We left part 2 of the Stanlie story with a cat flap swinging open, and no Stanlie. I know the cat flap was locked when he arrived in his foster home because we checked it, and it was still locked from when we checked when Harold arrived. We can only think that in his desperation to get back outdoors he’s banged and scratted at it until he managed to turn the dial and unlock it.
He had to get past the hoover too … but that’s nothing if you’re determined. Needless to say, none of us had much sleep on Thursday night. His foster parents were out with a torch while the wee small hours, foster dad out in the only slightly bigger small hours before his early shift. I went over in the day time, walking round calling him, trying stifle my sobs as I shouted. No sign of him, though a couple of kind people on the street offered info which suggested he was around. Dad went out on his bike when he got home, and I went home to put together LOST CAT posters and alert all the lost and found groups and microchip people.
Sharing and networking into the night. … Which was fine because I wasn’t going to sleep.
Then mid morning … a message from Stan’s foster mum. She’d looked out the window and out the corner of her eye had seen a cat who looked like Stan. Running out the house in her sock feet she followed him down the road. A more thorough search revealed that it wasn’t our Stanlie. She looked around some more but then despondently came home….
….. To find Stanlie sitting on her front doorstep … asking where she’d been and what time breakfast would be served.
You know when things have felt so awful that life all kind of goes on pause, and into black and white? Well, the life and colour started to flood back into mine the moment I got her message. Whatever else was going on … Stanlie hadn’t fled in fear into unknown territory, and hadn’t set off over scary miles to find his familiar place. He was safe and he was there.
And he stayed there … happily puttering between front and back garden … enjoying his meals. No intention of coming back indoors …. no way. It was clear that it wasn’t his foster parents he wanted to get away from, it was just being stuck inside that he didn’t like.
His room mate, Harold, was a little baffled. He’d been told he had to stay indoors for a month in his new home, Stanlie had arrived after him and was already out exploring.
Although clearly very happy with his furever home, Harold started to question the door policy.