I’m always behind writing this so, it’s Sunday, Oliver has been using his cap flap for three or four days and from his first tentative steps he seems to be getting his bearings, or so we thought.
He had gone out earlier and come home but as we were going out for a quick ruby we noticed he was still out, not a major problem as he was used to his cat flap at home and so we assumed he would be home upon our return.
Now this is the countryside and it seems to me that most of the time it’s half day closing, compared to the town where I would never get home before midnight.
I think we left the Indian at about ten thirty with the distinct feeling that we had overstayed our welcome, what a change from town where I would get annoyed if my local Indian wanted to get anyone out before midnight; they say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone!
However when we got home Oliver was still out and we had another drink and called for him to come home, with no luck, eventually at the horrendously late, (for the country) hour of twelve we went to bed expecting Oliver to be there in the morning.
Imagine my shock when I got up to take Diane to the station and Oliver was still out, alarm bells are ringing, he’s been eaten by a fox, or run over by a combine harvester, or scared by the deers in the wood has fallen in the stream and drowned.
We phoned to see if he had been found as he is chipped, but there was no such report, in retrospect a good thing as he was at least still alive.
We went on the interweb, as you do nowadays for everything, where it said cats are very resilient creatures and if they have been scared they go into survival mode and can be away for at least two weeks before they come home.
They advised making posters as soon as possible, which we did and went round the local area putting them up and searched around for him as we went along.
The rest of the day was taken up calling and whistling for him until it was dark and quiet enough for us to go and look for him, which obviously happens at eleven o’clock in the country.
It was a freezing cold night, so with some trepidation we set off in search of our darling boy, Angella suggested the woods first, so as she is used to living in the country off we set, her leading and me fumbling along behind; my God, I’m not surprised he got spooked, if that’s what made him run off.
Rabbits abound here running about as soon as you get close, then the deer in the distance and finally as you walk slowly along all of a sudden a bird flies from the trees, I nearly shat myself!
Some hours later we came home somewhat dejected and decided that all we could do was to go to bed and resume the search early the next day.
This being Monday, which is by far the longest Oliver has ever been lost I was getting a little despondent but Angella bucked me up and we carried on, sadly to no avail yet again.
Tuesday, another day with more of the same but at least by now my normal optimism had kicked in and I was thinking that we would either find him or he would walk back in with a nonchalant air as if nothing had happened.
Very late on Tuesday having spent all the day and night searching for him we were coming back to the house calling out when we heard a meow, one that I knew straight away as Oliver, the only problem was we couldn’t see where he was.
More calling and meowing enabled us to pinpoint him in the corner of our own garden whereupon he started to trot away leaving us to follow, desperately trying not to scare him into running off again.
In the end he trotted off round the corner of the house, over the back gate, round the patio and straight into the cat flap!
He was very hungry but not too cold, suggesting he must have found shelter as the last few nights had been bitterly cold.
Having fed him and lavished love on him he then had the audacity to turn round and try the cat flap to go out again, no luck there as we had the foresight to lock it the minute he came in earlier.
Well a happy ending I’m delighted to say, he is as we speak happily sleeping on the sofa, dreaming of his exploits of the last few days, the only problem now is how to stop him going off again when we open the cat flap again.
Answers on a postcard!