Saturday, December 03, 2011

Prodigal Cat

I wanted to give a little update on our little escapee.

Charlotte has been even more social and cuddly than before since returning home from her two-week "adventure." I guess she missed us—or realized how good she had it here in the warm, dry house with plenty of food and people who love her! She often spent the days on our bed before, but now she's on the couch most of the time, since Claire and I are in the kitchen/family room most of the time. And if we're all up in Kate's room, putting her to bed, Charlotte is there too—our family of five on the little twin bed.

Since Kate was asleep when Charlotte made her amazing return, mowing at the back door after dark on Nov. 18, I was curious how she would respond when she realized the cat was back. Since she had gone to bed at 5:30 (falling asleep in the car), she woke up at 11 pm, when I found her playing with some of my stamps in the office/scrapbook room off our master bedroom. I went in and knelt next to Kate, telling her she would need to get back in bed, when Charlotte walked in.

"Charlotte's back!" Kate announced. "Now you not be sad anymore!"

I thought it was so sweet that that was the first thing she thought of. Indeed, Kate's main association with Charlotte's disappearance was how it made me sad. When I was crying the day we realized Charlotte was missing, Kate asked, "What's wrong, Mommy?" and I told her, "Mommy's sad because Charlotte is missing." And for the next day or two, Kate and I would talk about that occasionally.

A week or so later, when we were driving around the neighborhood slowly, looking at front yards and porches (Matt and I both looked like robbers casing the joint for those two weeks, taking the long way in and out of the neighborhood whenever we would go somewhere) Kate asked me, "Are you still sad, Mommy?" When I said yes, she paused for a moment and then said, "You not sad! You not crying!"

I was, but I honestly refused to let myself mope around beyond that first day or so—with a brand new baby at home, and valuing my two human children more than my beloved "first child," I had too much to be happy about to let myself wallow in sadness. Nonetheless, it was such a joy to have Charlotte return. Though she ultimately came back on her own, I still owe a debt of gratitude to my wonderful in-laws, who searched for her, hung signs around our neighborhood, and called shelters for us.

It's truly amazing that she survived, with no front claws or experience living outside, or a microchip or tags to help if someone picked her up. She now sports a nice collar and tags—and sounds like a small dog now, jangling around the house! I took her to the vet the following day just to get checked out (and since I'd slacked off on getting her shots ever since Kate was born) and the vet said just how lucky she was.

She's a lucky cat indeed, and we're a lucky family!


Kristen said...

I just love this post. We have had two (!) cats get out, never to return, so my heart broke when I heard that Charlotte had gone missing. I'm pretty sure I cried when I read your FB post that she had returned. :)

Also, I think it goes without saying (and sometimes I feel like an "over-commenter" so I've been showing some restraint lately ;)) but I have enjoyed your past few posts about your human girls, too!

freddie s said...

I am so glad that Charlotte has returned! Kitty Meow Meow and Black Jacquelyn are indeed part of the family. I dread the day when one of my "babies" bites the dust. Unconditional love is a beautiful thing.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin