My cat went missing today.
Technically, he went missing last night but we didn’t notice until this morning. I was pretty worried about him; I know cats are independent and generally quite savvy (his sister is one of those cats with a knowing, serene face that suggests superiority over humans, and also that she may be a Jedi master) but Orlando’s not exactly the most intelligent animal in the world. I was scared he might have done something silly. I’m not sure exactly what ‘something silly’ is in cat terms- maybe getting stoned on catnip then rolling around on the main road miaowing ‘Duuuude, look! Look! I’m a hedgehog! Duuuude!’.
This is, after all, the cat who, aged about 2 months, climbed into the vegetable crisper of our fridge and remained there for half an hour while we searched the house frantically for him. I went to get something out of the fridge during the search and out popped this little ginger head from amongst the cauliflower and leeks.
This is the cat who, earlier this week, rolled onto his back, stretching elegantly and purring with delight until he rolled too far, fell off the top of the piano and landed on the keys with a vaguely musical crash. He’s not one of those cats who can walk away from a situation like that with dignity intact- he flew across the room and curled up on mum’s lap wide eyed and confused.
It’s been snowing here since before Christmas, and this morning we woke up to a fresh coating of snow, and an absence of a greedy ginger cat nudging my mum for his breakfast. We checked all the wardrobes in the house. Mum searched the garden shed. Dad checked the barn across the road. Of course we looked in the fridge, although he’s now of a size that we’d notice if he was curled up with the spring onions. We just had to hope he was snuggled up in a farm building or shamelessly accepting charity and a bowl of milk from an old lady somewhere.
Feeling sad and not a little bit worried (he really is my little baby cat, even though he’s going to be five years old this year), I started making lunch. I couldn’t find a frying pan anywhere, so I started pulling open cupboards and drawers. I think you can see where this is going -and if you’re thinking I found him in the oven, um…no (although my mum did look there). If I had found my cat in the oven, this blog post would read something like:
Pulling open a random drawer, I was met with the sight of Orlando curled up amongst the teatowels. I have no idea how he got in there without somebody noticing. He was a bit shaken up by his ordeal (I say ordeal, once he realised he was trapped, he probably just decided to sleep until somebody found him), and is wandering around the house with a dazed look. Well, more dazed than usual. I’m not sure his little brain’s ever really defrosted after his half-hour in the fridge as a kitten.