We have 3 of them ... all the wife's acquisitions, LOL. The first one she found on the street as a half-grown kitten. He's "mine" now.~ The next was a female who just showed up on our doorstep and demanded to become one of our family. The last one looks almost identical to the first one but is smaller ... and she took this one in when the owner lady got a brain tumor and died several months later. I really objected to taking him in and keeping him permanently but ... that's how it turned out.
(Female left, Mine in the middle and last one to the right)
The little guy is cute as a pin and very charming but ... he has a pretty aggressive and demanding streak in him as well.
So the other night we let all the kitties out and the elder two came back, no problem. The little guy didn't show up. Usually he does, even if it's 4 hours later but this time he was a no-show. All of the next day he was gone as well and I was sure that we'd probably seen the last of him.
Just the FEELING though ... of him being trapped somewhere, maybe ... run over by a car ... maybe abducted and taken miles away just for a "joke" or suffering somewhere, hungry and cold and unable to get free ... just made me feel so bad.
The wife and I scoured alleyways and garbage cans and chirped and listened for a meow of some kind but there was nothing. It seemed pretty final; he was NOT going to found and would never be coming back again.
And then .... 25 hours after his departure, he showed up on the doorstep! He was hungry and tired but otherwise looked unworn. There was some grease on one ear, as though a mechanic with greasy fingers might have tweaked his ear ... but otherwise no sign of trauma, physical or emotional.
What a wonderful feeling it was to know that he was just fine. It's not normal for an animal to voluntarily stay away that long but thank goodness he seemed to have suffered very little.
Sometimes we have to lose something for awhile in order to appreciate it properly.~