Prodigal Feline (2)

close-up, cropped image of my cat

Sofia’s been gone since yesterday morning. I cried when I woke up in the middle of the night. She’d done this already three days in a row, but the latest she showed up was midnight. I remembered Richard talking about the poems he’s writing for their cat Sunny who died only weeks ago. He’s wishing he’d been as loving, as open to her, as appreciative of her in her coming as he was in her going. I tortured myself in the dark with memories of pushing her off the bed with a pillow when she returned at midnight two days before and wouldn’t settle on the bed with us but kept making determined strikes for the bolster above my head. I wondered if she had found a home where she’s happier, where she is better loved. Even as the thought broke my heart, another followed on its heels. How could I deny her that?

Logic tells me she is only up to independent cat things. But I can’t remember when she had a stretch like this. Sebastopol? Over a decade ago? It’s an upswing in her cyclical illness, I think. She must be feeling better to take off like this. She’s hardly left the courtyard in months, almost always returned in an hour or so on the rare occasion when she did. She would disappear like this when she was young, first a response to her adoption, feral cat that she was. Later because the Hopland countryside was irresistible. I’ve gone through this with her for years.

I am sitting in the courtyard in the late morning, telling my mother about it on the phone. She’s been gone for over 24 hours now. “I tell myself she’ll be okay,” I say. “But every time I wonder if this will be the time she doesn’t come back.”

And then there is movement beside me. Sofia appears in the courtyard on her quiet cat feet. She acts as though she never left, or had been gone only for a moment. I tell my mother she was the magic talisman. I cry again, a muddled combination of relief and gratitude and fear. And then I laugh, kneeling, hugging her, shaking teardrops around us on the cement.

4 thoughts on “Prodigal Feline (2)

  1. Hi Riba,
    We are crying as we read your entry about your wayward Sophia. Relieved it had a happy ending. We do wonder what goes on in those little cat brains. It only she could share with you ll the adventures she had!

  2. Yes, if only!! Now there would be fun material to write about—I am sure! It did make me imagine attaching a tiny webcam to her. Ha ha ha ha ha. ;-)

    But even without the worrying, I have always wanted to know how they spend their days away from home!

  3. Oh my! So glad she returned Riba! Have lost too many cats and know exactly how you feel. A webcam sounds like a brilliant idea! :-)

  4. Yes, the web cam would be great fun, I think. I have no idea if one can get them that tiny now, but I would imagine so. Still, not likely to happen, but it amuses me to think about it. Thanks for your understanding, Madhu! :)

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