Saturday, June 11, 2011

I am totally devastated right now. Graham, my boon companion, pillow-percher and inspiration for my stupid cat songs, went missing on Thursday morning. I let him out shortly before 10am and when I got home at around midday he was nowhere to be seen, and he hasn't come back!

I have walked around the neighbourhood several times, day and night, calling his name and jingling my keys. Graham was classically conditioned to associate that sound with me, as he'd come running when he heard me on the front porch fumbling my keys to find the right one to let myself in.

That's the thing – Graham would always eventually come running when he heard me call his name, or any one of the various shameful nicknames I bestowed on him, which include "Puff" and "McGra". Or even me clicking my tongue like Skippy. It is also really unlike him not to show up to be fed, and he has never stayed away overnight before.

I have put posters all around the neighbourhood, and my kind friends have circulated messages on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Even though well-meaning people tell me that cats always do this, and cite real-life cases where the cat came back after more than a week, or even after months, I can't help thinking I won't see Graham alive again. Ever since I got Graham I have always worried about him dying or going missing, and kept the worry stuffed deep down because of the shame of being seen openly to care about my cat, but that hasn't stopped me from feeling absolutely distraught now that it has actually happened.

Even thinking about him makes me cry. Or seeing the tufts of fur on the carpet, or his bowl, still with dry Whiskas in it that I poured out for him on Thursday morning, or the marks he left by rubbing his cheek on the edge of the shelf where his food is stored. Even his litter box makes me cry. Every morning when I wake up and remember he is gone, I feel so sad and empty.

It is so shameful to be a single woman who loves her cat, but I am so sad I don't care how embarrassing the following recording is, as it's my only record of Graham miaowing. Typically, he interrupted me as I was trying to do some work – in this case, testing the sound levels on my iPhone so I could use it as a dictaphone:

Graham interrupts voice recorder test by incrediblemelk

And here is the last photo I took of him, the other day, as he gnaws on my hand, triple-threat style.

What if these scars are all I have to remember him by?

Hi Mel
I'm so sorry to hear about Graham, I know how horrible it is because my own cat Malcolm went missing for 2 days last week, and he's similarly reliable (never stayed out all night, always came running at the sound of the car). Malcolm turned out to be stuck in the roof, uninjured but trapped, is there anywhere around your place where Graham could have got himself stuck?
Nothing shameful about loving your cat. It's the people (single or coupled) who don't dote on their cats who are the weirdos.
There's nothing shameful about loving your cat.
Oh, how awful. You poor thing. I really hope you find him okay.

Have you tried local vets and shelters? Is he chipped?

Don't be ashamed. I cried for a week when my cat had to be put down and she was old and ill and it wasn't unexpected.
Oh no. We've had some scares with our cats and it's just awful. One when Harriet got caught in the neighbour's flat overnight, another when we moved and Beatrice got frantic and escaped and hid in the neighbour's tree all day. Have you contacted the council as well? It could help. When Graham turns up please let us know!
'It is so shameful to be a single woman who loves her cat.'

No it's not.

Hope he's home soon.
Delurking to say I hope hope hope he pootles up to the door today. If you haven't directly approached your neighbours, it might be worth it. As TimT mentions above, our cat escaped (our stupid fault) the day we moved house. I was catatonic with grief, thinking that she would be making a dash for her old home 6km away, but Tim knocked on every door in the street that day, and that night a woman from four doors down came to tell us there was a cat hiding in her garden. Even if neighbours can't give good news, they might have news.

I love our cats too. I don't think I could love them more if they were my children.

Willing Graham home.
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