I’ve been thinking a lot about Callie lately, my kitty who disappeared last autumn after one brief escape outside. I think about her whenever I see a pet who has been attacked by a coyote at work, my breath catching in my throat as I wonder if that is what happened to her. I look at the lacerations, the injuries, and I imagine her sitting quietly, trusting, not realizing that the predator approaching is not an Emmett or a Mulan to tease and romp around.
Whatever it was, I can only hope it was blessedly fast. I still haven’t forgiven myself entirely for the lapse in attention that allowed something to happen.
I received a notice this weekend that her Home Again chip was renewing, and I sat there staring mutely at the computer screen trying to decide what to do. Is there still a chance? Sure there is. But it’s been almost ten months. I spent the first two scouring the shelters, placing signs, talking to the neighbors. I’ll never know, but I know. She is gone.
Strangely, my son asked me this morning what had happened to her. He is not the perceptive one, not the one who takes the losses deeply. I wasn’t even sure he remembered Callie. It was very odd for him to bring this up our of nowhere.
“She’s run away,” I told him.
“Well can we look for her?” he asked, then brought out his Diego magnifying glass. “Let’s look for footprints. They will lead us to her.”
“We can try,” I said sadly. “But I don’t think we’re going to find her.”
“Is she dead?” he asked.
“I think she’s with another family,” chimed in my daughter.
I said I didn’t know but I hoped so.
True to his word, my son spent the afternoon scouring the yard for clues. He didn’t find anything, but as he earnestly tried to find her, it made my heart hurt a little more, and a little less, simultaneously.