Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Where are you Elmo?

Last week I realized that my Persian cat, Elmo, was missing. Elmo never goes outside (OK once he jumped out the kitchen window through a ripped screen, landed on Nero (our 150 lb dog), then jumped back in so fast you would have sworned there were springs on Elmo's feet). It took me a day or so to be sure Elmo was actually missing because sometimes he just goes off somewhere in the house and makes himself scarce for awhile. But I realized his calling cards were not in the bathroom sink (Elmo doesn't care for the litter box), so I started looking for him everywhere, worried that he was shut in a closet, or stuck inside the duvet cover of a comforter. I am not making this up. Elmo got "lost" inside bedding one time. What I finally found was an open window, with no screen, in Jim's study. I was so mad, upset, frightened, worried about Elmo! Much as I wanted to let Jim have it, I also realized, he had a few bigger worries on his mind right now.

I think Elmo had been gone since last Tuesday. We had a hectic weekend so I really couldn't get involved in serious cat searching for a few days, plus I kept hoping he would just show up again. Sunday evening, I broke down and realized he was not coming home, so I made posters and stuck them in the neighbor's mailboxes. No one would mistake Elmo for a stray cat who normally lived outside; I really hoped he had just adopted a new family that had better cat food than we did.

Early yesterday morning, ~4 am, I couldn't sleep, thinking about how to find my fur ball cat, so I got up and looked on line for a Persian cat rescue. It was easy to find the site for Northern California (http://www.persiancats.org/about/) and there was posted a picture of "Teddy" a blue Persian who looked exactly like Elmo, who was at a "kill shelter" in Solano county. For a minute I paniced until I realized that a cat who found it too much trouble to walk to the litter box when the bathroom sink is right here, was unlikely to have ended up in a shelter 100 miles from his home. Elmo had not been found. I headed for the kitchen to get a glass of water, thinking of poor Elmo starving in the woods or eaten by a coyote. I was feeling guilty for shoving Elmo from in front of the computer screen last week when I was trying to work. My "cruelty" had surely driven him to escape out the open window, looking for a family that actually cared!

When I entered the kitchen, my other two cats, Zoe and Oscar, came running out, thinking breakfast was early. Heartless animals who didn't even seem to miss their housemate, Elmo. Then I stopped because there was a thin, soft "meow..meow". Elmo? Right outside the family room door was a bedraggled blue Perisan cat. I couldn't believe it. My Elmo had survived a week in the wilds of California! Elmo accepted a few hugs, then squirmed out of my arms and ran to the cat food dish. He is again "playing the piano" in the middle of the night, leaving cat droppings in the sink, and blobs of gray fur on the kitchen counter. Boy I really missed that cat!


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