Return of the wandering cat
Last updated 11:54 23/08/2012
Some cats are wanderers. Maybe yours is one. They stick around home most of the time, and get on well with their human companions. But every now and then they vanish for a day, two days, even three, then return. But three months?
This is the story of a ginger cat named Tig. He had been part of Kathryn's family since he was a tiny orphaned kitten. "He became my elder daughter's beloved boy and they were devoted to each other," says Kathryn. "They both grew up, she went away to university and he tolerated the rest of us until she came home for holidays. He was a lovely cat but had some hangups and a certain aloofness due, I suppose, to his difficult start in life."
Tig reached his mid-teens, remaining fit and with hunting skills much appreciated on the semi-rural property where his family lived.
Then, one evening in April, he went out for the night as usual but didn't turn up at the door the next morning to be let in. Kathryn was surprised but assumed Tig would turn up in due course. He didn't. Nor the next day, nor the next. "This was so out of character for this boy," she says. "[In recent] he would enjoy going from the house to the hay shed and that was about his lot. So after a few days I was getting very worried.
"We looked everywhere over the next week, all over our place and the neighbours'. I rang the SPCA and went and viewed one with a similar description (heartbreaking when it's not a match). After a few weeks we started looking for a deceased cat, along the road and under nooks and crannies, under the house. Nothing. We were all so sad. The house was unbelievably empty without him."
No sign, no answers. Then one evening, almost three months to the day of his disappearance, Kathryn was locking up the house for the night when she noticed what she thought was her younger ginger cat at the ranchslider waiting to come in. But it wasn't - it was Tig.
He wasn't a patch on his former seven-plus-kilo self. He was hungry, nervy and anxious - but home at last. It was a great day.
For a week, he spent most of the time on the upper shelf of Kathryn's wardrobe, only coming down when he heard activity in the kitchen. But now, a month later, Tig is his old self, hanging out by the fire in the evenings and finding the sunniest spots during the day. "I get the feeling he'll be staying around now," says Kathryn.Link to storyhttp://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/blogs ... dering-cat
The lesson of the story, she says: "Never give up on your missing felines. Sometimes they return."