I didn’t write much of anything last week because I didn’t want to write about this, and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to. I still don’t feel much like writing, honestly, but maybe some catharsis will help. Last Wednesday, after a full day of hustling and bustling for everyone, late at night Matt realized our cat Marbles wasn’t home. I thought maybe he got locked in the basement — he wasn’t there. He wasn’t anywhere nearby, outside, and I actually hadn’t seen him at all that day. Matt was sure all three cats were around for dinner time the night prior, so at some point on Wednesday, he disappeared.
As people with three indoor/outdoor cats, a missing kitty is a risk we take every time we open the door, but until now, Marbles has always come home. He’s wandered, yes, and got himself into and out of some sticky situations, but despite our very best efforts to locate him, he’s still gone. We’ve been searching, followed cat tracks, left out food and things that smell like home, put up posters, emailed vets and shelters, but nothing. I’m heartened by the social media response of people in this town to missing pets, and we have a lot of people keeping their eyes out, but still — nothing.
Every time I walk by a door, I hope he’ll appear. Every time I pull into the driveway I hope he’ll be sitting on the window ledge waiting to be let in.
At this point we have had to accept that it’s equally likely that we will never see him again as it is that he’ll show up. There are lots of things that could have happened to him and all I can hope is that he comes back, and if he can’t come back, that at least he’s happy wherever he may be.
It feels absolutely awful to not know where he is and know that we may never figure it out. There have been a lot of tears in our household over the last few days. I feel guilty, like I’ve let part of my family down. But I’m trying to remember this — we saved Marbles from the pound just before he was scheduled to be put down. That was in 2011, and he has had almost four years with us, free to eat well, get lots of belly rubs, and enjoy a good life. Matt asked me, if we knew back then that he would one day disappear, would we still say yes? And the answer to that is of course. If someone returned him tomorrow and told me he’d go missing again in another year I’d say yes.
The first day he was allowed to come upstairs to our bedroom he spent a solid hour purring and attempting to lick my hair. He didn’t just tolerate M’s brutal petting — he actively sought her out.
I once watched him attempt to jump out of a closed upper-story window. He chased invisible things in the snow. He was friends with everything and everyone. He loved being outside.
I had to put all of that in the past tense and it hurts. Please keep our buddy in your thoughts.
“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle; easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.”― Irving Townsend