The last few days here in Victoria we've had some unusually hot temperatures, up to 29 degrees Celsius (about 85 Fahrenheit.) I have an air conditioner in my living room, but I don't have one in my bedroom, so I opened the few windows I have that actually have screens in them.
I totally did NOT take into account the fact that one of those screens has a hole in it. Either the hole is big enough for a not-very-big cat to fit through, or the not-very-big cat enlarged it. When I dragged myself out of bed on Saturday morning, after about five or six hours of sleep, to feed some demanding cats, I discovered that one cat was missing.
I did a rapid search of the usual cat hiding spots, but I already knew Jubilee was out. She never misses a meal.
I woke up Monster and then pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and ran outside to call Jubilee. No sign of her. Back inside, I went to the website of Find Lost and Escaped Cats and filled out their "missing animal" form. I then e-mailed them a picture and went out to look some more.
Monster and I went all over the neighbourhood. I was functioning on very little sleep, which gives me dizzy spells. We went quite far afield, even though I was fairly sure that Jubilee wouldn't have gone far.
When we completed our circle and were back at my house, I went back behind my house to call some more. I was just about to give up when I heard the familiar jingle of cat ID tags, and Miss Jubilee appeared from behind the house next door. Alas, she ran away when I approached her. I sent Monster to get some kitty treats, but he just brought a handful of them instead of a bag I could shake. I went and got a bag to shake, but I couldn't find Jubilee. I suspected she was hiding under the porch of the house next door, but I couldn't see her.
I left a trail of treats from the house next door up the stairs to my back door. I had a grocery delivery coming any minute, so I reluctantly went back inside. But just a minute or two after Monster and I went in, I heard a very sad, "Meeeeeeeow? Meeeeow?" I went outside and there was my mama kitty, sitting at the bottom the stairs crying. I called her and this time she didn't run away. She came right to me, and I grabbed her. I carried the squirming kitty into the house and fed her.
I don't know what changed when I went in the house, but I wonder if perhaps Jubilee thought this was some sort of game. A long time ago, when I was a kid, I would play outside with my cat Pippin. She would sit still and let me approach her, and just as I reached her she would run away. Then she would stop and wait for me to approach her again. Maybe Jubilee was doing that and I spoiled her game by leaving. I don't know. But I am so happy I got her back.
I realized she's the only one of my cats to not have a microchip, so I'm getting her a microchip later this week and also getting her a new nametag, as she has chewed the one she has and has partially obscured parts of my address and phone number.
Katniss, Jubilee's kitten, seemed not at all concerned that her kitty mama wasn't there. I thought she would be upset and even considered taking her outside in hopes she'd call for her mother. But she just went about her kitten business and wasn't upset at all.
After I had brought Jubilee in, contacted the cat-finding organization to tell them I'd found my lost cat, and paid for my grocery delivery, I sacked out in bed for a couple of hours to make up for the sleep I had lost when I realized Jubilee was missing. When I woke from my nap, Jubilee hopped up on the bed, climbed on top of me and curled up on my chest. She has never, ever done that before. She purred, and she shoved her head into my hand so that I would pet her. Such a happy kitty. Maybe she was apologizing for scaring me, or maybe she was thanking me for finding her. Who knows. I am just so relieved to have her back.