Friday, May 1, 2015

The night without Hercules

Way deep down, we are all motivated by the same urges.  Cats have the courage to live by them.
- Jim Davis

What an amazing day we find ourselves today.  It is the end of the work and school week (which makes me want to jump for joy at the prospect of sleeping-in tomorrow), it is first day of May (which fills my heart with happiness and hope for coming summer), by the same token it is Beltane (and I wish those that celebrate a wonderful and happy day) and last but not least it is Friday Kitty Corner when I get to talk about my little furry friends.

My little furry friends have had a wonderful week so far.  Gone are the frigid temperatures, snow and hail of last week and in its place came the warmth and the sun.  Lots and lots of sun.

As I'm sitting here and writing, Hercules is by my side looking at me expressively. I know what he wants.  He wants to go outside and he will in due time, but he's going to have to wait until my morning errands are done.

Speaking of going outside, Hercules continues to keep close to home.  I've been watching him very closely and so far have not detected any desire on his part to wander much past our property gates. This is a definite improvement from last year and it puts my heart at ease somewhat.  I know that he is a cat and I'll never be able to control him 100% of the time but now I can find a comfort in knowing that as he is getting older, his desire to take risks is steadily decreasing.

Couple of weeks ago I mentioned one night last year that Hercules did not come back.  I promised that one day I'll tell you this story so here it goes.

Last year I've kept a good eye on Hercules.  Most of the time I knew where he was and what he was doing.  Still though, every once in a while he would disappear for an hour or so and I had no idea where he went.  I know that he was still close to home though, because every time this happened he came back within few minutes if I called him.

That sorry October morning was no different than any other day.  Hercules was outside on the deck basking in the autumn sun, Angel was at school and I was tidying up around the house.  Around noon I realized that Hercules is nowhere to be seen and started calling him to come back but without much success.  After lunch, I began to worry a little.

When Angelina came back from school and Hercules was still not around, I started to get that sick feeling in my stomach.  After dinner, I tried to keep myself from panicking.  Every ten minutes or so, I was out on the deck calling him and calling him but getting nothing in return.

As the light turned to dark I found myself in full panic mode.  I knew this was a bad situation.  I knew something happened.  My mind was going one hundred miles per hour producing images of dead cats and cats stuck in pick up trucks being driven off into oblivion.

Up until midnight I kept going outside, walking around, calling him and listening for anything that would help me locate him.  I got nothing.

This was not just bad, it was horrible.  We were already into the fall and the nights have been getting cold.  That night the temperatures were supposed to dip down to 0°C.  If he was stuck somewhere, he would get really cold.

As I went to bed that night, I made plans for missing kitty posters.  I also planned on going door to door, asking neighbours to check their sheds and garages.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep much that night.

I woke up the next morning around 7 am to an unbelievable heartache.  I wanted to just roll over and go back to sleep.  I didn't want to be awake in the world where Hercules was no longer.  It was too painful.

Somehow though, my cool head prevailed and I got up.  I opened the door to the backyard and called his name not expecting anything in return.  I was about to close the door back up when I heard the faintest cat cry.


I ran out onto the deck and found my beautiful missing ball of fur hiding under the deck.  He must have come back sometime in the middle of the night and hid under the deck for a bit of warmth.  He was cold, his nose was scratched up and his voice was very weak.  I could tell right away that he's been through something.  He was stuck somewhere and spent hours crying for help and trying to find a way out probably pushing with his nose like cats like to do.

Hercules resting after his unfortunate adventure
For the next week or so Hercules did not even go near the outside door.  His need of adventuring was lost the very night that he disappeared.  When he did go back out a week later, he sat on the deck and stared in one direction more than anywhere else.  I had a feeling that was the direction of his unfortunate adventure.

We will never know what happened to Hercules that night.  This will stay his own bitter secret. Maybe he shared this secret with Oliver, I really hope he did.  And I hope that he'll remember that adventure for a long, long time and stay close to home, the safest place for him to be.



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting and reading my story friend. :)

  2. I am so glad your beautiful baby returned to you. I do know the feeling when they are missing. Sadly, my story didn't end as well. When we moved to our last apartment, hubby wanted to surprise me and went to pick up the cats...which we had left in our old apartment for one day with plenty of food and water until we got everything moved in. I didn't want open doors in the new place and having one of them run out and try to make it to our old place so we waited until all the furniture was in. Well, to make a long story short, hubby went to pick them up and left the door open in the old place. When Twinkie, Minga's daughter, saw the carrying case she ran and never came back. She never liked the vet. We went back day after day for weeks on end but she never showed up. I still think of her so often.

    1. Oh, that's terrible, I'm sorry Mary. Especially that your hubby was trying to do something nice for you with such heartbreaking effect. ((Hugs))

  3. Cats are prone to going off and sometimes they don't come back. I know how worrisome that can be, because once one of my ferrets got out of the house, and disappeared. I knew he wouldn't make it through the night, so I spent hours going around the tree line and in the meadow with a flood light. Just as I was about to give up in despair, I saw red clay flying up out of a clump of weeds. I found him digging out an old mole tunnel. He was red with clay but having a great time. I put up a gate guard on the door the next day, and no one has escaped into the wild since then. I'm glad you got your furry friend back, as well. Life is tough enough without that kind of trauma.

    1. I'm glad you got your friend back. I had to laugh at the clay flying up though... he was in a survival mode, building a shelter already! :D

  4. Thank God your Hercules came back alive! One time, our calico cat Haley darted out from no where and hid inside the tall shrubbery in the back of the house. My hubby sat out outside waiting for her to come to him until 4AM in the morning! Scary stuff ... seriously! Glad your baby was okay in the end. :)

    1. Oh, I'm glad it all ended well. Cats can be very determined and will get out if they want to. :)

  5. That was a scary night. I was so sad for Hercules. Just him being out there all alone and afraid and not knowing if he would come home. I'm glad that he found his way back. :)

  6. That was a scary night. I was so sad for Hercules. Just him being out there all alone and afraid and not knowing if he would come home. I'm glad that he found his way back. :)