Last night on the way to the evening service of our church we pulled out of our subdivision, turned, went to the corner to turn again … and straight ahead in the bushes, there sat a White Leghorn “preening” it’s self. Odd. We live in the country, there are chickens all around, but never once have we seen one loose like that on any of the roads around the ‘little town’.
I was curious to see if it was still there when we got home. Upon getting back to that spot a few hours later, it was very dark, I had asked Frank to slow down so I could look for it, and right at the same spot I did see something “white-ish” but it could have been anything, a bag, or something. Frank had turned by then, and decided to turn around and go head-on like when we had first spotted it earlier.
For certain, it was a white chicken with red comb smooshing itself into the ground as best as it could, but was obviously the same chicken. I had the desire to get the chicken, but Frank wanted nothing to do with it. I figured it was “sent from God” since I need more eggs, if it’s a hen, it’s valuable to me. All night it was bothering me, in my sleep. Frank had laughed about what I’d said, but still didn’t want to get the chicken.
I also was thinking it was something to smooth over Striders leaving us. So then Frank got up just after 5am to leave for some work he had to do. When he was going I was tired and just said “Chicken” hoping to prompt him to go get that chicken for me. He left, but then came back into the house, and I knew something was up. Chicken … or something else?
The last few days I’d been continuing to call for Strider, but hadn’t ever even once spotted him, nor got a report from anyone else spotting him. No meows, no silver/gray subtle stipedy-ish cat around anywhere.
So Frank got me outside, by saying there was a cat in the garage, and it was either Dixie or Strider. He thought maybe Dixie had got out via the garage yesterday. He’d kept the garage door partially opened in case that would tempt Strider in, ever since he was missing. So he at this point shut the garage door entirely.
Frank left, and I stood in the garage calling for a kitty. Nothing was answering. I went and found the flashlight then.
What Frank told me right before he left was a different story:
He walked out the front door, down the sidewalk, and saw a long cat by the front tire of the van, and it was facing going up the driveway, away. It was moving that direction when it spotted Frank, and they looked at each other, [seeing as this was before 5:30am, it was very dark] the cat stopped, then turned around and ran back into the garage. Frank then ran to the van to hit the garage door button.
He didn’t know for sure if it was Strider, but thought it was probably, and it could only maybe be his sister, if’n she had gotten out somehow last night.
So then when Frank was still there he moved a box in the garage to see if the cat was behind something, but it was too dark to see anything. He left at that point. I came back with the flashlight a bit later, and sure enough, there was a gray/silver side of a cat back there. I called. No answer. I called and called and called, talked silly to him. It was definitely Striders side I was seeing. I then told him I’d be right back, I was going to get him an egg.
When I got back with a plate and the egg, he firstly meowed once, and pushed himself back a bit and sat up and I saw his eyes finally. I showed him the egg, tried to entice him out, but he wouldn’t move futher. He started really meowing then though, a good sign. So I cracked the egg open and put it on the plate and pushed it closer to him. I couldn’t reach him [if you know us at all, there’s always at least one spot in the house like this: stacked with our boxes of things, it gets moved from here to there to here to there 🙂 the here is the garage, the there is the familyroom/basement ]
Well Strider came forward slowly, smelled the egg, then started lapping it up, obviously enjoying his old favorite. I didn’t venture to touch him until the egg was almost gone, and then I only scratched the top of his head back and then forth, once. He didn’t flinch, so when he paused hadn’t quite licked the plate clean, I reached into the opening he was in, and pulled him out. And right then, he started purring loudly. My baby was back! He was frightened, he didn’t look all mellow and loving as “usual”.
Where he’d been since November 19th, we just can’t say. Perhaps in the garage. But never had I heard him in there, or seen him there, on the street, driveway, nothing. I’d go in the garage frequently to call there, the deck, the backyard, the front porch, the driveway, the front yard, calling …. Heeeeerrrrrrre Kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty,kitty, over and over. High and low, melodic, straight. Any way to just get his attention.
So in the end, he was here. He was spotted. He was trapped. He does still love me. He’s sat on my lap, plyed me for petting, belly rubs, hugs, carrying. I gave the cats all an early breakfast. Chicken parts. Strider went in no problem, chew on one piece, then dragged it off to the corner to do some more on it. Good old boy.
The other cats are all in an obviously heightened mode — “Who are you? Do we know you? Let me smell you! No, let me smell you again! Who are you? Do we know you? Really? Is it you? Really? No, it can’t be, let me smell you again!”
My heart is full, a piece has been restored.
I’d still like that chicken though. 🙂