Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Prodigal Cat

This is Cotton.

He is our 7 year old part maine coon, hairy ball of fur.

We got Cotton BK (that's before kids) as a playmate for Roxy while we were gone long hours working. She had always loved cats and they are far easier to potty train and less trouble than dogs (ha!not so much).

Cotton quickly became Jason's cat. He loved to lay on Jason, sleep on his clothes and once when Jason was sick we noticed that Cotton had this uncanny ability to sympathize with Jason every single time he sneezed. Really it was America's funniest videos material how Cotton would open his mouth and make a light and whining sound every time Jason would sneeze. It was amusing and it became a lifelong habit of his. It's mostly for Jason but in his absence, Cotton has been know to sympathize for me also.

If you think cats are lazy, then you are probably right. But if you think they don't have a lot of personality and sometimes sass, then you are dead wrong.
Cotton, even though he is a cat, doesn't like to be left alone in the house. He would do bad things when we would leave him for the weekend. There's no fooling him. When we take Roxy somewhere, he knows it and he shows his bad side. It's certainly not that he wants us to take him with us.

Oh no.

Have you ever ridden in the car with a cat? Multiply your misery level by 5. That might cover it. He hates to ride in the car and that didn't bode so well with our frequent trips to Alabama for extended time frames.

Our latest move was no different. All the kids and animals were graciously picked up about a week before the movers came. This kept them all safe and happy. Or so we thought. Cotton is a roamer and he loves the great outdoors. He's as fat as most small dogs and fixed and declawed but he likes to pretend he's a mountain lion ready to pounce on his prey (a moth). One night before we made the long drive, he escaped the fence outside mom and dad's house where he was completely comfortable living for a while. I knew he would come back, I just didn't think it would be very long. Mom on the other had, worried a hole in her small intestine over the pet. She's a great keeper of all things and pets and kids are her specialty. I told her not to worry, he'd be back but after a week had passed, we were all skeptical. She had signs up all over town and even chased a few dead end leads.

It was 2 weeks he had been gone when I pulled up from a date night late movie and jumped out of the car in the street to see him sitting in the flower bed.
We were relieved to see him and mom vowed to keep him under lock and key until we got settled in Nashville.

More than a week passed and under close surveillance Cotton was allowed outside in the back yard once again. Next thing you know, Cotton is again missing and the saga has started over again. Mom-worry, us-he'll come back. After more than his last episode of 2 weeks passed, we began to loose hope. He's a sweet and lazy cat, we thought someone else had found him adorable and wanted him as their rag doll kitty. I think we had all (well, except mom) given up any hope of seeing Cotton again. It was hot, deep summertime and he's a hairy, well fed yellow cat. If he was around, we would have seen him.

Then one evening 7 FULL weeks later, Mom was walking my first baby (Roxy) around the neighborhood block at her house and up ahead she saw an orange blob in the curb. She ran and scooped him up and marched him back home without ever even looking down to check him out. Once she got him home, she observed significant weight loss but no other injuries to speak of. She watched him closely and only noticed signs of weakness. She sent me a pic message of him eating his food that said "Guess Who?"

Yeah, we were totally shocked.
hen next day, he made the trip to Nashville. It was just as excruciating as the 12+ to NC can be, that cat just hates to travel. We got him home and cleaned him up (by the way, he also hates baths!) and watched him for several days. He was weak, he wouldn't even land on his feet when we picked him up at first but he seems to be firming up and filling out. He has been spending his recovery days eating and rediscovering his favorite hiding places. His weakness has faded and he seems to be happy back here with us.

We've spent a lot of time wondering.

Where did he go? Was he at someones house? Was he trying to find us?

We've tried hard to make him answer but I think the cat's got his tongue.

We'll never know where Cotton was or if he was trying to get home to us.

We know he's here now and he's happy.

So here's to Cotton and the rest of his 7 remaining lives.

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