"M, come feed the cats!" I holler. It's the kid's responsibility, but even with insistently mewing kitties, they manage to forget.
M feeds them, but a few minutes later I realize our Siamese, Winter, hasn't shown up for dinner. She does this on occasion. She has a tendency to hide. I can't say I blame her. If I had a two-year old dragging me through the house, I'd hide too.
I call for Winter, but she doesn't come. The kids call for her and start checking her hiding spots. Ten minutes later, I break out the heavy artillery, a can of tuna. She still doesn't come and I begin to realize she must be gone. We go outside and start calling her, but again, she doesn't come. As the children realize that our indoor cat is gone, several of them shed tears. Their prayers at night include praying that she comes home.
In the morning, I call the shelter. We call outside for her, but she still doesn't come. I realize, to myself, that the odds of her coming home are not likely. You see, our house backs a major road that is under construction. I just hope we don't find her that way.
We find pictures of her and the boys make up a flyer. I take it to Office Max and make 25 copies. A is disappointed that I didn't make color copies.
We spend the morning posting flyers and knocking on doors. The children are hopeful that someone just kept her for the night. But the longer we walk, the more their hope dims.
M asks, "If we can't find Winter, can we get another cat?"
"Probably not." I say with a sigh. Pushing a double stroller with the baby in her sling is very tiring.
"But that means maybe we could, right?" Ah, he knows me too well. I keep quiet and we finish hanging flyers.
It is a beautiful day and although the children are tired and ready for lunch, looking for Winter turned into quite the fun adventure. I just hope she comes home.
In the evening, after dinner, I employ my crew of mini-slaves to help tidy the disastrous house. It was sorely neglected in lieu of searching for our cat. I excused the kids after an hour and sat on the floor in the bathroom finishing up. And then I heard her. Winter was mewing at the front door. I hop up declaring, "I hear a cat!" I open the door, and there she is. I feel like a disappointed parent, glad she is home, but scolding her for taking off.
M is near tears for joy. Odessa picks her up, carries her around and proclaims, "Kitty home!" Even she understands. A member of our family returned.
A says, "Mom, lets get her a collar tomorrow." And our happy family is whole once more.