Phyllis had gone downstairs to the furnace and storeroom where her two cats sleep, to make sure they were both in and comfy. She then came back to announce to the three of us that Baxter, the "bowling ball with legs" was not in his usual place.
"He's probably sleeping somewhere else," she allowed, as she went to where he sometimes napped.
At first we were not concerned. The rascal had just gone beddy-bye where she hadn't looked.
That's when she screamed: "Baxter's missing, and we've got to find him or else I won't sleep a wink tonight."
So the four of us began searching. We literally turned our house upside down.
We looked in all the cabinets, under the beds and behind each door. No cat!
I said I saw him going across the room just minutes before we began our search. It turned out that this was Bailey, who was looking for her sleeping partner.
Since they are brother and sister and blacker than the ace of spades, I had made a big mistake thinking she was Baxter.
Shadow insisted that he was outdoors, but Phyllis countered with: "No, he's an inside cat. The only time he's out of the house is when he's at the vet's or on the raised patio when I am there to watch him."
And so we scoured the house again. Still no cat!
By this time Phyllis was crying. The Mahans, (tired after their search inside and out) finally went to bed, but Phyllis sobbed that she was not going to quit until she found Baxter, where-ever he was!
So she took a flashlight and went out again into the dark night. Now have you ever tried to find a black cat in black night? It's not easy, let me tell you.
She went around, calling out: "Here kitty, kitty" until she was hoarse. No cat responded to her cry.
She fell once and circled the neighbors' house, thinking that they were not home from vacation. She shone the light around willy-nilly, like she was a burglar, until she saw their car and knew that they were in the house. Fortunately, they didn't see her, as she continued her search elsewhere.
Finally she heard a feeble "Meow" coming from beneath a spruce tree. Phyllis went to the sound, and she found him! Don was right; he was outdoors.
She picked him up like the shepherds in the Bible. He was traumatized by this nighttime excursion, but otherwise he was okay.
I wasn't. But I wisely kept from saying what was on my mind.
I thought back to another black cat of ours named "Toshi" who had vanished into the ebony night. Again Phyllis was crying, and I drove all over, trying to find her pet in the car's headlights. I never did!
Later we found him right under our noses. He didn't respond to "Here kitty, kitty" either.
All I know is that I never want to go through that again.
I've had it with black cats and black nights!
© 2007 Robert F. Karolevitz