14 January 2012

The Prodigal Cat

What does it say about your relationship with the universe when Friday the 13th is a lucky day?

If you think he looks funny here,
you should see him now.
Jane and I chose to refrain from mentioning it for a number of reasons, but no sooner had we docked in Treasure Cay on December 20th, than one of our cats, Percy the Smart, Percy the High Maintenance, Percy the Occasionally Incontinent decided he'd had enough of life at sea and ran away from home.  (To be fair, we don't know what really happened, he may have simply wandered off to check out other boats as is his custom and become disoriented, or scared off by the dockmaster's cats.) We walked all over the marina and adjacent properties multiple times calling his name.  We put up posters offering a reward for his return. No Percy.  As the days went by, we began to think that someone had taken him.  Very sad for us, but at least, we consoled ourselves, he was being taken care of.

Then Lorna, a friend of Jane's mother, called Trudy to say that the daughter of her neighbors had spotted a cat matching Percy's description the day before.  Afterward, there were more Percy sightings.  Lorna started leaving out food for him when one of her own cats somehow lured him close.  And finally tonight, Jane went over by Royal Palm, which is where Lorna lives (in the condo that used to be owned by Trudy and Bob, coincidentally), and called his name.  From the end of the parking lot, came a meow that was both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.  Familiar in frequency; unfamiliar in tone.  She kept calling and Percy came right to her.

I was folding laundry back on the boat when I heard this scratchy, hoarse sounding meow, meow, meow, over and over and called out to Jane (whom I couldn't see or hear, but nonetheless knew was involved), "what is that sound?"  I stepped out to see which one of our (then remaining) cats was making all the racket and who should fall out of her arms but a very skinny and very, very matted, dreadlocked, Percy. "Look what dragged the cat in." Our wayward son was home.

He's lost a lot of weight and will undoubtedly need to be shaved (presumably under sedation): his fur is way too tangled with bits of flora to be salvageable.  If there is an unfortunate aspect to this it's not the date, but the day.  It is unlikely that we'll find a vet open for business on the weekend on all of Abaco, so poor Percy will have to suffer with what is clearly a maddening condition for him.  He'll survive, though.  I suspect he won't see shore leave again--even supervised--for far longer than it takes his fur to grow back in.

Lucky him.  Lucky us.  Not so lucky Isabel.  Our poor girl cat never liked him (he just finds her fun to irk), and CANNOT believe she has to put up with him again.  She's made her position on this quite clear.  In other words, everything's back to normal on JOY.

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