Jill's first escapade.
After Jack's breakout what happened to Jill is somewhat of a mystery. While he was howling at the intruders Jill looked a bit spooked, hiding under one of the chairs, with darting eyes trying to make sense of the situation. All we know is that she went out the cat flap and, unlike Jack, didn't return.
The wind was whipping around that night, a strong westerly with heavy gusts had all the things that could flap flapping. Pots and bits of rubbish rattled around the eddies bouncing off the bits that remained bolted down. It was a bad night for a first exploration of a new territory.
The next morning I started to worry. Jill was nowhere to be seen and Jack was looking very self satisfied as if he'd achieved what he wanted to sort out after opening the cat flap. I went out calling in the near neighbourhood all day long frequently accompanied by Jack who kept close to me whilst I called. When she failed to return on the Monday evening I spent the early hours in the garden calling gently and rattling Jill's collar which had been taken off during her settling in stage.
I started to wander further from home calling and jingling. My thoughts at this time were that she may well have crossed the road into the wildwood and got distracted from home life for a bit. During the next day I had a hundred "missing" flyers printed and started distributing them to the houses in the near vicinity. I veered toward the up-wind direction for the letterboxing for reasons unknown. Maybe I was trying to think like a lost cat. It didn't work.
Next day I leafleted the downwind houses to the top of the road, calling as I went. Each time I bumped into folk gardening or suchlike I engaged them with pleas for help and was met by generous sympathy for Jill's plight. Nice people. Still no phone call though.
By day I did the wildwood, by night the local streets. Calling. Ringing. Calling. No answer. I started to really worry. I printed out posters with Jill's picture on and another plea for vigilance and posted them at the local vets, the newsagent, and on telegraph poles. As I posted the last one I headed into the wildwood again. This time I continued westward into Nightingale Shaw just as an extension of my previous searches.
I returned with aching legs and a sore throat from constant calling and a bit of a flat spirit I admit. As I returned to the house I saw a gentleman on the front path looking at the poster in the window. As I got within earshot I said the usual "can I help you?" that's heard around here. The visitor turned and asked if I'd lost a cat. When I answered yes he said simply "I've got it".
He recounted how he'd come out to clean out his small pond to find Jill getting a bit close to it. When he made his presence known Jill used the not uncommon cat tactic of throwing herself on the ground in front of him and rolling around looking cute. She got a fuss and then, to save her from the passing rush hour traffic, he locked her in the summerhouse with a drink of water. What a nice man.
The vets eventually gave out our address as the phone was going unanswered what with Kath visiting her sister and me in the woods. That's why we got a personal visit and why Jill got home on Friday afternoon after four and a half days in the wild.
She moaned in the basket on the way home. It only took about three minutes and then she was rubbing against the furniture. Then came the food. A whole pack of Felix in two sittings and a bundle of crunchy bits afterwards. Then drink and she settled down under the sofa to sleep. About three hours later she was after food again which, naturally, she got .Sleep/eat/sleep seems to have done the trick. She's just come up to bed on the landing after a fuss and some food. She's even started chatting to me.
What huge relief. Here's the map showing what happened.
© G.Reddy 2007
last edited on 29/07/2007