I've tried to do my best to shout this from leafy treetops and local coffee shops (and Twitter!) but in case you have not heard my hoarse, empassioned hymns, HC is home!!!!
After going missing on May 21st and the most devastating week+ that I can remember, I carried her 5 blocks down Milwaukee Ave on Friday night. For nine days I went to sleep and woke up thinking she was eating out of dumpsters or worse. Streets/Sanitation AND the pound on speed dial. Eighty fliers. Twelve phone calls from neighbors. Ten friends on active search and rescue duty. Seven local businesses with in-window fliers. Three heartbreaking false alarms. Two days of Jaimeson-led, Navy Seal quality ground coverage. One HoneyCat now home safe and sound.
So what happened? The details as best as I've bee able to put them together are as follows. A woman (Liz) several blocks north had a tortie housecat who ran away two weeks ago. Liz's leg was broken and was not even able to search for herself. Her friends however were scouring the neighborhood and came across HC, on her regular rounds. They mistook HC for the missing pet and brought her to Liz.
Now Liz is a cat lady (like myself althought I prefer "animal person of current feline persuasion") . She knew HC was someone's pet but dear girl was not wearing a collar (stabbing self emphatically in heart with air-knife) and she couldn't conceive of just returning her to the street (though she likely would have meandered home, beside the point). So she kept her and HC used her missing cat's litterbox and ate canned food (TURKISH DELIGHTS!) and slept with her at night (considering this as a necessity like wartime lovers, I cannot take this personally and am comforted). Company for a cat-less gimp, as it were.
And because Liz's leg was broken, she did not see these signs. The signs that appeared to stop neighbors in their tracks like a shattered bottle in the sidewalk. So many calls. So many people who just wanted so badly to help.
I say that because a flier at one such local place caught the attention of one of Liz's friends. She brought it to her on Friday evening. Friday evening, the day after Jaimeson left. The evening I was preparing for an annual celebration when I didn't really feel like celebrating. So I was trying make myself more festive by getting through 3/4 of a bottle of rose` with Molly and my next door neighbors.
I may have been a little tipsy. When Liz called, I asked her to describe the cat. She just goes "It's yours. She has a stripe down her nose, a gut, massive green eyes, a tail that thwaps and she sleeps with me at night."
And I just started running. No cat carrier (jinx). No wallet. Just running up Milwaukee on a busy Friday night. Rosy from the rose` and feeling like this might really be it. Liz hobbled down the stairs with her broken leg and HC in arms. And do you know what I did? Guess.
I started crying. Go figure.
She handed off HC who tucked herself right back to her normal spot on my shoulder, though not terribly happy with the busy streets. And we walked home. People would stop and tell me what a cute cat I had. I would hiccup at them "She'smy (heave) catandshe'sbeengonefor10DAYS (heave)andwe'regoinghomeRIGHTNOW(sniff sniff, frightening smile, heave)!!!!!"
HC and I have been relatively hard to separate since then. Even during the Garden of Good and Evil Party yesterday (more on that later), I couldn't help continually going to say hi. She even watched the Evil portion of the party intently from my window.
Fast forward to today and moving forward with new house rules. Even though HC was keeping up her end of the coming home bargain but was effectively "cat-napped." She is now not out at all unless I'm home and outside. No more commute, successful or not. She also has some new jewelry she'd like to share with you...the Dolly Parton of cat collars, of course. Turquoise with rhinestones, a bell and a license with her name and my number on it. Lesson officially learned the hard-way-with-a-happy-ending.
This (below) is from the garden this morning. I think all the good thoughts you were sending our way had a lot to do with the way things turned out. Karma and all that. A hearty, loving, purring Namaste` from both of us.