This time I can say it!
Last week it was my birthday. Marius asked what would I like as a present. I replied, I'd just like Ratty to come home again, I miss him.
We all knew that we would not see him again. He'd been missing for three weeks, he'd had two life-threatening 'neurological meltdowns', and there had been the poison on the golf course.
I had almost begun to say goodbye to the hope of seeing him again.
Last night I went out to feed LG, Seams and Tiny Tim, before we went out to a party (yet another leaving do). I went around the corner to the small generator building, and scattered the cat-crunchies on the steps, as I often do. This technique spreads the food around so that no one cat can dominate the others and stop them getting a fair share.
I was in a bit of a hurry, so I didn't hang around while they ate; I simply left my alms and headed home. I had my back to the golf course and had entered our street. I heard maows. I presumed they were the maows of the cats I had been feeding. But the voice was different and insistent.
I turned back to see Ratty leaping over the golf course wall and running towards me.
I wasn't sure for a moment that I had the right cat. Ratty?
He came charging home with me, maowing and rubbing my legs and circling me and purring.
I called to Marius: Look who's here! I can't believe it!
Ratty knew exactly where he was. He came bounding in the front door and made straight for the food bowls, where he INHALED two full bowls of crunchies. I expected him to be sick he was eating so fast, but no.
We went to the party full of excitement and disbelief. He'd been missing for 25 days and we had no expectation we would see him again, or even that he was still alive.
We came home early to check up on him. He ate two more bowls of food and then settled down on the couch, on his back beside me. Purring. He has a few small scratches near his nose but no other signs of wounds or illness. He is definitely thinner but his coat is in good condition and he is clean. He paws are not worn, nor the fur around the pads matted or dirty. His claws are long and sharp.
We have no idea where he has been. Perhaps he was trapped somewhere, perhaps he got picked up and taken away, but he doesn't look like he's walked a long way. The only sign that something is amiss is that he is thinner. Strong but thin.
Not everybody is pleased to see him. The jealous queen is put out:
We are delighted he is back and safe. He is fast asleep at my feet now.