When we landed in New York, I turned on my phone and listened to a message from a neighbor I'd never met calling to ask if we own a cat named Buddy. My heart sank, fearing the worst. What with the traumatic life that cat has had, I couldn't help wondering what was coming next.
It turns out that from the day we left, he'd started hanging out at this neighbor's house nonstop. A year ago when we moved in, he discovered her yard, but as she has cats of her own (all indoor), she'd glare at him from the window, hoping to scare him away. At first, it worked, and he'd skitter away back home to us.
But when we left for this last trip, I guess he started to think (yes, I believe cats can think) that we weren't coming home, and he started going there for affection, coming home to our basement for food. Our neighbor said that he'd even started sleeping on their back porch at night and that he was letting them pick him up and snuggle. He rarely does this with new people, so he must have been especially starved for affection. Our neighbor kept commenting on how sweet and cute he is and how sad they felt that he wasn't getting proper love at home.
It made me sad to think that he'd given up on us ever coming home, but as Ted said, "At least we know that at least one of our cats actually misses us."
So when I got home around midnight, I went around the corner to his neighbor's house, poked my head over their wooden fence and said his name once. He came running, fussily meeowing at me nonstop. He'll normally go days without meeowing even once, so hearing this barrage of complaints was pretty funny and cute. He was trying to figure out a way over the high fence, which he usually doesn't do since he manages to get their yard some mysterious cat-way via our backyard.
He finally made the big jump up and let me carry him home, purring like a madman the whole time. He then slept by my side, on my chest, or next to my head all night, several times putting his nose right on mine. So very cute. There's the proof for all you non-cat people out there who don't think cats are affectionate or loyal. Here's the view I'd find every time I'd open my eyes that first night home:
Adoption news: I saw the infamous Immigration letter with my own eyes, but alas, we can't do anything with it until Ted gets home. He's down in Southern California for a few days finishing up that house project, so as soon as he gets back, we'll finally get to notarize the thing and fedex it to Kate. This is the last paper needed for our dossier to be finished. We hope to send it Wednesday, at which point we can officially sit back and wait. Weird to think that this one notarization will be the absolute last paper to complete...