My Story - Part 5
Now that Junior felt comfortably at home with his human family, Mom and Dad decided it was time to take him to the V-E-T. They wanted him to have his shots and a check-up. Mom was worried that Junior might panic in the car, so they decided that as soon as they could get a Cat carrier, they would make an appointment.
A few days later, Mom opened the back door in the early morning to let Junior in. Junior always spent the night out of doors. Every morning he would be waiting at the backdoor, ready to come in for his breakfast. This morning he wasn’t there. Mom didn’t worry about it though, because Junior was often gone for long periods of time. Sometimes he would not come home for several days, though these absences were becoming less and less frequent.
Junior didn’t show up all day. A couple of times Mom went out to call him, but he didn’t come home. When Dad got home from work Mom told him that Junior hadn’t come home. So Dad went out to call him. Still no Junior. They figured that he was on one of his treks, so they didn’t worry.
The next morning Mom opened the door expecting to see Junior, but he wasn’t there. She and Dad both went out to call him. Dad had to go to work, so Mom set out to look for him.
Their house was in a fairly rural area about 10 miles from a small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They lived on a long curving road and had neighbours on both sides and across the street. Behind the back yard was a thickly wooded hill which sloped down to a small creek. Mom and Dad had seen opossums and deer in the woods, an occasional dog, and of course Cats. Beyond the woods and across the creek was a dirt road with more homes on it. In the winter you could see some of the homes through the bare trees, but in the summertime all you could see was the woods.
There was a path through the woods which ran behind the backyards of the homes on our street. Mom walked through the woods along this path calling for Junior, trying to think of where he might be. She was starting to get worried when she returned home without him. When Dad got home from work he went out to look for Junior too When he couldn‘t find him either, he started to get worried too.
Every day Mom and Dad looked for Junior. They went outside and called for him frequently. They looked for him everywhere they went, everywhere they drove. They looked on the sides of the road in fear he might have been hit by a car, but no Junior. Dad asked the neighbours if anyone had seen him but no one had. Mom took a trip to the county pound in hopes that someone had found him and taken him there, but no Junior.
The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, but Junior never came home. Mom cried and Dad sighed. They both Dad missed Junior dreadfully. For months Mom continued to look for Junior. She hoped against hope that he might show up at the back door one day, happy to be home and wanting to come in.
They talked about Junior a lot. Eventually they talked about getting another Cat, but Dad said losing Junior was too painful. He didn’t want another Cat because no Cat could take Junior’s place.
So that, for the time being, was that.