Monday, July 02, 2007

Karmic Fireworks

Our goofy, homebody orange tabby, Dinger, went missing sometime during the night on Tuesday, June 26. He wasn't gone very long before I knew something had gone afoul. His buddy, Mack, was yowling at the back door about midnight and wouldn't come in the cat hatch. I opened the door in the dark, scolded Mack for being in p.i.t.a and assumed Dinger was on his heels. Mack climbed directly into our bed and pretty much didn't leave it for a couple of days. The old cat, Pink, also climbed into the bed and hung on tight. Hardly any food was touched in the cat silo and no Dinger. I called, checked the usual hidey-holes and did my best not to panic. Later, on Wednesday morning, I happened upon an injured dog outside our back fence. I called the public safety officer about the dog and my missing cat. I had pictures printed up by that afternoon:

I kept Scott updated via instant messenger and walked with the kids hollering "here....kitty, KITty, KITTY KITTY" up the alleys and streets on the way to swim lessons. No sign of him. We drove around in the car, doing the same thing. I kept telling the kids that we had to help Dinger, that it was getting awfully hot and he needed to be home.

By the second day I had another, better picture ready. I had had a message from a woman at the medical clinic saying "I saw the picture of your cat but there wasn't a description." Huh? How 'bout orange-furry-cat? errrrrrrrr.....

Scott picked up prints at the evil Big-BOX and made some color copies that I took anywhere and everywhere that was high traffic; the hardware store, the coffee shop, the video store, the lumber yard, the farm and ranch supply, the local vets. I emailed anyone that lived in the vicinity and told the recipients to pass the word along. I went to the animal shelter and saw 18... EIGHTEEEN... adult beautiful cats but the Dinger wasn't one of them. The days were getting hotter, progressively, and I was doing my best not to be the fatalist that I am to my DNA. I continued to search, noticing that each time we got in the car Chuckles would say "Ding...HELP!"

Our good friends arrived from California on Saturday and the clock was ticking. We had reservations for Yellowstone beginning on Tuesday and another worry, beyond Dinger trapped somewhere dehydrating to death, was that he might come home injured and I wouldn't be here to get him to the vet.

On Sunday the 1st we headed over to a big lake at the base of the Big Horn Mountains for a fireworks display. Big booms, awfully windy, a large crowd and a goofy soundtrack including Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive. Maybe that was a bit of a message and, because I was tired, I was missing the point. On the drive back in town in a long stream of cars, I spotted a Corgi/Corgi mix standing on the yellow line in the center of the busy two lane highway. We immediately flipped around and headed back for it. We turned around again without seeing it. Almost in the exact spot was that bat-eared black dog hugging the yellow line with cars zipping past. Again we pulled over, I hopped out and called to it. It came right over to the driver's side and Scott boosted it in. It jumped right into the back seat with the kids, gave Augusta a big gooey kiss and faced forward. I pulled it into my lap and got a tongue bath. We got back on the road and headed for the town of Lovell's police department. We first found the Fire Department, which had sponsored the night's fireworks display, got directions and headed for the P.D. A very nice officer took the story, didn't recognize the dog, which sat attentively in my arms, and told us to call in a few days to check on it. Scott asked how long the dog had, in custody, since we will be leaving town Tuesday for the park. That plucky little dog didn't survive a string of full-sized cars just to be euthanized due to not being claimed. The officer told me to call tomorrow. I will definitely be calling tomorrow to check on the Psychopoodle's new playmate, the Crazedcorgi. In the meantime, our friends were driving through unfamiliar territory and I'd called their phone and left a couple voicemails with directions back to our house and news of the side trip to the police department. I got a call back telling me they'd missed the turn off, gotten a little lost, but still managed to beat us home. When they got here they saw an orange tabby dart into the cat door.

I'd not allowed myself to cry but when I heard of the Dinger sighting, a big gooey tear smeared up my glasses. The odds of another orange tabby showing up and heading in the house were slim, but I did my best to not get my hopes up. When we got home the Psychopoodle was pitching a fit in the front yard and cats were darting, but it was certainly the tubby Dinger diving for the recesses of our bed.

Scott said, as I sat in the backyard giving Dinger and his worried housemates some freshly picked cat nip, "I don't go for a lot of this spiritual stuff, but our finding that dog must have had something to do with Dinger's return." Who'd have ever thought that dog and cat karma might be intertwined. Not me. At least not until Sunday night.

I've blathered on long enough that now Dinger is bored with the story and just gave me one of these:

Think he's probably ready to sleep this bender off?

Thanks to all the positive thoughts that helped send this wayward feline home.

He appears healthy, though a wee bit sketchy. I wish he could tell what he's been up to...

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