Last Tuesday, I adopted two cats. I’ve been missing moggie company since Lilith died – and was over the moon at finding that these two needed a home.
Upon arrival, they shot behind the chair and sofa respectively, but, poor beasties, they had no idea where they were or what they were doing there, so I made sure they had food and water and litter, and I left them alone. I also made sure that the catflap was closed.
Thursday morning, I was half-woken by the catflap hitting its nail. A moment later, I was fully woken by the sound of the flap opening and closing properly. It took a moment to register – then I was outside in my dressing gown and fitflops in the darkness and the wind and the hammering rain, trying to find them.
It’s funny the thoughts that go through your mind at half-one in the morning in a howling bloody monsoon – how the hell do I tell Angie that I’ve lost her cats? What do I tell my son? My family? Why didn’t I shut the kitchen door? And under it all: Poor little cats. They have no idea where they are, they don’t know to come to me for shelter or help. They’re panicked and lost and alone… and yes, of course I was in tears.
But all the horrified regret in the world doesn’t fix something that’s broken – I could find no cats. And a worried lack of sleep then followed.
In the morning, I was overwhelmed with relief to discover one cat actually still in the house – Coco was safely ensconced under the folding chair. Pixie, however, was – and is – nowhere to be found.
So, for the last four days I have been on the phone – the local vets, the animal shelters and hospitals, the Cats’ Protection people. I have been out putting flyers through people’s doors – and learned a whole new respect for the local postie. I have been trying to attach posters to lampposts in the teeth of the worst fucking April rainstorms we’ve ever seen. I’ve gone out again to put the posters back up where weather and wankers have torn them down. I’ve filled in website forms, hung bags of peed-in cat litter on the back doorhandle, and patrolled at five in the morning and half-ten at night, ratting a packet of Dreamies. I’ve met more neighbours in the last few days than I’ve met in the last few years…
…but still no cat.
In a way, it’s actually worse than losing a cat of my own (if you see what I mean) not only because the poor cat doesn’t know where she is, but because Angie trusted me with her, and I’ve let her get away. I’ve done everything I can to find her (the people systematically removing my posters, whoever they are, are leaving me in a storm of utter foot-stamp frustration) and I’m running out of options.
But I can’t stop. If I sit still I feel like I’ve abandoned the poor little thing to her fate. I’ll keep patrolling and keep putting those posters up until the cat comes back (or I find the motherfucker who’s moving them).
For the moment, there’s no more to say. Pixie is pictured above, she went missing on 26th April from 17 Grove Avenue, Sutton, Surrey – she has no idea where she is and she’s probably terrified. I think about her, and it makes me understand why people need to pray.
The good news is that Coco is settling well, he’s come out from under his chair and is eating and purring and playing as a happy cat should.
I just wish he hadn’t lost his friend – I think he worries about her too.