I've been here almost seven years, so I can't be considered a newbie to farm life. I should know better than to get too attached to any furball...but especially to outdoor cats. Outdoor cats come and go. They live a life that is unpredictable and often dangerous (they don't usually live too long because of it). I know this. So why am I so upset over that damn missing cat?
Bella was one of our first rescues. She came from the mean streets of Cleveland. Living outside the maintenance room of the Juvenile Court building, she made herself an unwelcome pest by sneaking into the building on more than one occasion. The Court Administrator was going to call animal control...and I just couldn't let that happen.
I remember riding up there with Steve, collecting her in a box, quarantining her in our apartment bathroom until she could see the vet, and learning that she was just plain crazy. It seemed like she had a short circuit in her brain. She WANTED to be a house cat and be loved and cuddled. But she would occasionally just "snap" and attack whoever was the nearest person (Sam is sporting a claw puncture wound on his left foot from an attack late last week). Yep...she drove me a little nuts with her craziness...but still...I never wanted anything bad to happen to her.
She always comes when called unless she physically can't...like when she jumped off the roof and hurt her leg/hip. Or like when she got locked in the neighbor's garage (which irritated the hell out of the neighbor and made me giggle). I had hoped that was the situation this time. But when it happened last time, I could hear her crying and scratching to get out. She even clawed up into a window so I could see her and know she's there. So far...nothing. I even broke down today, swallowed my pride and embarrassment, and called the neighbor to ask that she look for Bella in and around her garage. (And no, I don't think the neighbor would do anything bad to her...she complains, but she's really a sweet old lady).
I keep hoping Bella will turn up. I damn near cried telling Sam that it was probably a good bet that she wasn't coming back. The thought of what may have happened to her is just too horrible. It breaks my heart to think that she may be hurt (or worse) somewhere...alone and cold. It's farm life...I know that...but still...
SHE'S HOME! She WAS in the neighbor's garage!