Then A Miracle Occurs ... (posted by Lani)
Do you remember this cartoon? The scientist, stumped in the proof of his theorum, who uses that to get from Step 1 to Step 3? It always amused me, and just like that scientist I can't think of any other way to explain this.
What is this? Well, let's start back in June. On June 14, 2009, somehow our back door was left unlatched. Three of our cats got out. One of our cats came back, eyes and tail huge and scared to death -- that was Himari. We found one cat in a tree, WAY up in a tree beyond the reach of our 30' ladder, and after spending several hours under the tree in the dark in drizzling rain (Seriously. We're that crazy. We rigged up a tarp and a sleeping bag and a light shining on the tree and spent the night there.), Steve coaxed her down -- that was Jasmine. One of our cats ... disappeared. That was my Onyx, and I grieved and grieved over him. We searched. Our neighbors searched. One neighbor set his hunting dogs on the trail. We put up signs. I asked random strangers I passed on the road or saw at the gas station. I lived on Craigslist, sometimes checking it three times a day, the Boulder Craigslist, the Denver Craigslist, the Rocky Mountains Craigslist. Nothing. Every now and then a glimmer of hope, but always turning out to be nothing.
Our cats grieved, too, especially Himari. She searched for Onyx herself, crying inconsolably. In desperation I took in another cat, a 10-month old gray boy we named Chenault, and Himari attached herself to him and calmed down. So, life goes on; Chenault is a sweet and funny little cat, Himari's need to love another kitty is satisfied, and I'm still checking Craigslist because I just can't give up, but I'm doing it a little less often. Every day instead of three times a day. Then every other day instead of every day. Then maybe twice a week. Every time I see 'Found Black Cat' I write; every time I write I get back a 'Sorry, we already found the owner' or 'Sorry, this is a female' or 'No, this cat has a white patch' or another variation on that theme.
Then a miracle occurs.
It's been almost five months. I'm down to only checking Craigslist every few days, and sometimes when things are busy not even that often, because while my heart can't accept that Onyx is gone my head knows that he was probably dinner for some wild animal that same night. Steve and I have gone out of town for a few days, things are hectic when we get back, and it's probably been a couple of weeks, when I pull up Craigslist and there it is. FOUND: Black Cat. It's way down in Littleton, that's probably 30 miles from here, but I mail anyway, it's habit. And I get a mail back; everything I've said matches, including the timing. This cat just appeared in the neighborhood, nobody knew where it had come from, it was there for several months before the Craigslist Angel and her daughter finally coaxed it to come to them. It's solid black, neutered male, the vet says 3 to 4 years old, and so on. Multiple emails are exchanged, and I drive to Littleton that night completely prepared for it to be another false alarm.
It's Onyx. How did he get 30 miles from home? How did he, a pampered, fat, spoiled black cat, survive for almost 5 months on his own? Who knows, but he did.
He's different now; he's skinnier, he's all muscle and no flab, he's afraid of things he wasn't afraid of before including the other cats (which confuses them no end; they stroll up and try to rub up against him or lie down with him and he freaks out), he has some scars. But he sleeps with me every night again, he nibbles my toes again, he follows me around being Onyx Underfoot and wanting to be with me every waking moment. Steve says we'll never win the lottery now, because our luck for a lifetime was just used up. I say -- it's worth it.