I don’t think I’ve loved any of my pets as much as our kitty, Mica. She’s a total fur baby. When Mica hadn’t shown up after a few days, we were beside ourselves.
Most people have had a beloved pet go missing or die. It sucks. It is especially worrying in the country where people are known to shoot cats on sight, if they think ill of them. Our neighbour, in fact, had her cat return with a bullet hole through its leg and the slug still lodged in its rib-cage. Luckily a quick bit of surgery saw it right again. But yes, quite concerning…
Mica had disappeared after we had been away for a couple of nights for Char’s birthday. We’ve gone away before and she’s always been there when we get back, hopping down from the couch after days’-long slumber and then stretching out her forelegs and yawning before casually waltzing over to greet us. But this time was different. This time coincided with a rowdy motor-cross trail bike ride in the area, and we had reluctantly agreed to allow parking overflow on our land. We suspect that the cacophony of hundreds of revving motorbike engines had scared her off.
For three nights we hoped for the best. Maybe she was out socialising with the neighbours’ cats. Maybe she just went on a holiday of her own to get away from the noise. But there were darker thoughts, too. Maybe she had indeed been shot, bleeding out slowly and finding a dark place under a barn to die. Or perhaps she’d gotten lost after being scared away, or been hit by one of the vehicles out on the trail ride. Or what if she had affectionately rubbed up against someone parking on our property, and they had snatched her? Snatched our baby! Yes… the mind is its worst enemy at times like this.
I searched the entirety of our farm, up and down the adjacent roads, called the neighbours. Every day.
It wasn’t until after the third night that it really hit me that she wasn’t coming back. I hadn’t cried up until that point. Suddenly, I realised I’d never see her again. I began to sob as I ate my breakfast. Then I cried harder. And then I was bawling my eyes out, muesli dribbling down my chin, high pitched squeaks interrupted by broken whines.
And then I heard it.
A distant mew.
I rushed over to the ranch slider and peered out. “Mica?!” I screamed.
From around the carport appeared a sight I didn’t at first believe. My beloved Mica Jackson, trotting towards the house as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
In a truly cinematic moment, I raced down the steps and leaped over the fence, then collapsed to my knees in a desperate heap, scooping up my wayward kitty-cat and crushing her with the force of a thousand suns. It felt like slow motion in my mind. I cried and cried and cried. The relief was palpable. Mica was a little disturbed by my over-emotional state, but after I calmed down a bit she was eager to tell me how much she missed me through her usual affectionate mews, leg weaving, and face smooshing.
It was such an emotional experience having her show up precisely when I was breaking down. Literally during the first tears I shed for her. What a movie moment.
I immediately called Char, who was still in Auckland and grieving from afar. It was extra hard for her being away from home at a time like that. She was overjoyed to hear the news through my muffled sobs.
We still don’t know where the little shit disappeared to, but we suspect it was just a case of her high-tailing it out of there when a whole bunch of growling beasts came onto her land. Understandable.
Whilst she was missing, I realised that I didn’t have a nice portrait of her. There are a plethora of Mica shots we’ve taken, but none for that express purpose. So the day after she had returned, I promptly sat her on a chair and nabbed this of her and had it printed on canvas:
We won’t let those nasty things back, Mica, but don’t do that to us again! We love you like a damn child!
Crazy cat people.