About 3 years ago Our Cat went out and didn’t return.
For the first 6 months, we had some hope.
For the first year, we didn’t give up.
At the end of the second year, we figured he was dead.
About 6 months back I got rid of some of the “cat stuff” we’d likely never need again.
Today we got a call from the Animal Shelter. A lady who “had been feeding him for 6 months to a year” had coaxed him into a cat carrier with wet food and brought him in. She lives about 4 miles from us, near as we can figure.
The sound my wife made, hollering for me from the living room when getting the phone call, was, er, intense. Eventually she managed to tell me what the call was about… He had been “chipped”, and someone finally wanded him; surprised that a dirty scraggly ‘stray cat’ was not really a stray; or had not always been a bum… running from the law… So we were called, and they found that he had a family and friends who would “make bail” and vouch for him.
So today, after paying over $100, we have Magic back. He was named “Magic” as he could escape anything. I’ve lost count of the number of neck collars he’s dumped. Once he got out by pushing a window screen about 1 to 2 inches away from the frame… Once the head is through. the rest just flows. He has a particularly long and sleek build.
We were charged some laundry list of fees. $20 / day for the two days he was ‘boarded’ even though they said they were supposed to call us yesterday when he was turned in, but forgot. We were charged an “un-licensed cat fee” and some misc. other fees. (It would seem that one is to keep the cat licensed even when that might be a posthumous license… just in case…)
OK, I’m just happy to have Magic at home.
At first he was a bit overwhelmed. I suspect he’d gotten lost and could not find home, so “made do” and figured he was never going to see home again. After about 5 minutes, he started walking the house and doing his old ‘tour’. Rubbing chair legs in the dining room. Checking the bath tub for water (for reasons known only to him, he likes water from the bath.)
As he is “a bit skinny” I’ve picked up a 1/2 dozen cans of wet food. He’s downed 2 of them (and a can of tuna that was all we had when first bringing him home) in 6 hours. Making up for lost time ;-) Now he goes to the food dish and just looks at the food, wishing to eat more but unable, I think… then looks at us. We pet him and that makes it all better. For both of us.
For the next couple of days, he’s an ‘indoor cat’ as we all get used to each other again.
If I get a chance, I’ll take a picture of him and add to the posting tomorrow.
As it stands now, it’s like looking at a ghost brought back to life.
For us, and for the cat, I think.
I don’t know how “Cat Years” compare to “Dog Years” or “People Years”, but figure it is like being gone for 15 or 20 years and suddenly being “home again” for him. He is about 11 years old now. So went “walkies” at about 7ish to 8. Not yet geriatric, but not as spry as he once was. Being low on food for few years has not helped his build. He can (and did in the past) catch various birds and rodents; but that’s not an easy life for years on end.
He was jumpy the first few hours. If we made noises with “stuff”, or even just walking near him, would cause a small tense moment. We would get “that look” of cold evaluation. Then softened to just a “Oh, ought I worry?” Now he is prone to just sitting in the hallway, watching us as we come and go; with his familiar old “quizzical look”. Remembering, I think.
It will be interesting to see how all of us, cat included, adjust.
But for now, March 10th is a very good day.
Even if I do have to go buy a bunch of new cat stuff.
Update 11 Mar 2013
a couple of ‘quick snaps’ of Magic. Not a lot of photo effort in this, just point at cat and snap. I’ll likey do more / better later, but for now you can see what Magic looks like. He is sitting in my Daughter’s lap.
Yes, it’s a bit dark. The room was dark and this is my ‘pocket snaps’ camera, not the ‘see in the dark’ camera. (Fast, cheap, but not good. “Fast, good, cheap – pick any two. ;-)” Didn’t want to ‘flash him’ in the first picture.
You can see his characteristic “milk chocolate mustache”. He has a distinctive ‘long and sleek’ body, that has also gotten ‘bony and thin’. He’s about 1/2 his full weight by my guess. The facial pattern and large eyes are also easy to pick out of a crowd at the “Kitty Jail” ;-)
Here is one “with flash” that gives a better idea of his color, but he declined to look at the camera for this picture:
His fur is already looking better, having had some / much of the dirt brushed and combed out of it over the last 12 hours or so. Getting a bit of shine from the added fat in the diet too, I think.
I’ll see if I can get his permission to take a couple of better pictures later in the day.