Smacky is home!

I got a call around 3:00 PM today. It was a guy, Rob, and he said he’d seen a strange cat hanging around in his backyard, and it might be Smacky. Rob had seen my posters around the neighborhood. Rob lived only a block or two away from my house. I got his address and said I’d be there as soon as I could.

I took off work early, sent an email to my boss telling him I had a personal matter to take care of. The bus was delayed by the bridge going up! Seemed to take forever to get home.

I stopped at my apartment and got some of Smacky’s food, some of his favorite treats, and, yes, one of my old socks. I also grabbed his carrying case.

Got to Rob’s apartment. Rob was in his 20s, thin. Smoking. He let me in. I was probably a bit rude as I walked through the house to the back. But I wasn’t thinking. I was hopeful but not too hopeful.

In the backyard, which wasn’t much more than a strip of land behind the place, Rob tried to point out Smacky. Hard to see an all-black cat in the shadows. But I finally spotted him; he was hiding under some bushes running along the top of a ledge between two neighboring yards.

I called Smacky’s name and saw the little black head perk up and look my way. Called it again, and the cat started grooming himself. I got closer, as close as the fence in Rob’s backyard would let me get, and called Smacky and pulled out some of his treats. By this time, I was sure it was Smacky. He got up and carefully walked along the top of the ledge, stopping once or twice to look at me as if to say, “Is that really you? Where have you been?”

I held my hand out with the treats, and Smacky about attacked them, nipping my hand once or twice in his effort to swallow them whole. I reached out, petted him, and tried to grab him, but Smacky was way ahead of me. By this time he’d finished the treats, and he looked up at me then ran up my outstretched arm and jumped onto my shoulders. He started purring and rubbing his head on my chin. I guess he was ready to come home.

I carried him back towards the house and where I had left his carrying case. Had a struggle getting him in there, until I dumped the rest of his treats inside.

I thanked Rob very much. “I’m really grateful, and can I, I don’t know, buy you a six-pack or something?”

“No, man, it’s OK, I don’t drink…” Rob seemed genuinely glad. “I’ve got cats, too.”

I thanked him several more times and left. Rob’s girlfriend was just coming back and she asked me if that was my cat and I explained that it was, and thanked her some more.

Once home, I let Smacky out. I wanted to beat him for being gone so long but knew that would only confuse him.

He looks fine. The sutures for his operation seem OK, and he doesn’t appear to have any new scars. He’s a bit thinner and lighter than he used to be but that’s normal. He ate a bunch of food and drank some water. He won’t leave me alone — and that’s OK. He did have a scrap of white fur caught in one of his claws. Definitely not his fur. I guess he won that one; even though his nails are trimmed down. Right now he’s sleeping across my shoulders and purring up a storm.

I was so worried. I’m so glad to have him home again.