Saturday, May 28, 2011

See you in another five months, I guess


...only kidding.

Still no Emmett Kitty to be found. The wife is pretty broken up about it, because she thinks he's been carried off by one of the hawks we've seen flying around. (Which would probably serve him right for all the mice he's killed around here.) I've tried to be encouraging and explain that when I was a kid I once had a cat who disappeared for months at a time, but she points out that Emmett has never EVER missed a meal, let alone been gone for days.

At around 5:30, this morning, I awoke with an idea of how to find Emmett. Sure, I'd already thought of the possibility of sticking fliers in all the mailboxes in the neighborhood and was prepared to do that despite it being illegal to tamper with the mail. However, it occurred to me that word of mouth would probably do more good and I knew exactly whose mouth to start spreading that word. I would call Mrs. Foreman (formerly known as Mrs. Nosy), the lady from up the hill who I've long suspected of being the foreman of the neighborhood gossip mill. She's the very lady who once stopped to not help me at all as I was rescuing a strange cat from a very tall tree two years ago. This was a cat, I might add, that looked almost exactly like my cat Avie, only male, and which I've never seen again since I rescued it, leading me to suspect it was the Avie from a parallel universe temporarily allowed into our plane of existence to test my mettle. His name was Avron, perhaps.

Oh, and while we're on the topic of my rescuing cats:

Dear Karma,

What, I don't get any credit for that cat rescue? What the hell, man? I risked my very life to get that cat's lazy ass out of a wickedly tall tree growing on the edge of a steep and rocky incline and now I get to lose TWO cats in the space of a year?
Might I suggest, sir and/or madam, you gnaw on a stout loin.


But I digress...

As it happens, Mrs. Foreman lives literally up the hill from my house, though her driveway is around the other side and takes you an extra half mile drive to get to. But I figured if anyone might have seen Emmett Mrs. Foreman would have a good chance at it being so close by. And if she hadn't seen him herself, she would be the ideal person to spread the word to others who might have.

So I got out of bed, made some coffee, then sat down to the computer. I'm Facebook friends with Mrs. Foreman in another life, which is probably how she keeps tabs on us all. So I sent her a note explaining our missing kitty and included a picture of him in case she saw him.

Before 10 a.m., Mrs. Foreman had responded. Yes, they had seen Emmett. She and Mr. Foreman had seen Emmett in the area of the home of the Otto family, who live not quite half way up the same hill leading to Mrs. Foreman's house. Fantastic news, right? But she didn't say when she'd seen him. Could have been today. Could have been a week ago before he was missing. So, mere seconds after receiving her reply, I wrote her back to thank her for writing, tell her I was on my way up to the Ottos', and to clarify when she thought she'd seen Emmett.

No reply.

Minutes turned to nearly half an hour before I gave up waiting. In the meantime, though, I looked up the Ottos' number and gave them a call. They were out, so I left a message explaining Mrs. Foreman's sighting and asking them to call if they saw my cat around. That done, I checked FB one last time and then climbed in the car.

I parked near the Ottos' house and got out to walk around. They indeed seemed to be gone, so I just walked around calling Emmett's name. No reply. I searched around in the bushes for any car-struck kitty bodies, but none of them were to be found either, thankfully. Then, to try and do something productive, I drove down the road to the neighborhood just below ours and back up through their streets in the direction of the Ottos' hoping to spot the cat. None to be seen living or dead.

I went home.

A couple hours later, I decided to walk the dogs back up the hill past the Ottos' to see if we had any better luck. And as I was peering down into the Ottos' expansive back yard for any signs of Emmett, who should pull up but Mrs. Foreman.

"Did you get my message?" she called.

"Yeah. When did you last see him?"

"Oh, it was my husband who saw him."

"Do you know if it was since Thursday?"

"No. Not sure. But he saw him. Said he was running through the yard there," she said pointing toward the Ottos' unfenced pasture of a back yard. "Just go on down there," Mrs. Foreman said, pointing again. "They're out of town. It won't matter." I looked hesitantly down the yard. "It won't matter, they're out of town," she said again. Why is it my conversations with Mrs. Foreman always include me feeling odd about her attitude toward our mutual neighbors. She didn't say, they won't mind if you walk into their yard, she said, "it won't matter, they're out of town." I was like saying: "it's okay as long as they're not here to catch you. Don't worry, I'll keep your secret."

Mrs. Foreman drove on. After a minute's thought, I went down into the Ottos' back yard. Me and the dogs stuck close to the trees--not that we were afraid of being seen, but because that's where a cat might likely hide. We only made it half way down the yard, calling Emmett's name, when the Ottos' neighbor from across the road started their car. I climbed back up the hill and went over to ask if they'd seen Emmett. Before I'd even described the cat, the guy said, "Kind of white cat, with gray?"

Yep, he'd seen Emmett too. Lots of times. Evidently Emmett is or was a regular and was often lurking around their back yard or passing by the house on his way further up the hill.

I texted the wife with all of the events of the day and she said, "Well, maybe he'll come wandering back, then."

Maybe he will.

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