Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jennycat returns!

UPDATE: News of Jennycat's demise has been greatly exaggerated. She returned home safe and sound the morning of April 13. My wife spotted her sitting in the window to the back porch as she was about to leave for work. She was completely fine.

Upon being let in, Jennycat dropped her little suitcase at the door, which now had stickers from states all over the country on it, brushed past my wife and went straight to the kitchen, where she began making a tuna sandwich.

Astonished, my wife blurted out "Jennycat! You're home! Where've you been?"

"Whuth?" was the muffled reply, spoken through a mouthful of tuna and rye bread.

It is good to have her home again.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jennycat 1992-2010

My cat got out of the house two nights ago and hasn't been seen since. It's the longest she's ever been away, and while I suppose there is a chance she could turn up in the next day or so, I kind of know in my heart she's not coming back.

She disappeared Friday night, after getting out of the house somehow. At one point that night we were upstairs watching a movie and I thought I heard her growling. At first I wasn't sure about the sound, then I heard it again and finally a third time. I told Jenny to pause the movie and for everyone to get quiet -- but I didn't hear anything after that. I wasn't too concerned because since we moved to Jenny's parents' house, she has growled plenty of times at the family dog. I thought this might just be more of the same, and when I didn't hear anything else, I figured whatever spat she might've been having with Eddie had been settled.

Around 6 p.m. on Saturday Jenny's mom asked if anyone had seen the cat. I suddenly realized I hadn't seen her all day, and she hadn't been in bed with me that night (she usually is). Then I remembered what I had heard the night before, and my heart sank.

We've looked everywhere. I have wandered the streets calling for her -- in the same silly, high-pitched call I've always used for her -- to no avail. We put up signs and actually got one call, but nothing came of it. I have searched every square inch around the house and there is no trace of her. She's just gone.

Jennycat -- I named her after Forrest Gump's girlfriend and actually had her almost two years before I met my wife, Jennyperson -- was at least 2 years old when she chose me at the Lafayette County animal shelter in 1994. I was 25 and a sophomore at Ole Miss (remember, I stated late b/c of the Navy). She was a small, delicate, sweet cat. She always followed me, into every room, and anytime I sat still long enough, she would jump up in my lap.

She followed me everywhere else, too. She had been the one constant in my life through at least 11 moves -- from apartments to duplexes to new houses to the in-laws' -- through seven towns in three states. And though she was small (she never weighed more than 10 pounds in her life) she was a hearty cat; I never had to take her to vet for an illness. Not a single time.

I knew she was old. I had been thinking about the day I wouldn't have her anymore. I had always just assumed I'd be with her when she left -- this is not how imagined it would be, and I'm heartbroken.

I wish I could be more clever or more interesting, but I just don't have it in me right now. I really loved that cat, and I will never forget the joy she brought me.