and unbelieving voice: WILDCAT!  And there we was trotting up the gravel drive, filthy, emaciated, and injured badly on his legs.  I just couldn't believe that after almost two and a half months he was finally home.  I don't think he could quite fathom it either as he was somewhat cautious during his approach, at times galloping on his bad legs, but stalling every now and again to take another look as if his eyes didn't understand what he was seeing.

We finally coaxed him into the house and naturally the other nine felines had to investigate the new arrival.  Cats can always sense weirdness and are of course curious and what was going on was only compounded by the emotional vortex of what we humans were experiencing.  Needless to say Wildcat was starving and in pretty bad shape.  He had a festering, gaping hole in one foreleg and another injury that seemed to be healing relatively well considering his overall condition.  He was covered in grime, fleas, had a few ticks, assuredly intestinal worms, and just looked like hell warmed in a microwave oven.

In between gobbling up mouthfuls of food and milk and grumbling at his investigators, he eventually simmered down and took a long nap.  We were infinitely relieved about his return and immediately hatched a plan to get him to the vet the next day to make sure his overall health was in check.

He recovered well over the next couple of weeks after some antibiotics, a bath, and some down time at home, but it didn't take him long to return to his rambling ways.  He doesn't stay gone as long, he's back to the two or three days stints, but every now and then we won't see him for a week.  Lately however, his has been home in the evenings, almost a regular as rain.  And he still likes to take a ride in the truck or on El Kabong, but he has changed just a little.

I suppose I would change too if I were lost God knows where for 2 months.  I often ponder what goes on in his little cat head about his ad-, or, misadventure really, but there is no way that I will ever know what happened, where he went, or what he saw.  He lives with it and I can only be happy that he is home.


No PC Views –   – (Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 5:27:00 PM CST)  

"a regular habit of meeting me at the top of the hill near the gate where he would happily climb in the truck for the two hundred yard trip down to the house."

When I was a baby, we apparently had a cat called Mr Ruggles (although it was a she), who used to meet my dad at a fence post at 3 in the morning when he got home and sit on his head for 200 yards to the caravan in a farmers field. It's a long story, but there was a post war housing shortage .... When she died my dad was apparently upset for weeks, and we moved to a house shortly after that.

Nice post, mate.

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