11 October 2009


I woke at 3AM when th'Mr came to bed, tossed & turned a little while and decided to get up. I can always kill an hour with Mafia Wars or Yahoo Mahjong Solitaire or even Spider Solitaire or Free Cell... anyway,

Winston was on the arm of the blue chairtrap as he'd been for most of the day (once I had taken off the too-tight bandage, but that's another story). He had been there when I went to bed around midnight, when th'Mr went to bed at 3, and when I got up and later went back to bed around 6AM.

When I woke again at 10, he wasn't there. He also wasn't on the bed or in the closet, his two other frequent hangouts of late... the kitchen window was open. Aw, crap. I looked under the woodshed & carport, by the catnip, in the pines, in the creekbed, all along the fence, under the forsythia...

Back in the house I looked everywhere I could think of, under the bed, under the beds upstairs, under couches, behind furniture, in closets, behind appliances... in the garage...

Woke up th'Mr with "I can't find Winston." Aw, crap! He got up and looked around the house, along the fence, out back, while I went next door and looked under the neighbor's house, along the creek bed...

Back inside, repeat search, this time looking up into the springs of the beds, where kittens used to hide. Under the wood stove. Nothing. It had rained most of the night and outside was cool and damp. The thermostat controlling the living room baseboard heater was off, but the one in the kitchen was cranked up to 70 for some reason... I thought the cool air from the window might have drawn him outside. Th'Mr disagreed. "I bet he's somewhere in the house." His breathing had been still loud, and while I looked I listened. Nothing.

I thought if I stopped thinking about him he'd show up. Cats are a bit psychic like that... tried to concentrate on the cross stitch I'm making for our vet, gave up after a few minutes, back outside. Searched the garage thoroughly. Searched the barn, climbing up into the loft. Walked the creek bed and crashed through briars clear to the old junk pile a quarter mile back in the woods, calling for him. Became convinced he'd wandered off to die, condemned myself for leaving the window open, consoled myself that the least we can do for them is let them control just a little of their destiny in this way. Felt bad that he wouldn't have understood that we may have the power to make him feel better, if he'd just give it some time.

Came back to the house somewhat resigned.

Th'Mr said, "Come look at this." There, on the arm of the blue chairtrap, where he'd sat for most of the previous day, sat Winston. Dry, warm, and purring, he'd not been outside.

Half a lifetime ago a man of questionable sanity told th'Mr that animals, especially deer and cats, had the ability to pop into other dimensions. If he was right it's possible that Winston had been on the arm of that chair the whole time.

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