Have I told you all how much I love my cat, Stan? Yes? Well, let me tell you again.
I’m on a roadtrip with Mum, Teege and Manni (our Mexican Homestay Student) across Western Canada to Regina, Saskatchewan to visit some family. Today, I drove a 200 Kilometre stretch of highway from Swift Current to Moose Jaw, in tears. We had just talked to Mum’s husband about how things are back at the house while we are gone on our roadtrip. We asked about Stanley, who is staying at The Joint while I am away. He said he hadn’t seen him, at all, in two days. I freaked out.
That cat means so much to me, it’s nuts. Stan is like my other half. Stan is like my kid. I really can’t bear to imagine life without him. Coming home to an empty home, not having him sleep across my leg at night, no one to cuddle with in front of the TV. Sad and pathetic, I know, but he’s a source of great enjoyment for me. So, when I got word that he might be missing, I began to cry and blame myself for this and that and the other. Maybe I should have left him at the apartment and had Roz or Buck check in on him. Maybe I should have brought him out to The Joint earlier than only an hour or two before I left him there for a week. Maybe I should have spent more time trying to find him when he disappeared right away after getting to Mum’s. But I assumed he’d curled up with the other cat somewhere for a nap. Maybe I should have kept a better eye on the door so that no one left it open accidentally. Maybe this. Maybe that. What if.
I worked myself all up in a tizzy. Mum tried to calm me down, but of course, that didn’t work. Finally she said that I am imagining the worse and that I have to imagine that he will be found, that he’s just hiding.
Every minute, every kilometre that went by without word was torture. He’s not phoning because he hasn’t found him. He’s not phoning because he has bad news. He’s not phoning! Then, when the phone did rang, I held my breath as the word came in. He found Stan under the house. My heart literally leapt with joy as I finally breathed a deep gulp of air.
It was like realizing you lost your child in a big department store after you already drove across town to another.
Stan does not go outside. His curiosity will tempt him into thinking that he’d want to go outside, but as soon as he goes so far, he freezes and doesn’t know what to do. One time, when he wasn’t living with me, but I was living in town, he got out of the house. Mum looked for him. Mum called for him for hours. I finally drove out to The Joint to try to find him. I called and 3 minutes later he came out of the hedge beside the house, completely wide-eyed and scared.
Tonight, I imagined Stanley in that hedge, scared to come out because it wasn’t me calling for him. I am two provinces away from him. What can I do to keep him safe except hope and pray that he’ll be alright.
My head hurts now, and my eyes are tired and puffy from crying, but I am ecstatic that Stan is safe and sound.