As I’m sure you are well aware, my partner in crime is a five-year-old Calico cat named Bombay. 99% of Calico cats are female, so Bombay is nothing special. I’m just kidding! Look at her, she’s gorgeous! She has a quad-colored mouth and she falls over when you yell “Bang!” (I promise, it’s true!) She’s pretty much the best. EVER.
Over her lifetime, Bombay’s been an indoor cat with short stints of freedom in the outside world. In Ojai, she was an indoor cat. In Santa Rosa, she was an indoor cat. In Walnut Creek, she could go outside a little bit. On Minna Street in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco, there’s no way in hell she was going outside. On 19th Ave, she was an indoor cat with a kitten friend. Now, in Tahoe, I’ve decided that she can spend a little time rolling around on the lawn outside.
Initially, I would leave the door open when I was writing on the porch. I’d look over and Bombay would be sitting on the doormat, apprehensive of taking one step further into the wild. The first few times she explored the deck, it was really quite adorable. Eventually she became confident enough to venture further than the confines our my porch. When I noticed these adventures, I would call her name and she would come running back, like “What? I was right here the whole time.”
Yesterday, Bombay disappeared. She was gone for a few hours. I really got nervous. Not that she would have been taken, or even eaten by a bear, but just that she would get lost and not know how to get back. Like Milo & Otis. I guess I tend to get worked up about her.
Once, in Walnut Creek, Bombay chased a squirrel 35 feet up into a tree. I could hear her meowing from inside the house. Cats will always find their way down (you’ve never seen a dead cat in a tree, right?) but I honestly believe she wouldn’t have made it without injuring herself. So I grabbed my lasso and my laundry bag, and I climbed up the tree after her. When I finally got to her, I pried her off the tree, put her in my laundry bag and then lowered it down with the lasso. Pretty innovative, if you ask me. As soon as she hit the ground, Bombay sprinted inside and (as far as I know) has never been up another tree since.
Last night, I caught Bombay out on the lawn again. When I called after her, she ran away, so naturally I chased her. I tracked her around the house, over the brush, and under the neighbor’s tiny shed. I wasn’t about to go under that spider-filled murder shack after her, so I left her again. This time, she didn’t come when I called for her, she didn’t come when I rang the bell (something I do before feeding her, thanks, Pavlov!), and she didn’t come when I begged and pleaded on my hands and knees. I went to bed just after midnight and she still had not come home.
This morning I woke up to a whining, meowing cat out on the porch, hungry for some breakfast… what a brat.