Thursday, February 4, 2010

Missing: One Adventure Cat

It’s been two and a half days since we've seen Hektor, our “Adventure Cat.” During bitterly cold weather, we keep the cats inside. On Tuesday morning, Hektor and Veto begged to go outside to play. The temperature had risen, so Little Guy released them from their enforced confinement. Hours later, Veto returned, but Hektor has not yet made an appearance.


Hektor is Little Guy’s cat. I’ve written about him before. (See here.) We refer to him as our adventure cat because he loves to explore.

Cats demand independence, and it’s a cat’s nature to disappear. Sometimes he reappears days or even weeks later and refuses to tell where he’s been. Indeed, even as his (so-called) owners are rejoicing over his reappearance and showering him with affection, the cat looks at them with impatience. “Enough already,” he seems to be saying. “Where’s my dinner?”


Several years ago, Veto went missing. We combed the neighborhood, but more than a week passed with no sign of him. Finally Dr. Lobo and Little Guy visited the animal shelter to see if he’d been picked up by Animal Control. Not finding him, they returned home, despondent. When they drove into the driveway, they spotted Veto sitting on the porch. He looked at them with disdain, communicating a definite message: “Where the heck have you been? I’ve been waiting and waiting to get inside.”


Our neighbors’ cat disappeared about this time last year. He was gone for weeks. One day he sauntered in, and family members were ecstatic. He stayed for two days before taking off once more. They haven’t seen him since. Go figure.


Hektor has gone AWOL before. Last time, after several days of searching the most likely places, Dr. Lobo and Little Guy began to look at more remote possibilities. Squirrels had chewed a hole in the eaves between the floors of our house. Little Guy was perched precariously on the extension ladder, peering into the hole, when he heard a faint meow. Dr. Lobo, who was near him on the upstairs deck, heard it too. Encouraged, they called to Hektor. Then the meow was louder, but it wasn't coming from the hole. It was coming from the missing Hektor, who was no longer missing. Hektor lay on the deck next to Dr. Lobo, straining to look at Little Guy hanging from the ladder. The expression on his face said, "Whatcha doing"? He was in great shape. He was not hungry, thirsty, or even dirty. We have no idea where he’d been, and he wouldn’t reveal the secret for all the canned salmon in the house.


We hope the current episode has a similar ending. We hope Hektor is enjoying a grand adventure and will show up unscathed. We’re leaving the cat door open, listening for a familiar meow, and hoping our adventure cat will hurry home.


Oklahoma Granny said...

I so hope your kitty will return soon.

Marla said...

I hate the way our cats come and go. Don't they know we need them. Hope your kitty comes home soon.