From the Melville Cat:
In my previous post I told you that I was missing. Today, I came back.
I arrived early this morning and went straight to the sunbeams on the kitchen floor.
I didn’t come back on my own. Heather brought me back.
Heather found me in a place called Westdene, in a house nearly two kilometers (1.2 miles) from here. Heather was surprised that I traveled such a tremendous distance. She was also surprised that I didn’t sustain any injuries during my three-week disappearance, especially considering my medical history. (I don’t have a scratch on me. I’ve lost some weight and my fur is a bit scruffy. Otherwise I’m fit as a six-month-old teenager.)
I, of course, am not surprised at all.
This was me this morning, at the home of Danielle (left) and her landlord, John (right), in Westdene. Danielle identified me and found Heather using an internet tool called Facebook. Danielle is a nice lady.
I’m sure that you, my fans, are curious about what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks. Alas, a cat’s short-term memory only lasts for 16 hours. I can hardly remember what I did last night, let alone last week.
But I will try my best.
I’m not exactly sure when I left. I know that Heather had already been away for a long time, and I hated it. Ray was here but things weren’t the same. I’ve never been keen on staying in the house when Heather is away, and Heather has been away more and more. And although I like our new Melville house, I don’t feel rooted here like I did at the old Lucky 5 Star.
So I left.
I ventured under the hedge behind the house, clambered into the adjoining property, and kept going. At some point I found myself on a big, scary, noisy road. It was night. I didn’t know how I got there or how to find my way back. I tried to retrace my steps. I came to a dark street, which might have been my street but I wasn’t sure. I saw nothing but high walls, too tall to climb over. I didn’t know which house was mine. I kept moving.
I began regretting my decision to leave.
I crawled under a door and found myself in a yard filled with cats. At least ten cats — a clan of cats — and not a human in sight. I puffed up my tail, put my hackles up and moaned, wailing my high-pitched cat cry until I reached a tremendous crescendo.
After the cry, I regarded my adversaries. They gazed in wonder.
“Who are you?” asked White, who seemed to be the leader. I had met White before, on the roof of my new Melville house. But White had forgotten me.
“I am Smokey, the Melville Cat,” I announced. “I am the feline king of Melville.”
A murmur, more like a collective purr, passed through the clan. “Welcome, King Melville,” said White. “We hail you.”
I lived as the leader of the cat clan for a while. But there were no humans — apparently the clan’s human moved away — and little food. The clan became restless, expecting me to do something, but I lacked the necessary skills. I kill only for sport, not sustenance. I could not feed the clan.
I decided it was time to move on, and slipped though the door under cover of darkness.
My memory blurs at this juncture. I walked and walked. I crossed the big scary road and entered a large green field. There were houses beside the field and I often slept in their gardens, snatching food when I could find it. I slept under porches when it rained and licked myself clean afterward. I killed birds, for sustenance this time, and crunched their bones. I stood in the middle of the field and moaned my high-pitched cat cry, hoping someone would hear me. No one did.
Finally, I came to the garden of Danielle and John. It was peaceful there. Two small dogs ruled the garden; there was also a cat or two. They accepted me and let me share their food. This garden became my oasis for a few days. Finally I wandered into the house and met Danielle. Danielle gave me food and milk. I curled up inside and slept. That was yesterday. Then Heather came.
And now I’m back.
Heather has confined me inside all day, which I suppose is no surprise. She has also buckled a collar around my neck, which she says will help keep me safe if I run away again. The last time Heather put a collar on me, I “lost” the collar within four hours. I will attempt to break my previous collar-loss record once Heather lets me outside.
It’s hard to see in this photo but I am wearing a shiny silver collar, with glitter. Soon I will also have a name tag. How rude.
It’s nice to be back. I slept on Heather’s desk all day as she typed. Perhaps I will stay this time.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
The Melville Cat is an emotional mirror for me. He showed up at a critical juncture of my life, and ever since then he has constantly reminded me of how far I’ve come as a human and how far I still have to go. I’ve been through such a range of emotions today, because of Smokey: happiness and relief and guilt and anger and sadness and, worst of all, fear.
But now it’s quiet, and the emotions have subsided, and Smokey is sleeping behind me on my desk chair. Right now, the Melville Cat is reminding me that I have a lot to be grateful for. I’m grateful for that moment at 6:30 a.m. this morning when I walked into a warm kitchen two kilometers from my house and saw my cat — who I thought I’d never see again — drinking milk on the counter. I’m grateful that today I got to pet and hold and feed Smokey again. I’m grateful that Smokey will sleep on my bed tonight.
The Melville Cat is kind of a jerk, to be honest, and I don’t know if he’ll even stay around this time. I don’t know what will happen. But I’m grateful for today.
I’ll close this post with a poem about the Melville Cat, written by a very special person.
