Ten days ago, my mother, whom we share a house with, got up before myself and Kimberly. She opened the door that leads from our house into the garage. She closed the door behind her before opening the large garage door and heading out for her walk.
This morning it was very windy in our neighborhood. The winds were gusting so strongly that trash cans were being blown to the ground.
Unbeknownst to my mother, less than 15 seconds after she closed the door that lead into the house from our garage. A guest of wind rushed into the open garage, bounced off the walls and objects in the garage just right to give it enough strength to push open the door that lead back into our home.
When my mom returned from her morning walk, she noticed the door that lead from the garage to the house was wide open. She raced inside, quickly closing the door behind her and began searching the house for cats.
She found her cats: Wendy, Sammy, Shadow and the cat she adopted from my dad after his passing, Charlie. But her search was not quite over.
Less than an hour later I was awoken by the sounds of my mother still searching the house for our cats, Gateway and Junior. Kimberly left the comfort of our warm bed to find out what was going on. She learned that my mom had found Gateway, but that Junior was unaccounted for.
When I got up we were all sure that Junior made his escape while the door was opened.
I quickly put on some clothing and Kimberly put on her shoes and we raced to the garage. Kimberly and my mom started to walk around the yard calling for Junior and shining flashlights while looking for him. I wanted to go outside and help, but the wind was so strong that it would have blown me over.
With the wind being so strong, I didn’t think he could hear his name being called. I also figured he was hunkered down somewhere, as the wind was probably scaring him, and we wouldn’t find him until the weather improved and daylight broke.
Kimberly didn’t want to go to work that day, but I insisted that I and my Mom would find Junior. So, she reluctantly headed off to work.
My mother was beside herself. She kept going outside and walking around the house or driving slowly through the neighborhood calling Junior’s name. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect she blamed herself for Junior getting out of the house – but I never blamed her. I knew it was an accident. Heck, there were times that when I was home alone, and I was working in the office, the wind was so strong that it had blown open the door from the garage that lead into the house – even with the big garage door closed (and I had closed the door firmly).
While my mom was searching the yard and neighborhood, I went into the office and posted a missing cat alert on our neighborhood’s social media site. Afterwards, I made up about a dozen missing cat signs with his photo on it and my phone number. I wanted him back so badly I offered a reward.
I asked my mom to drive around the neighborhood and put up the signs. She agreed. Now all I could do is pray, wait for his return or a message from a neighbor and miss my little buddy.
I sat on the front porch, between calling Juniors name I prayed and told both God and Junior how important my little orange buddy was to me.
About a year ago, we had Gateway and KC. At that time my wife and were both 100% committed to “No more cats”. Although we loved both of or our cats equally, KC had so much personality that we knew that when we lost him there is no way another cat could fill the void.
Then my father died and left behind 2 cats. Charlie and Junior. My mom brought the two cats into our home (instead of dumping them off at the pound). Charlie stayed near my mom and Junior hung out with myself and Kimberly.
Junior knew us before Dad’s passing. Whenever we visited my father at his house, Junior would lay on the seat of my rollator and just look at me. Now that my father had passed, I think he could tell I was his former owners son, so he attached himself to me when he moved into our house.
The first few months Junior lived with us, he cautiously stayed near me while remaining out of the way of Gateway and KC. Then KC died unexpectedly late last summer.
Since the passing of KC, Junior has slowly attached himself to me and my heart. I couldn’t reject him, after all he lost his human and he needed someone as much as I needed a companion.
Junior is a great companion. He helps me fight off depression from being home and isolated from the world. Kimberly tells me that I should consider him my comfort cat.
Junior lays on my lap in the evenings. During the day he keeps me company in the office as I write. He has this habit of unexpectantly getting out of the window in the office and walking onto my desk and demanding petting. I have learned that I will not be able to get any work done until he gets the attention he craves. Fortunately, this is normally less than 2 minutes before he returns to the window.
Now I am sitting on the front porch, tears welling up in my eyes, begging for Junior to return. Begging for a neighbor to call or text me with information on where he is, and begging Jesus to reunite me with my pet.
Feeling a little discouraged and hungry, I head inside to make myself lunch. But I can not eat. Instead I walk out onto the back patio. I start talking to Junior, in hopes that if he is in the backyard and near the patio, he will hear my voice and run up to me.
After a few minutes of standing on the patio and talking to Junior, he didn’t show, and I went inside and returned to my bar stood in the kitchen.
While sitting there quietly, I heard a faint meow.
Could it be junior?
I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Then I heard the meow again. This time it was louder, and I was sure it was junior!
I called his name, looked out the patio door and saw him leap onto the patio and strut towards the door. I eagerly let him in, scooped him up and gave him a big hug. He hopped down and raced to the food and water dish to eat and drink.
I snapped a photo of him with my cell phone and sent the picture to Kimberly saying, “Guess who came home!”
Since that scary day, I have purchased Junior a collar and a tag and my mother is much more careful about the garage door!