Have you ever had a pet go missing for over 24 hours?
On Saturday night Tex didn’t come home. After calling for him and doing a walk around the block, we decided to call it a night–after all it’s summer and who doesn’t like staying out late in the summer?
Trenton and I both checked the doors periodically throughout the night, but Tex wasn’t there. We awoke in the morning and expected to see him waiting on the front stoop, but still nothing. The panic didn’t set in, however, until we got back from the pool around 2 p.m. and his little furry butt didn’t run down the front walk to greet us.
For anyone who hasn’t picked up on how much I love my cats, I love my cats. I don’t worry as much about Jet because she has street smarts and doesn’t warm up to just anyone. Tex, on the other hand, has bonfires with our new neighbours, climbs into the mailman’s car for a visit, and follows us on walks around the block. He’s too friendly for his own good (which is what we love about him)!
There has been a heat wave for the past week, so we started to think the worst. Was Tex lost in a new neighbourhood without food and water? Was he resting under a bush somewhere, too exhausted from the heat to drag himself home? Trapped in a neighbour’s garage?
While Trenton rode his bike around the neighbourhood calling Tex’s name, I Googled “cat missing for 24 hours”. The articles said cats who don’t return within 24 hours might be lost or trapped somewhere. If left without food and water, their chances aren’t good. The advice was to walk around the block and check under porches and in trees, knock on neighbours’ doors, and post missing cat flyers.
After Trenton searched, I searched, and then the family searched, walking the streets and calling Tex’s name. It broke my heart to hear Owen crying for his lost kitty.
To distract ourselves, we left food and water on our front step and then went for dinner in an air conditioned restaurant, but all I could think about was going home to check on Tex again. If he was there, I’d cuddle him all night and never let him outside again. From now on, he would be an indoor cat. I would appreciate and baby him like I used to before I had kids. All I wanted was to watch a movie with him in my lap, purring and looking up at me with his big cat grin.
On the drive home from dinner, I burst into tears.
But when we pulled up at the house, it happened: Tex came around the side of the house. I jumped out of the car and raced up the front walk, scooped him up in my arms. The next door neighbour opened his front door and cheered, “Huzzah, your cat came back! I was on the phone with my sister and when I saw him, I told her the cat is back and hung up.”
Tex was a bit shocked by my enthusiastic greeting, but he purred the moment I squeezed him to me. I gave him wet food and water, and then cuddled him all night like I’d dreamed about doing. In the end he was missing 27 hours and he was exhausted, but he was safe. We still don’t know where he went, but we suspect he fell asleep in the shade somewhere. I still plan to keep him inside going forward.
So for anyone who is missing a pet, I hope this gives you hope.
Here is exhausted Tex after he came home 🙂