Sunday, November 20, 2005

I Thought I Had Lost My Cat Today

We couldn't find Rufus this morning.

I was feeding Sophie her morning bottle and Rachelle had gone downstairs to feed all the animals. We feed our cats twice a day. They know the schedule and when they're fed, they all come running. When Rachelle had filled their bowls she noticed that one was left standing without a cat anywhere near. Sophie had just about finished her drink when Rachelle burst back in with a panicked rush in her voice.

"I can't find Rufus!" she said.

You may remember Rufus from my timeline comic My Life With Pets. He's the big orange cat about halfway down on the far left, just above our dog Chi Chi.

alt tags are for people who know what to do with them

Rufus was one of our Humane Society rescues. When we first brought him home we already had four cats. Normally, a new animal brought into such a situation would range on the caution scale from a little nervous to quick! finds me some place to hide. As soon as we opened the carrier Rufus hopped out, took one quick tour of the house and plopped down on the couch, just as calm as could be. It was just as like he'd always belonged here. I don't know what it is about Humane Society cats, maybe they're just grateful to get a home, but they always seem to make the best natured pets.

But this morning he'd disappeared.

All of our cats are indoor-only pets, but the dogs go outside to do their business. Some of the cats, being curious by nature, try to escape through the open door when we let the dogs out. Usually we see them get out and usually they don't get far (although, trying to chase down a black cat in the dead of night isn't always a whole lot of fun). A search of the whole house did not reveal our missing cat this morning. This time we must not have seen Rufus go.

Rachelle did a quick walk around the house, calling his name (later she said she kind of felt like an asshole, walking around the yard in her bathrobe yelling "Rufus... Rufus..."). I put Sophie down and pulled on my shoes and coat to go canvas the neighborhood. The last time I had let the dogs out was the previous night. Rufus must have gotten out then. He had been out all night. He could be anywhere. I took a step out the door, expecting at least a long search. Honestly, though, I really feared what what I would find laying in the ditch alongside our road.

Now you might say, "Tim. You've got (let see... onetwothhreefour) eight other cats. Really is one less gonna make a difference?" But you have to understand something. Of course we are what you might call "animal lovers." You kind of have to be to pile up that many pets. But more than that, I think it's pretty safe to say that Rufus is our favorite pet of them all (they're not like kids, you can pick a favorite). Ever since that first day we brought him home he has been nothing but love and warmth and acceptance. Not just to us, but to all the other animals and people we have welcomed into our home. When we fostered the three kittens (Libby, Stripey, and Miko), Rufus was the one who really adopted them and raised them like his own kin. He comes up to see everyone, and I mean everyone who comes over. But, unlike Macio, he's not overly friendly and knows not to push his welcome. He's a big, warm, friendly teddy bear of a cat and quite possibly the best cat ever. So I was afraid and saddened at the thought of never seeing him again as I left the house this morning.

I took one step out the door. I heard a meow.

Rufus was right outside our front door the whole time. Cowering between our steps and the remains of a rose bush, scared out of his wits. I only spoke his name once and he popped up the steps, through the door, and back inside our safe warm home.

We were lucky he had the sense not to wander far and we were lucky that last night didn't get as freezing cold as it has been getting lately. But we were all glad to have him back safe, it seemed Rufus included.

In celebration of Rufus' return (and because I haven't released a comic in so long) I give to you a sneak peek at the Welton Colbert epic I have now returned to preparing. So for Ryan Estrada on his birthday, and for you (for making it all the way through this post), I present part one (the prologue) of The Welton Colbert Show.


Neal said...

DAMMIT!!! you hadda post some Welton Colbert when I'm out of town and stuck on dial-up!

I'm gonna have to find an internet cafe to read this thing.

Tymmi said...

It's all part of my evil plan...

Ray Frenden said...

I've got five cats, ninteen chickens, three dogs, a rabbit, and a horse. All are rescues, so they all have issues.

I erected a chainlink fence around two acres of my property with double gates, and we haven't lost a pet yet. That's really a nightmare of a scenario.

Tymmi said...

a chainlink fence around two acres...
How much property have you got?

A horse, huh? That much land sounds like a dream to me!

Ray Frenden said...

I put the chainlink in myself when we bought the land; man, was that a project.

After moving out to the boonies, I really can't see myself in a city again. Next step? Antarctica!

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