So I haven’t felt much like writing recently. First there was the whole Christmas thing that was fun and great, but super tiring. Sometimes I get a little cocky and finish my shopping three whole days before Christmas and then forget that it takes me about that long to actually wrap all the gifts. So then I’m awake until 3 AM Christmas morning and Christmas goes by in this hyper-caffeinated haze.
Then there’s Billy.
Who’s Billy? Billy is that scruffy looking cat you see up there. He is pushing 18 or almost 18… either way, he’s old. He’s always been a little mangy and maybe a little smelly, sometimes people don’t really want to touch him, but he’s cute in a way that only something that is super pathetic looking can be. He used to be pretty fat, but after witnessing this I’d have to adjust my opinion on Billy’s former corpulence. Though, in his old age, he tops out at around 5 pounds.
Anyway, so yesterday I get a call from my father (while I’m at James’s house) asking if I can check the back seat of the car for Billy.
Apparently Billy has gone missing and my family had searched the house/neighborhood to the point that the only logical conclusion my dad could come to was that Billy had snuck into the back of the car I used to drive to James’s. Obviously this isn’t good news. It snowed the night of Christmas and Billy has never been outside in his life. He’s a little wobbly walking around the house and totally deaf, so surviving a night outside would be quite the feat. Meanwhile, my family has totally torn apart the house in the case that maybe he curled up somewhere and peacefully passed on.
Either scenario doesn’t end well though, so I’m pretty upset. I want to come home, but at this point it’s getting dark outside and my parents insist there’s nothing I can really do. Reluctantly I hang out with James’s friends and see a movie. Meanwhile my dad goes biking in 20 degree weather to see if he can find any signs of Billy. When I get out of the movie, there’s no missed calls or texts with any updates. With night two halfway over, I’m getting really depressed.
This morning I try to remind myself that he lived a long and happy life. He probably snuck out of the house and got to go on a grand adventure and James reminds me that hypothermia would just make him fall asleep. However, it’s still sad. Billy was more spritely in these past couple weeks than it seems he was in the past few years. Just the other night he was batting an ornament around the house and having the time of his life. I couldn’t help but feel guilty because I was the only one who left on Christmas night and he must have gotten out while I was loading the car.
As I drove home, it just seemed so incomprehensible that I’d no longer get to hear the sound of Billy’s grunting throughout the household.
So I schlepped all my stuff up the stairs when I got home, wanting to avoid everyone and just go take a shower when my mother immediately says, “Did you get my text?! We found Billy…. Alive!”
Apparently my father and brother, the eternal optimists, put up ‘Missing Cat’ signs around our town and within a half hour a lady called who had found him. [And again, I stress] Alive! She brought him to the emergency vet in our town where they fed him and ran tests on him and kept him safe until we picked him up. Other than a pre-existing thyroid condition, he’s totally normal (…for Billy) and now we even know why he was losing weight (and that maybe we need to switch vets since they totally missed this condition during his last exam).
So guys, Christmas miracle!!!! Who knows how he survived that first night, but we are all so happy to have him back!! And I’m so happy that I get to write this post explaining why I haven’t felt like writing instead of the one that ends in memoriam.
Merry Belated Christmas, everyone!