You know she was getting to be a pest. Always wanting out of the house and then three or four minutes later back in. We’d fight about whose turn it was to get up and let her in, or out.
And then she also had this thing about scratching the furniture. We’d just bought a new leather recliner for the TV room and so far managed to keep it scratch-free by closing the doors to that particular room but how long can four semi-responsible (some more than others) people keep that kind of household discipline up? It was just a matter of time.
I’m sure the neighbourhood mice are glad she’s gone as she deposited her fair share at our patio door. Actually they are one of my main suspects in her disappearance but I’m not sure how they would pull that off in reality.
The odd bird met their demise too and I always felt bad about that. The mice, not so much. Although I wasn’t a fan of cleaning up after them, somehow that job fell on my list of household duties. I guess not any more.
She was definitely an outside individual as when we got her seven or eight years ago she was basically living in a garage with her siblings. So when she sometimes insisted on being out all night we had to reluctantly accommodate her, with a little bit of concern.
People said she wouldn’t last long with all the coyotes around but she was pretty tough and it seemed the way she pranced around the nearby houses and properties she had pretty much claimed the hood as her own.
She was a survivor. That doesn’t mean there weren’t close calls. One time she came home after being away for quite awhile looking a little worse for wear but after a week of mostly sleeping it off she was back to normal. Another time a neighbour thought she spotted her body near a road above us and called us one morning to tell us the bad news. After collecting the proof of her demise (cause it looked just like her), she wandered home a couple hours later, likely wondering why we were so glad to see her.
Normal for her meant being pretty aloof. The only time she actually spoke was at feeding time or seeking assistance to go outside to play.
She could be affectionate, on her terms. In the winter she would decide each night whose bed she would sleep on, sometimes there were even fights about it, but it was up to her and if the door happened to be closed she would scratch to get in. And then, after getting her own way, she would purr happily away for the chosen winner.
But no matter whose bed she would sleep in on any particular night it was yours truly she would wake up, either by scratching the bedspread or the rug, at, oh around 5:43 a.m. or so, to be let out to start her morning routine. Arrggghhh.
Unlike other members of her species she liked to go for walks. She often followed the kids to the bus stop down the block in the morning, almost like she was looking after them, you know like that other species called man’s best friend.
When the Mrs. and I went for walks she would always follow us for the first long block and then we’d try and chase her back or run fast, for us anyway, to get away so that she wouldn’t follow us any further from the house.
This worked with varying degrees of success, but she always came back eventually.
So when I went for a walk to cool down after the Canucks blew the first playoff game against L.A., and she decided to follow me, I wasn’t too worried.
Even though she followed me past the first-block mark and halfway to the waiting mailbox, everything was cool. She waited for me there, rolling around on somebody’s driveway like she owned the place, and looked at me funny when I tried to get her to follow me home, kind of like saying “what’s the problem?”
Indeed, she always came home.
Except this time. At least not yet. And now I find myself constantly looking for the four-footed member of our family at our patio door, hoping I can let her in one more time. And maybe even out again, if she wants.
Damn cat. Did I mention she was getting to be a pest? At least our new recliner is safe.
And I don’t have to get up at 5:43 a.m. anymore.
Still, if you happen to see a black cat with white paws named Sox on your travels……..
—Glenn Mitchell is the managing editor for The Morning Star