Squirrel, come home!

Published 10:18 am Friday, June 27, 2008

In the grand scheme of things what is presently happening in my life is decidely inconsequential. Aftershocks continue to rattle lives in China, natives of Burma are greatly suffering at the hands of both a cyclone and their government, and another mid-western state in America clears the debris and tears from a tornado.
Me? Ive lost my cat.
Actually, the cat is simply another in a string of unpleasant occurances of late. A most benign looking, tiny, cyst on my lower eye lid turned out to be a spot of skin cancer that was easily removed and is healing through a vertical line of Frankenstein stitches, and, as I was looking for my cat, in the dark, wearing flip flops, I flipped over a tree root and flopped, full-force upon my left knee, resulting in a torn ligament and hair line fracture, a knee brace and crutches.
Maybe this is Gods way of telling you to slow down. suggested a friend, helpfully.
But I dont do anything! I retorted. I do a radio show from my farm and ride horses all day. Its not like Im running kids to soccer and putting in 70 hours a week at an office. How can I slow down more? Not walk to the mailbox?
The worst thing is that I now cannot actively search through the woods calling for my cat. Squirrel, as she is affectionately called, was a rescue I adopted as a kitten in Los Angeles 10 years ago and brought to the farm with the rest of the clan when we moved cross country. I adore her: she is beautiful, naughty, and stalks the terriers daily throughout the house to catch them unawares only to chomp them on their collective bums. She is an indoor cat who loves to follow me out to the barn in the morning to do a spot of mousing. Within an hour, she lopes across the lawn behind the terriers, running for their lives, to go back into the house for breakfast. But two weeks ago she disappeared without a trace and my life has revolved around this tragedy.
Flyers with photos of her snowy coat with small, tabby; patches and startling blue eyes have been placed in mailboxes and animal shelters notified. While a couple of well-meaning acquaintances immediately voiced, Coyote! I disagreed. The woods behind my house rival the Golden Corral during a Sunday buffet: they lie stuffed with quail and rabbit and real squirrels before winding down to corn fields and tall grass chocked with mice and voles. There is too much food down there and too many barking dogs and braying mini-mules on my property to lure a Coyote.
Other people have been simply….dear. This perhaps is the lesson to be learned. Even before placing an ad in my local paper, I was receiving helpful telephone calls from neighbors two and three miles away. Good people that live nearby that I had never met. People that think they might have spotted her and have put out cat food to entice her back.
People who have asked how they can help. One fellow that could be mistaken for a biker that I might never have approached told me hed keep an eye out as he has several cats and does his best to rescue ferals and considers them all his babies.
I remain hopeful that Squirrel is still alive because, frankly, I cant bear thinking otherwise. And in the meantime, get to know your neighbors. Theres some awfully good folks out there.

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