The gray cat named Blue didn’t come home from the afternoon walk. Usually, that in itself, is no cause for the Missus to go into full panic mode, not yet. Yes, on most days, the Missus, her dog Juno, and Blue go for a walk in the neighborhood.
The scene of a woman with a fat dog on a leash being followed by a trotting cat as they make their way down the street is slightly strange to begin with. Most people don’t take their cats for a walk. It’s entirely voluntary on the cat’s part though. She patiently waits in the vicinity of the dog until she sees Juno’s excitement and the leash come off the hook. She then waits at the end of the driveway for the walk to proceed where she immediately falls in behind the dog, jogging along to keep pace. The procession has turned the head of more than one passing motorist.
Blue, if you recall, is strongly suspected of having mental problems. She is the one who constantly scans the skies for asteroids, Japanese Zeros, and UFO’s. A knowledge of the cat’s erratic behavior will help you to understand what happened yesterday.
Blue, you see, has this quirky habit of disappearing midway through the walk. One minute she’s there at her usual place in the column, and then—POOF—she’s gone. The vanishing act usually takes place on a dead-end road with heavy woods on either side. There she hides and wait’s until the rest of the troops pass by on the return leg home. But sometimes the cat misses her cue to fall in. Does she go to sleep and fail to hear the footsteps? No, because the Missus always calls out with her ear splitting KITTY, KITTY, KITTY call upon approaching the area. Whatever the reason, Blue often fails to show up.
Let us pause a moment for a breath of logic. Would it not seem, if the cat walked to the woods of her own accord, she could just as easily walk from the woods back to the house? HMMM? Seemingly not. Invariably, upon returning home and cat-less, the Missus jumps in the car and drives to the dead-end road where Blue then ambles out from the weeds and grasses with a what-the-hell-took-you-so-long look.
But yesterday, with yours truly out of town and the Missus with an afternoon appointment somewhere, did not have the time to scour the woods for old weird Blue when she once again failed to show for the return leg.
By 7 p.m., it was dark and cold. No Blue cat. My logic of the cat having a built in GPS and not to worry fell on deaf ears. Would I drive while she searched? Sigh. I get my coat and a flashlight.
The powerful beam of the light swept through neighbor’s yards with the ever present KITTY, KITTY call going at full volume. Lights came on. Silhouettes appeared in doorways. Mothers called to their children. I watched the rear view mirror for flashing red lights.
At last we reached the dead-end road. I drove to the end of it while watching for gleaming eyes in the night. We stop. More KITTY, KITTY calls and then, sure nuff, there in the red glow of the tail lights, the foolish feline appears. Go figure.
It’s enough to drive a man to drink.