This time was different. She was just gone. We saw her once about a month ago, sitting on the lap of another kid, looking pretty happy. We gave her up in our hearts. What can you do? It's not for me to say what makes her happy.
We gave up and got another cat. This one is totally different. An indoor-only cat. A big he-man tomcat. A big, redheaded roughhouser. He's been at our house a couple of weeks now and it was high time he was caught up on his shots. I made an appointment at the vet, and this morning (with no small difficulty) loaded him into his crate. I was walking back up the driveway when I saw Fox. She was sitting in the driveway looking as guilty as someone who's been away for three months without calling and who then shows up hungry at your doorstep looks.
I picked her up (she let me!) and brought her inside. She ate like she hadn't eaten the entire time she'd been gone. She talked the entire time she was wolfing down the kitty food. As I drove to work, I thought about what was going to happen when I got these two crazy kids together.
I picked up the redhead and the vet said "He's groggy and will likely be very grouchy. Do you have any other animals in the house?" My instant reaction was "Another cat." "Well, keep them apart. He's going to smell like strange cats, and the one at home won't like it."
But wait. He is a strange cat to the one at home. I didn't say anything to the vet because it just sounded so far-fetched and lame.
So, we've been going back and forth between him and her, petting one, petting the other. So that when they finally lay eyes on each other, it's not like it'll be a surprise.
Still waiting for his sedation to wear off...