Smokey dokey derrière, the floor and person
hugging supercat, with hair so fine, I’ll make him
mine with one lick of milk divine. The way
he greets is so discreet and so sincere I cannot
picture Heat’s world complete without him.
oH MY GOSH WELCOME HOME!!!!
Heather.. this is the best best thing…. sorry about the angst you have gone through. Just be happy he is back.. it will not be forever because that is the nature of life.. as you know. But for now he is back with you and that is all that matters.
So glad his back, that last picture of him looks like he is telling you that you left on an adventure so he thought he would go on one as well.
Hooray! So happy to see that MC has returned. Loved hearing his adventures. Have microchips made it to vets and shelters in South Africa? So many success stories here.
I wonder which MC would hate worse — chip or collar.
Boss Cat has houdinied off about four. I had neighbors calling me to collect collars. Finally found one — a stretchy one — that she can’t get off.
Yes, he does have a microchip. Danielle founds him on Sunday though, so she would up identifying him through Facebook before she had a chance to take him to the vet to check for the chip. Thank god for social media.
Darn right. Well done Danielle.
So glad he is back safe and sound! I know he’s always been a wanderer seeing as how he wandered away from his first owner to live with you. Does he prefer his old home where you used to live? Is that why he wandered off? Well I’m hoping doesn’t get bored and stays put this time. The brief instances my silly dog ran off when he was alive always caused me to panic since we didn’t live too far from a busy road. Luckily he never strayed too far–he knew where the food was. We once forgot he was outside and it was the middle of winter and it was snowing out. Not sure how we locked him out but he didn’t run off most likely because he was waiting to be let in from the cold. I hope the kitty stays put this time!
we are all VERY VERY happy that he is safe and back home with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ok I know you do nit like all those exclamation points but here I meant to use them….
How long have you had The Melville cat for. I used to live in Melville and my Smokey Joe just disappeared overnight around 5 years ago. I searched for a year for him and then we moved back to CT. The resemblance is uncanny. He was microchipped but I know a lot stop working. Jen
Hi Jen, that’s strange! I’ve had him for about four years. I know his previous owner though – she got him as a kitten from the Melville vet. Sorry about your Smokey 🙁
I love the Melville Cat posts. I have the opposite problem with our dog, The Cheese Thief. She follows me everywhere and yes, she also steals cheese. Smokey is regal and ridiculously photogenic and seems to live by the treat Heather mean, keep Heather keen mantra. Looking forward to the next instalment.
Hahaha. Yes that is so true.
Melville Cat! We promised to have a talk with you upon your return.. Whilst we support your need to explore, you must have, by now, realised that not all humans are as kind as Heather. We were three abandoned babies when our human took us in. So take it from us be kind to your human, she was worried sick about you and she doesn’t deserve that. Sincerely; Velvet, Black Jack and Star.
Four cheers from me and my three! Damn rollercoasters these pesky blighters put us through Heather, but to have them around does make it worthwhile. ♥
What a great post. And the line about him being kind of a jerk made me laugh out loud. All cats are kind of jerks but we love them anyway. I hope Smokey sticks around this time.
Did you forget that Heather is the most loyal fan of the Feline King of Melville. She also makes sure you have food, water and love. Perhaps you should limit your adventures to short day trips. Also, give Ray a chance, he would be a loyal fan if you would let him. Good Kings look after their subjects. Think about this while you pretend to sleep in the sun. These wise words come from Chicken, the most stubborn cat in Cape Town.
Hahaha. Thank you Chicken, you sound like a very wise feline.
So glad to read that Smokey is back. I can imagine what you may have gone through….missing pets can be so traumatic. But all is well that ends well 🙂
I saw the post title and I came right over! Thank goodness!
Hurrrrrayyyyy! What was up with that? Is the Melville Cat trying to get everyone’s attention? Well he sure did. I am so glad to hear this news!
Welcome back Mr. Smokes. You’re looking good.
Oh, I’m so glad you found him, and I’ll bet he is too — I’m sure Danielle took care of him, but not the same since he was used to being THE cat. About 6 months ago my Sophie disappeared (she was also good at getting rid of the hated collar) and we never found her. If anyone took her in, they didn’t see all the flyers we put around. So it was doubly upsetting to read about Smokey, and it’s made my day that he’s back. Do you think he was maybe trying to find his way back to Lucky 5 Star? He’ll never say, since it sounds like he got lost instead, and no cat is going to admit that.
Thanks so much Genie and I’m very sorry about your kitty. Not knowing is the worst. No, I don’t think he was going back to the old house – he never appeared there and he moved in the opposite direction. But who knows? No one knows but Smokey 🙂
This is pretty amazing. I am so glad home and safe.
And having a chip is SUCH a responsible thing to do, especially in today’s world.
Good on both rescuer,rescued and owner 🙂