I just got back from a drive which started three hours ago. And I have a gift, an unexpected one.
I have our cat.
Our cat disappeared four months ago.
We’ve had her for seven years. But when we moved to this new house in August, she got out too quickly – and must have become lost, unable to find her way home.
We walked all around the neighborhood, calling her name. We put up posters. I searched the ads for ‘found cats’ and even called a few. But no luck. She had disappeared – it seemed for good.
I told myself and the children that she must have gone across the street to where the fields roll on for several miles, verdant with hay, trees in the distance, cows grazing here and there. She was always a good hunter, I said. She just wanted to move out to the real countryside.
We still missed her.
But Christmas is coming, and it was time to get a cat in the house. I don’t really believe in homes without cats. I’ve had them, but there is an aura missing from the moment one walks in the door.
We looked at the cats for adoption at the pet store, on ‘petfinder.com’, in the posters tacked up at the market. None of them seemed exactly right. But this weekend I’d decided we were going to get a cat (or two) and I called the shelter to find out if they were open tonight. Yes, she said, they were open. We could come down and fill out an application.
Adopting a cat has become a bureaucratic business. You have to have references and prove that you have a proper home for the cat. You must wait until you are ‘approved’ by the ‘agency’. Then you can dole out the close to one hundred dollars per cat that it takes to adopt and take your cat home.
I was getting rather tired of this whole thing. I remembered when we first brought Pavlova home, from the local vet where we lived out in the countryside. Cats and kittens were valuable and beloved things in this rural area, but they were readily available without too much fuss, to anyone who was ready to care for them. But those times were gone, and town living demanded the paperwork and the proofs.
But I’d go pick up the kids from school, I said to myself, and off we’d go to the shelter to do it.
For some reason, just before walking out the door, I clicked onto Craigslist/Pets. I’ve never done that before. Scanning down, I saw a few for adoption. I was hurried, it was time to go – I was already almost running late. I was just about to click off the site when I saw it:
Black female adult cat, six toes on each front paw, found in area, for adoption.
The note had been posted three weeks ago. Could it be Pavlova?????
I called the phone number, and was astonished when someone actually picked up the phone.
To make a long story short, our cat is home.
How she got to be an hour-plus drive out into the countryside, over hills and dales and one-lane covered bridges in a small two-room ramshackle propane-heated house on a dirt road where two lively young white-tailed deer stared at the car as we drove by staring at their beauty, to stay with a kind woman who fed her along with her own two cats till this rather miraculous day twelve days before Christmas, on the exact day I was setting out to gather one or two other cats into our own home – is a mystery.
Pavlova can sing. She purrs and mews and will not eat her supper unless I sit with her to keep her company. But she can not talk, to tell us what happened.
But Pavlova is home.
Pavlova, is home!