Rascal's Mom here. Something happened yesterday that we are wondering might be a clue about what happened to Catzee.
Rascal usually sleeps during the day and then wants to go out at night. We make him come in at bedtime, but he pesters us to go out anywhere between 3:30 and 4:30 am. Yesterday morning was no exception.
When we got up, it was raining pretty hard. I called him, expecting him to come running as he usually does. He doesn't like baths, but he isn't particularly fussy about water either and I've seen him run straight through puddles to get to the house. That time however, he didn't come.
OK. Sometimes he's preoccupied, so after about ten minutes, we called again. Still no Rascal. Rascal's dad took a quick walk around the house and outbuildings in the rain; no Rascal. We pondered a bit, and then Dan put on rain gear and headed out for the woods. He later told me that when he got to the edge of the woods, he heard Rascal, meowing faintly.
It took a few minutes to find him, but Rascal was up in a tree, about roof high, hanging for dear life onto a branch. Dan eventually got him down and carried him home in the rain. He was soaked to the bone, but seemed otherwise uninjured. He's not a tree climber, so the only thing we can figure is that something chased him up the tree.
After breakfast and treats, he gave himself a good long bath and slept all day long, never once asking to go out. We checked him over, and except for walking like he's a little stiff and sore, he's okay. He didn't ask to go out last night (very unusual) and all he's done today is sleep.
We've concluded that whatever it was, was pretty scary. We don't know how long he had been in the tree, but it could have been for several hours in the pouring rain. It was fortunate he was able to get to safety, but now of course we wonder about Catzee. When she first disappeared we both scoured the place for any sign of her remains, but never found a thing. I also watched the sky for vultures, but never saw these either, so we hoped she was still alive.
We're back in the woods fairly often and have never seen any sign of animal life. Several times we've seen deer in our fields, but except for a few abandoned dens in the woods, nothing else. Neither have we seen stray dogs roaming about. The neighbors tell tales of coyotes, but no one has seen one for years.
Catzee disappeared during the day, while Rascal's adventure was at night or in the early dawn hours so it's hard to come to anything conclusive. Whether or not she got disoriented and lost, was picked by someone, or was killed by something, I doubt we'll ever know. However, something is back there and whatever it is needs to be caught.