Jim and Russel have moved several times since they met 21 years ago.
They celebrated their 21st anniversary May 26, but they were off the grid so they actually had to celebrate it by doing things together, like moving boxes!
In all of those moves, they never had a pet to move with them. This time they had Zoey the Cool Cat.
Zoey the Cool Cat was nine years old. She had spent the past eight years with Jim and Russel in their home. Now she was moving with Jim and Russel to a new home, and they were concerned about how she would adapt.
The first night in the new home was strenuous for Zoey the Cool Cat. Upon arrival this past Tuesday, she promptly crawled under one of the beds, meowed six or seven times, and stayed there for several hours.
As day turned to dusk, she peeked out from under the bed, meowed, and crawled right back under the middle. After doing that for a couple of hours, she bravely but timidly came out, explored the master bedroom, made her way down the hallway, explored the hall bathroom, and then continued to slowly explore the other bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining area, and living room.
Then she discovered the sliding glass door to the balcony. Zoey the Cool Cat has been an indoor cat but since the new home is on the third floor of a three-story building, Jim and Russel had decided that she would have the privilege of being able to go outside to the balcony, giving her an additional sixty square feet to explore.
Russel opened the sliding glass door and Zoey the Cool Cat made her way outside, cautiously. It was all so new and strange.
Wednesday, day two, came and went with nothing interesting to report other than Zoey the Cool Cat had picked out several spots to call her own. She was becoming acclimated to her new home.
Jim and Russel had decided to install a special pet door at the side of the sliding glass door so that Zoey the Cool Cat could go to the balcony any time she pleased. Although she thinks she is queen of the jungle, she isn’t, so her jumping from one balcony to the next, or up to the roof, or down to the ground, is out of the question. She’s smart enough to know how far she can jump.
It was about noon on Thursday when things began to go wrong. Jim had gone to work and Russel was getting back from the storage locker where some things had been stored prior to the move.
Russel had a strange feeling while traipsing up the stairs. No explanation. Just a strange shudder.
In the old home, Zoey the Cool Cat could hear the car coming about thirty seconds before it arrived and would always meet Jim and Russel at the door. In the new home, forty feet up in the air, she doesn’t have that warning.
As Russel opened the door to the new home, no Zoey the Cool Cat to greet him with her tail up in the air. No worries. Zoey the Cool Cat had plenty of places to hide and was probably asleep in one of them.
Russel walked around the new home, calling out “Zoey? Oh, Zoey?” while opening windows, looking under beds and furniture, in cabinets and drawers….
No Zoey the Cool Cat.
Russel reached the master bedroom last, opened the window, and saw a cat crossing the street. It looked like Zoey the Cool Cat, but of course it couldn’t be. No way for Zoey the Cool Cat to get down to the ground. But that saunter as the cat crossed the street. Only Zoey the Cool Cat had a saunter like that.
Russel called out the open window: “Zoey!”
The cat stopped on the sidewalk, looked back and up at Russel, and took off through the field. Although Russel can’t be sure that the cat crossing the road was Zoey the Cool Cat, the evidence is overwhelming:
There is no cat in the new home.
The cat crossing the street looked like Zoey the Cool Cat and even seemed to respond to Russel calling out “Zoey!”
Jim was devastated when he came home, only to learn that Zoey the Cool Cat was not a member of the family anymore. Gone, long gone.
Jim and Russel are heartbroken.
There are stories of dogs and cats leaving new homes and making their way back to their old homes, the homes of familiarity and love. Since the two homes are only 3.3 miles apart, Jim and Russel decided to check the old home daily, as well as putting up “HAVE YOU SEEN HER?” signs in both neighborhoods. They are hopeful that even though she has always been an indoor cat, she knows how to find her way back to either one of the two homes.
There’s my flash fiction for the year. What do you think?
Zoey the Cool Cat in the old home:
Zoey the Cool Cat in the new home:
I think she has adjusted.
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