The cat came back
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | December 21 2017|
On a recent Sunday night, I was completing my bed-time ritual, which includes a quick troll through Facebook to make sure I haven’t missed anything, when an interesting posting popped up.
It was on the Kawartha Lakes Animal Wellness Society (KLAWS) website. A woman who lived near Reaboro, about half way between Lindsay and Omemee, wrote that an orange cat with a white tip on his tail had sauntered down their driveway. He had a collar and tag. It looked to them as though the name might be Marty.
My heart leapt. We had a cat named Marty. Or, at least, we once had a cat named Marty but he went missing from our home in Lindsay way back in April, 2016. I’ll spare you the quick mental calculation. That’s about 20 months ago.
Could this be him? It sure sounded like a solid lead. There had been other KLAWS postings in the past. There had been more than one drive from Carnarvon to the Lindsay area, only to be heartbroken when yet another orange cat sure looked like, but wasn’t, our boy.
Marty was the first kitten I ever had. We all have that one pet that finds a place in our heart and is irreplaceable and Marty was that for me. When we got him in Lindsay, we’d been told he was a she. We got him shortly after a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, so he was aptly named Martha - until the vet pointed out the obvious and he was re-named Marty. A cuddly fur ball from the get-go, who loved nothing better but a good play, he was more dog than cat. I loved him from day one, especially when he crawled up onto my chest and let me hold him as he slept.
The last time we’d had a false alarm, I vowed I couldn’t do it anymore. We had to give up on the pipe dream that he would ever come home. It was time to let him go.
And, then, the post.
I quickly messaged the woman in Reaboro, who told me the orange cat had infiltrated the barn, where he was greedily scarfing down all the food and growling at the other barn cats. I asked her to turn that tag around and see if she could find a phone number. After all, since he’d gone missing, we had not only moved from Lindsay to Carnarvon, but changed our phone numbers, too. I waited for an answer and she phoned a few hours later to say she’d read the number and, yes, it was one of our old ones.
It was him!
The next afternoon, after work, I drove to Reaboro. I was excited about a reunion with my old friend. I was also fearful about the kind of shape he would be in, both physically and mentally, after nearly two years on the lam.
The woman greeted me and ushered me into her farmhouse porch. The cat I found there was decidedly skinnier and dirtier than the one that had disappeared, but the distinctive M on his forehead and a tiny scar on his nose only confirmed it. The woman knew it too, saying it was the first time he had purred since he found his way onto their rural property. Into the cat carrier he went for a long drive back to Carnarvon. Long because he didn’t stop meowing for the entire 75 minutes. He had a lot to tell me. I only wish I spoke cat.
As I write this, he’s curled up in his tower. He’s healthy after a trip to the vet. He is putting on weight. He’s had more baths than he’d like. He’s had lots of cuddles, too. He’s starting to act like his old self.
As for me, well, what can I say? I’ve gotten my Christmas present a little early
Lisa Gervais is the editor for The Highlander.