Let me set the scene. The year was 2004. I lived in a log cabin in a town that is smaller than I currently live in. We had just realized we had a major ant issue, and that we needed to have pest control come and spray for them. We were told to gather our pets and take them off the premises for a few hours, and that they couldn’t be inside the house. At the time, we only had our dog Abby and our cat Mittens. But there was this orange tabby cat that looked no more than 10-12 weeks old hanging around our yard. We decided to try to get him into a crate too and get him away from the chemicals. So we tried to lure him onto our deck with some food.. and after a few attempts, we were successful.
We took him to the vet, just so they could check him out and make sure that if he was in our yard and in contact with our pets while we figured out who he belonged to that he was healthy. They said he was probably about 9 weeks old. We ended up knocking on our neighbors doors asking if anyone knew who he belonged to. Most of them said they didn’t know anything about a cat in the area, and one of our neighbors said that people sometimes would leave their cats at a little abandoned barn across the street from our house, and that was most likely how he ended up in our yard. After not much thought, we took him in. And we named him Toby.
Toby and Abby were very close. They were similar in color, so they groomed and licked each other like they were mother and son. It was pretty adorable to see, and it was an almost daily occurrence. As the years went by, we moved Toby, Abby, and Mittens to the town (& house) we currently live in, and after living here for a few years, we lost Mittens at age 18-19 due to old age.
I used to say that Toby was a cranky old man. He loved to come into the house, eat, purr a little, and he would go right back outside, visiting our neighbors in their yards, and would come back later to eat more and then leave again. He had to be in a people kind of mood in order to spend time inside curling up with us.
Mid-July he went missing. The first two days, we kind of just assumed that he was wandering the neighborhood and that he would be back. But he didn’t return. We walked around our neighborhood, and drove around other neighborhoods in town where people had told me they saw a cat fitting his description. Now, as the leaves turn colors it’s actually hitting me he’s been gone 2 months. I can only be happy about the wonderful years we spent together, and that we were lucky to take him in when he was just a kitten, and give him 8 good years that he might not have had otherwise.
Miss you, grumpy old guy. ❤