I’ve tried hard to not make this a cat blog. Yeah, we’ve got lots of cats, but I don’t feel compelled to disclose every detail of their existence. However, we had a bit of a fright recently. When we returned from Seattle, our black cat, Shadow, was missing for about 48 hours. We called, I walked the neighborhood, and we drove it a couple of times in vain. Finally, Shadow did show up, hungry, but none the worse for wear.
This might not be of much concern, except for the time of year – Halloween – and the fact that Shadow is a black cat. Ever since he was old enough to go outside, we have kept him in for the week before October 31 for fear of some mischief. It was a precaution we took with any black cat we owned, and sometimes when it became a real annoyance, we wondered if we weren’t being overly careful.
That is, until we met Sidney.
It was Christmas about a dozen years ago. Before Shadow was around, we had his uncle, Gordo, who was also black. As we were making preparations for our annual departure to Florida, we spotted a black cat in our yard. Gordo was aptly named, so when we saw that this was an incredibly thin cat, we knew it wasn’t ours. The cat was in terrible shape, and we weren’t sure what to do.
We took the cat to our vet, who rehydrated it but didn’t give the poor beast much of a chance. We really didn’t need this encumbrance right before our departure. The cat had a tag with a long distance phone number, so we called and left a message. Our guess was that the owners must have moved away, leaving the cat, or were visiting the area and forgot the cat.
Later that evening, we got a return call. The guy couldn’t believe that we had found their cat, and at first thought it was a hoax. He arrange a time to come over and pick up the cat. When the couple arrived, we got more of the story, and pieced together the rest.
The couple was from Inman, and their cat, Sidney, had been missing since right before Halloween. Our guess is that the cat was swiped by Halloween pranksters, and brought to Greenville, and had been trying to make it on its own since then. His owners took him home, and we got a report later that he had recovered and returned to his previous playful existence.
So, we continued to keep Shadow in every Halloween season, much to his dismay. When we left for Seattle this time and knew he would be out, we were concerned. His disappearance, however brief, just heightened our fears of mischief. Shadow is now an old cat, and while I would mourn his departure by natural means, I would hate it even more if he were the victim of foul play.