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Blue Sky

Kitty Goes Away, Kitty Comes Back and the Stages In Between: Everyday Magic, Day 443

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

For hours, I opened the door, stepped outside and meowed because when she’s gotten out before, she has meowed back when she was close. I also called her at midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m., etc. By morning, I was frantic, especially since she wasn’t at the door. I climbed the hills looking for her, and drove all over the farm before having to leave for a gig in El Dorado. Daniel then spent three hours combing the land for any sign (or — let it not be! — remains). Throughout the day, I went through many kitty-is-gone stages of grief:

  1. Bargaining: I promised all the gods and goddesses and any other entities out there that I would do the dishes more, be kinder to others, and show my kitty even more attention.

  2. Denial: She’s right here, and if I can just meow enough, she’ll appear.

  3. Depression: So there were tears. “It’s just a cat, Mom!” Daniel said, which made me most upset because “just a cat” is more than enough to break your heart.

  4. Psychic Guessing: I imagined all kinds of scenarios and had friends tell me if they thought she was okay. “I think she is. I just feel it,” said Kris, and later, Natalie.

  5. Facebook Mobilization: I asked friends to pray and wish for her return. I wasn’t completely surprised by how many understood.

  6. Thrashing Around: Banging things and making noise, not being able to get comfortable in my own skin.

  7. Reluctance to eat, sleep, talk coherently or do anything with any concentration.

Finally, I escaped the stages of kitty-loss through kitty-return. I stepped outside, still weepy and depressed at 10 p.m. last night and meowed, but this time, I heard a response. We call-and-response meowed with each other for a while until Miyako came out from under the house, probably here all the time. I gathered her in my arms and cried in happiness. The utter joy of the prodigal cat can erase all those kitty loss stages in an instance. And what did I do after she was settled in? I washed the dishes.

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