Like one of my babies, my cat Spots is rarely photographed because she's so often in my arms. Her habit when she needs some purrs is to find me wherever I am, whether it's writing or sewing or molding sticky wax into candles, and weave her body back and forth against my face until I stop what I'm doing, pick her up, hold her against my shoulder, and love on her while she purrs loudly. When she's done, she jumps down and wanders off, and I fruitlessly brush at the fur all over everything before picking my work back up where I left off.
Here's one recent photo that I managed to snap of her, however, giving me her patented "I see that you're not petting me. Care to explain?" look that I love so well:
For our recent vacation we planned to leave the cats alone in the house, as we usually do, with a friend to stop by a couple of times a week and play with them. I did so many things wrong this time, though, and made so many bad decisions, and was given absolutely no forgiveness by a series of just awful coincidences.
Our old house had interior doors that were stiff and wonky, and when you put them somewhere, by gawd, they stayed there. This new house, however, has a newer section to it with lovely new doors that easily swing closed and actually latch, of all things. It never even occurred to me to brace them open so that a cat wouldn't accidentally get trapped in a room. Sometime just hours after we left for our vacation, based on the state of the litter box in that room, Spots must have gotten trapped in our master bathroom.
Our old house didn't have any high windows, over my sight line, but this new house does have one, in the master bathroom. I closed all of our other windows, but I didn't notice this one. Our cat sitter came to the house two days later, so if this window had been shut, she would have discovered Spots, very hungry and suffering from dehydration, but certainly still alive. Spots is the brightest of cats, however, so it doesn't seem to have been long until she discovered this high window, and with determination must have finally managed to jump up to it, pull the screen down on top of her, jump to it again, and make her escape out of it.
I did call my cat sitting friend a week later because, of all things, our chickens had escaped from THEIR sitter and I was frantic and upset (they were found the next day--our friend had left them alone in the yard for a few minutes, they'd heard a rooster crowing from across the street, and immediately made a beeline over to join that flock. That flock owner gamely kept them until she saw my friend's flyers), and the cat sitter mentioned to me that she hadn't seen Spots all week, but distracted and completely unconcerned about the cats' safety in their secure house, I brushed her concern off with the idea that "Oh, she must be hiding." I don't know why I would say that, because Spots isn't a hider in particular, but I was so worried about the chickens that I didn't even let it cross my mind that something could be wrong at home, nor did I think to mention it to Matt. So it naturally didn't bother our cat sitter, who's dealt with hiding cats before, when she never saw Spots, and with two other cats in the house, there was no way to tell that one of them wasn't eating, drinking, or pooping there.
And that's how nobody knew that Spots was missing for possibly two entire weeks, not until we got home from our trip at 3 am on Sunday (we'd driven from the Nebraska/Wyoming border that day) and Spots wasn't there to greet us. Since then, I've called and listened and called again. Matt's visited all the neighbors for a great distance. He's driven me back and forth to call and listen and call again from farther away. We've made flyers and posted them. I bought an ad in the newspaper, dialing myself back from a $59 four-paragraph ad with a photo to a $9 four-line ad with a description and two phone numbers. Thanks to a friend's recommendation, I connected with a lost-and-found Facebook group for my town, and have kind strangers sharing my post and being on the look-out; I have more kind Facebook friends doing the same. Matt's left food out at our old house in case Spots makes her way there, and he'll be posting flyers there and talking to neighbors tonight. We'll hopefully be posting more flyers just everywhere; with the drive-in traffic, it's possible that a kind person found a hungry Spots and took her home with them to any place. The humane society has our info and so does Spots' microchip.
Here's my Craigslist posting for Spots; if you're somewhat local, I wish you'd share it as you can. It's my hope now, I suppose, that someone rescued Spots, saw that nobody was looking for her, and took her into their family because she's just that wonderful. But if they see that Spots is deeply wanted and desperately missed, they can give her back to me, because I am just so heartbroken without her.