Fidget has been part of our family since he was a kitten in 2002. He has moved house twice with us, and generally acts more like a dog than a cat, always following me around the house. Fidget is definitely my cat in the same sense that Lola has become Hubby’s dog, however we all love them all equally as much as the other one.
On December 22nd, 2015, Fidget went out around lunchtime and didn’t come back! Him going out wasn’t abnormal in the slightest. He’s a cat and he comes and goes as he pleases. He always comes back in for his tea though, he’s not a daft cat when it comes to knowing where his next meal is coming from. However he didn’t come home. We called for him, and asked the neighbours but his last sighting seemed to have been around 4pm on 22nd December. All over Christmas I was praying he was going to come home like nothing had happened wanting his dinner, but he didn’t.
We searched and asked around, but anyone who knows cats, knows they control themselves, you can’t control them. I alerted the microchip company that he was missing, but the more I analysed it, the more I was convinced that at thirteen years old, he had taken himself off somewhere to die. It made me sad and I would have really liked the closure, but we were at a dead end and could do nothing more than get on with things. We all missed him, his constant meowing every time someone went into the kitchen as he thought he was going to get fed, or the thump against your back when he jumped on the bed in the middle of the night and ended up taking up at least a third of the bed as he stretched out. It used to drive Hubby mad but we missed him. Gone but not forgotten then say.
On Friday 13th, 2016, I got a call from the micro chip company to say they had found Fidget! Don’t be daft there was no way! I was given a lady’s number who had found him and was keeping him safe in her garage for me. She only lives about five streets away from me. two minutes in the car! I couldn’t quite believe it and I was in shock now thinking back as I raced around there to see if it really was Fidget. It couldn’t be after all this time, could it?
There he was, cosy in a large crate in her garage curled up at the back. He looked just the same, if a little timid. Fidget has always been a friendly cat and is happy to be picked up and loved. The lady explained that he had been making himself known around her house for quite a few weeks and started meowing loudly for her to feed him. He would always go off again and come back when he was hungry. Once in her garage they phone the micro chip company who manage to locate him to me. It really was a miracle. I didn’t for one second think he was still alive!
He was a little scared as we brought him home so we confined him to the bedroom to get his bearings, and stay out of Lola’s way. We weren’t sure if he had done any damage to himself, he had two lumps either side of his stomach. A visit to the vet as they kindly squeezed us in, confirmed that there was apparently nothing too obvious to show and no battle wounds from his adventures. We’re keeping an eye on the lumps on the side of the stomach but I think they’re disappearing already and the vet couldn’t find anything sinister. It would appear from his matted fur that he has been sleeping rough all this time, however it’s also clear that he’s been fed OK.
I wish he could talk and tell us where he has been, or how he became estranged from us for all this time. Forty eight hours later and it’s like he’s never been away. We’re arguing over where he thinks his toilet is, as we’re not letting him back outside just yet in case he forgets where he lives again. I think his toilet should be his litter tray where he found on the first night, but he seems to think the bathroom floor is an acceptable place. We’re having words about that!
His fur is coming along and the more I am brushing and stroking him, the better it’s becoming. Thankfully it doesn’t appear to be so bad it’s going to need grooming by the vet, I just think it’s going to take some TLC which I am happy to give. We’re vacuuming up the excess at least three times a day at the moment.
Lola was very excited to have Fidget back home as I think she thought it was a playmate for her. Fidget however isn’t so keen on having a great lump of a Labrador running after him. he is an old man now after all. He is putting Lola in her place which is amusing to watch and for most of the time they are ignoring each other, much like they did before he went missing.
I think it took quite a few hours for us all to get our heads around the fact that our missing cat came home after a year away. Did he need a holiday? Find another friendly family to feed him? Who knows, but if only they could talk. I used to walk around the streets where he was found a lot when I was doing my Moon Walk training last Spring, I just wish I could have spotted him. Still we are all very pleased to have him home and it just goes to show that miracles can happen.