I came home to a distressed house on Tuesday night. The cat was nowhere to be found. My husband had checked all the usual napping spots. He had also climbed under the deck and walked the woods looking for him. Our cat didn’t pounce into the room for a snack or his dinner. We concluded he’d snuck out the door behind one of us earlier in the day.
Our night wasn’t the same. There were no nap cuddles during TV. Caper didn’t climb onto the pages of my book. I didn’t feel kitten paws walking across my body as I drifted off to sleep.
In the morning, his cat alarm didn’t meow to be fed. He didn’t come for his saucer of milk before I left for work. There was no black cat in the window as I drove away.
All day long I thought about how I unknowingly fed our kitten to the fisher cats. The woods behind our house would certainly be unforgiving. It was too far to a fresh water source. His kitten paws were too indoor cat sensitive to survive the cruel outdoors. I felt guilty all day long for losing our family pet.
After work, I met my husband at a baseball game. We had dinner there and stayed till the ninth inning. I got home first and found my way to the back of the house in the dark. I dug out my key and opened the door for the dog. When he saw me, our pug meowed instead of barked.
Once the sound registered, I froze. I listened to the night. The meow got louder. I ran back into the house for a flashlight. I descended the steps and saw two hazel eyes in my beam! He didn’t burrow back underneath the deck.
He just meowed again and waited for me to pick him up.
I just said his name again and waited for the tears to drop down.
The cat was home!
I grabbed a book and sat in front of the TV to fall asleep until my husband got home.