10 years ago today I adopted my cat Tio. Like all relationships, we had our ups and downs.
The Horrible 3 Days
As I sit and try to one hand type this, Tio curled up in the crook of my arm, heavy and warm and cute, I remember the terrible, horrible, 3 days in 2008 when Tio, who always comes when he is called, did not come home.
I waited. I kept shaking the Temptations treats. I yelled. I horse clucked-clicked with my tongue. No Tio.
- 2009 Tio
The Search Party
I tried not to worry, but as all pet owners know, these little furbabies are your children. And thankfully I have wonderful friends who understand this.
As soon as the call went out, my girlfriends rallied at my house. I made posters and this small army marched from house to house, pole to pole, in at least a 4 block radius, putting up and distributing the posters.
We talked to everyone and asked them to look in their garages, as it was possible he got locked in. I hoped, I hoped, but there are also coyotes and raccoons and other potential dangers.
- 2009 Vancouver
Shaking and Hoping
Every day and night I went out at various times shaking those treats, calling softly for him.
Tio does not meow. He opens his mouth and a small squeak comes out, so it would be impossible to hear him.
I kept looking. And then I widened the search. I got phone calls from people 10 blocks away…little black cats are everywhere when you start looking.
I visited the SPCA and other shelters every day, I posted on Craigslist, I contacted any place or person I imagined would care. And I tried not to think.
- Stockholm 2012
If Only They Could Talk
Two nights later, a slightly skinnier, oily cat, appeared at the back door. I can still feel the tension dissipate from my sphincter, the anxiety built up in my chest and mind start to subside. Pure relief that my little sweet boy was home. I used dish soap to wipe away the grease from his coat and called all my friends with the news.
As with the first year of his life, I will never know what happened. Did he get trapped in a garage, or underneath the old car in the back alley? Did someone see my note and open their shed just in case? In the end, it does not really matter. And you already know he survived.
Moving and Shaking
As I approach the 500 word mark for this post, I leave you with this. Although my life changed in 2009, so did Tio and Desoto’s. In the next installment I will tell you a bit about our journey from Canada to Sweden. Because I am sure that my boys also had mixed emotions, even if they did not know it then, nor do they remember now.
- 2012 Stockholm