Monday, 11 June 2012
In Sheds They Can't Hear You Scream!
On the evening of Thursday 6th June, Minstrel went missing. Now, much though I like cats, I also like birds and I always make sure our cats are in at night as cats catch most things at dusk and dawn. This is usually no problem, but if you mis-time the 'getting them in' bit, both our cats think that the growing darkness is very exciting and they're off!
Flossie came in quite easily when she heard the rustle of the 'Dreamies' cat treat bag, but there was no sign of Minstrel. Since this has happened before a couple of times, I wasn't unduly worried and we left our outside conservatory door open, thinking that in the morning he'd be there, curled up on the settee, waiting to come in for breakfast. However ...... no Minstrel ..... and as Thursday was a very wet and windy day here, I started to get increasingly worried.
On Thursday morning, John and I walked all round our estate to see if we could find him, going far further than I really thought he would roam, but you never know! I must have sounded like a mad woman, calling his name and giving bushes and shrubs a good look but I really didn't care! I did attract the attention of at least two other cats ..... but no Minstrel.
By Thursday evening, I was very worried and contacted the database holders for his micro-chip to report him missing. What was worse ..... I was due to go to a conference for the Foresters Friendly Society from Friday morning to late Sunday afternoon, and I hated the thought that I wouldn't be at home to do things to help!
First thing Friday morning, with still no sign of Minstrel, I contacted our vets and they said they'd pass his details, plus a photo I sent them, to all their branches in the area, which I thought was nice of them. I then had to go off, although I left John with the task of doing a poster/leaflet to distribute round the houses immediately near to us to ask people to look inside their garages and sheds. It really was most likely that he'd got shut in a shed or garage. He can be very nosey! We have to be careful when we go inside our own garage to make sure he doesn't slip in without us noticing ....... and I have shut him in the cupboard under the stairs a couple of times as he can't resist a cupboard!
Over Friday and Saturday, I had to have my mobile phone off most of the time but at every available opportunity, I texted home for news. There was none! However, a nice lady did phone John on the Friday afternoon to say she'd seen a poster for a 'Found' little black and white cat on a road near us. Although this wasn't likely to be Minstrel, given the short time lapse and the fact that I don't think most people would call Minstrel 'little', John trudged up the road in the pouring rain but the poster wasn't there. However, it was so nice that someone cared enough to ring and let us know.
I must confess that by Saturday evening, I did send a frustrated text to John that just said 'Bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger ............. where has Minstrel gone!' It was so upsetting to think that he might be somewhere scared or, even worse, hurt and I couldn't bear the thought that we might not see him again.
By the way, John did say that all day Saturday, Flossie was wandering round the house from room to room meowing! He said he wasn't sure whether she was moping for Minstrel or for me ....... but he said the pair of them made a 'Moping Couple'!
However, at 4.30am on Sunday morning, I got the best ever early wake-up text from John. Minstrel was home! In the early hours, Flossie had started meowing loudly and John thought ...... OK ...... I'll go downstairs and look. So down he goes, without even putting on his glasses ...... so that there stretched up at the conservatory window was the black fuzzy outline of Minstrel!
He was obviously hungry and Flossie stood back to let him eat ....... and thirsty as well. But when I immediately phoned John, he said Minstrel hadn't stopped purring. That he felt rather skinny but was clean and not injured and seemed to be OK. I told John to update the poster on the lamp post outside our house to let people know he was home and to thank them for looking in their sheds and garages, which he did.
I can't express the relief I felt and it was the best home-coming ever for me! As to where he's been ..... who knows! Perhaps if whoever let him out sees the poster, they might let us know, but other than that, it will be a mystery!
However ..... Minstrel ...... please don't do that again! And stay away from garages and sheds!!