The Cat Who Came Home (for Christmas?)

I’ve just gotten back from a drive started three hours ago. And I have a gift – an unexpected one!

I have our cat.

Our cat, who disappeared four and a half months ago.

We’ve had this cat for seven years. But when we moved to this new house in August, she got out into the back yard too quickly – and must have wandered off and become lost, unable to find her way home.

We walked all around the neighborhood, calling her name. We put up posters. I searched the ads for ‘found cats’ and even called a few. But none of them were her.

I told myself (and the children) she must have gone across the street to where the fields roll on for several miles, verdant with hay, trees in the distance, cows grazing here and there. She was always a good hunter, I said. She just wanted to move out to the real countryside. I was bluffing, a bit – for I feared worse.

We still missed her.

But Christmas is coming, and it was time to get a cat in the house. I don’t really believe in homes without cats. I’ve had them, but an warming aura goes missing from them, the very moment one walks in the door.

We looked at the cats for adoption at the petstore, on ‘’, in the posters tacked up at the market. None of them seemed exactly right. But this weekend was the weekend I’d decided we were going to get a cat (or two) and I called the shelter to find out if they were open tonight. Yes, she said, they were open. We could come down and fill out an application.

Adopting a cat has become a bureaucratic business. You have to have references and prove a proper home is there for the cat. You must wait until you are ‘approved’ by the ‘agency’. Then you can dole out the close to one hundred dollars per cat that it takes to adopt and take your cat home.

I was getting rather drearily tired of this whole thing. I remembered when we first brought Pavlova home, from the local vet where we lived out in the countryside. Cats and kittens were valuable and beloved things in this rural area, but they were readily available without too much fuss – to anyone who was ready to care for them! But those times were gone, and town living demanded the paperwork and the proofs.

But I’d go pick up the kids from school, I said to myself, and off we’d go to the shelter to do it.

For some reason, just before walking out the door, I clicked onto Craigslist/Pets. I’ve never done that before. Scanning down, I saw a few for adoption. But it was time to go – I was already almost running late. I was just about to click off the site when I saw it:

Black female adult cat, six toes on each front paw, found in area, for adoption.

The note had been posted three weeks ago. Could it be Pavlova?????
I called the phone number, and was astonished when someone actually picked up the phone.

To make a long story short, our cat is home.
How she got to be an hour-plus drive out into the countryside, over hills and dales and one-lane covered bridges in a small two-room ramshackle propane-heated house on a dirt road where two lively young white-tailed deer stared at the car as we drove by staring at their beauty, how Pavlova came to stay with a kind woman who fed her along with her own two cats till this rather miraculous day twelve days before Christmas, on the exact day I was setting out to gather one or two other cats into our own home – is somewhat of a mystery.

Pavlova can sing! She decided regardless of her name, to be a singer rather than a dancer. She purrs and mews and prounces will not eat her supper unless I sit with her to keep her company. But she can not talk, to tell us what happened.

But Pavlova is home.

Pavlova, is home.


8 thoughts on “The Cat Who Came Home (for Christmas?)

  1. Yes, she is home and In Charge again, having woken me up at 5AM to tell me she was hungry.

    I was zonked last night after bringing her home – it was such a total shock, the whole thing.

    Then on top of that after I first hung up the phone with the lady after hearing that it probably was Pavlova at her house I ran out to the shed to get the cat carrier as quickly as I could and I reached up for it in a rush and pulled it down and it dumped the gallon of freezing water all over me which must have leaked in from the rain and the top of the shed. Soaked.

    Ran in, changed, and ran out.

    And here we are.

    There was an amusing essay on the backpage of Scientific American magazine this month about governments and politics throughout known history – and how the longest lasting successful political structures (those of the Ancient Romans and those of the Ancient Greeks) relied on portents (you know, like reading messages from the way a cut-up bird’s intestines happen to lay when you cut it open, etc.) to a great extent in their decision-making processes – and how this might be useful in our time with the lesser-length successes currently at play.

    Is this whole thing of Pavlova a portent? And if so what is it a portent of?

    It is certainly interesting to muse upon.


  2. I’d like to consider the fact that it’s a portent of great hope. How about that?

    I agree, that somehow we are just too disconnected from the other side of what the Celts call “the thin veil.” Being of English, Scottish, and Czech heritage, well, I think a lot of things might be true that our limited senses might not, well, sense, if you know what I mean.

  3. Yes, I do know what you mean, Cindy.

    The extent of the influence of pop culture is rather amazing, though. When this all started happening, what went through my mind was the scene from the Charlie Brown Christmas television special, where Linus lispily intones “We bring you tidings of great joy”.

    Really the allegorical aspects of this story are startling. Usually this level of allegorical material would show up over a period of time within any given set of things happening. It was all so boiled-down, though. So perfect. And so perfectly set in time.

    Was it a hint from ‘beyond’ that the most incredible things can happen?
    Or was it just plain old co-incidence?

    A friend wrote in an e-mail to me:

    You are right about the “odds” against the sudden sliver of that moment’s decision to check a place you never would have checked. Like an infinitely thin zig-zag joining things across boundaries and differences.

    How beautifully phrased.

    • I’m a bit superstitious about saying that out loud, Susan – particularly about something so ‘close to home’.

      But I’ll whisper it, maybe, into the still air. 🙂

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