A timid knock interrupted our early Sunday afternoon, a noise so soft, I was confused about its source and intentions.
“Is that you making that noise?” I called out from the office.
“Someone is knocking on the front door,” my wife called back from the living room.
The front door is between the rooms. I went to see what was going on. I expected to find a child.
It was a woman. “My cat got out,” she said. She then explained where she lived, and how her cat, Bear, got out. “He’s all black. I was walking along the fence, peeking between the slats, on your backyard.” She seemed embarrassed. “I saw a black cat, along with an orange cat in your backyard. I thought it might be him.”
“I have a black cat,” I said. “So it’s probably him. I’ll check.” Yes, my black cat and my orange cat were in the backyard. I told her. “Sorry.”
She answered with comments about worry. “He means everything to me.” It’d been an hour. Bear never went out. I completely understood. Once one of our cats went missing for four days. I walked around by the hour, calling her. Strangers later would ask me if she returned, because they saw and heard me hunting for her. (She returned one night, in fine shape. We never knew what had happened.)
I got her details and Bear’s description, and told her I would watch out for Bear, and wished her luck.
After she left, I related the story to my wife.
“She should put her cat’s litter box out,” she said. My wife is a smart person. She reminded me of a story we’d read about that. Cats can smell their own litter box from over a mile away. Putting it outside the front door gives them help finding their way home.
I trotted out after the woman. Finding her up the street, I told her about the litter box trick.
“Thank you,” she said. “I’ll try it.” She continued up the street calling her cat.
The days and nights passed with cold rain and tepid sunshine. I wondered about Bear. I worried about Bear. It might not show on my blog posts, but I like animals, and cats and I share a special affinity. I thought about walking to her apartment to ask, but, while cats and I get along great, I’m not a people person.
Going out to feed the neighbor’s cat on our front porch this morning (we don’t know what’s going on with Pepper, but she practically lives on our front porch, and begs us to be fed), I found a note. It was written in purple ink.
The note said,
Thanks for your helpful tip.
Put litter box out.
Bear arrive home minutes later.
I appreciate the note.