Our cat has gone missing. He hasn’t been around since Friday and I’m fearing the worst, but trying to keep the team’s spirits up. Everyone, however, is wandering around glancing forlornly at the back door in case he turns up, battle scarred and famished as he has done on other briefer occasions when he has disappeared.
Only son and I went for a recce of the area earlier in the week. I envisaged the cat lying in a ditch, having been attacked by a fox and unable to get over our back fence. In passing I noticed that the brambles outside the back fence have now grown into a thicket of Sleeping Beauty proportions. It’s on the to do list once I get a mega saw.
Only son peered into the thicket. “He might be stuck in the middle,” he said. But there was no sign. Only son was looking a bit despondent. The cat’s brother disappeared two years ago and has never come back. Only son has not forgotten. “I loved him,” he said. “He was the best cat ever.” I said maybe the cat had found his brother and they had gone on holiday together. Only son cheered up considerably. I rather suspect, though, that they may have only made it as far as the nearby motorway…Daughter two swears she has sighted the cat’s brother looking moodily at her from afar. Daughter two spends her life reporting interesting sightings, eg, Bruno Mars in the local McDonald’s.
“I just love that little fellow,” said daughter one philosophically. I suggested that he may have gone on a big adventure in the manner of one of those old Disney movies where a cat, a dog and a mouse trek across America. Only son also found this a comforting idea. He is currently planning for Christmas and has taken the letter to Santa to a new level. He has done an entire Powerpoint presentation on what he wants for Christmas. It will mean nothing without the cat, who has his own Christmas stocking every year.
I started to feel slightly guilty. Everyone blames me for the first cat going missing because I told it off for stealing its brother’s food. Had I also driven the second cat away by feeding it Whiskas chicken flavoured-food for an eternity, mainly because it turned its nose up at all the other options except the expensive stuff my mum feeds it when it is on holiday at her place? Was this but a sign of things to come, when all the kids may leave home one by one despite the fact that basic finance tells me they won’t ever be able to afford to?
Every time we go out we scan the countryside for a hint of orange. Daughter two doesn’t want to look though. She is convinced the cat is squashed on the side of a road somewhere. Only son wants to put up posters, but the cat, like his owner, has successfully managed to keep out of any recent photos so we are going to have to rely on artwork.
As the days pass, my fantasy versions of where the cat could be have become more elaborate. I’ve got him shacked up with the first cat being hand spooned liver pate. In the meantime, I am spending a lot of time staring at the back door.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.