TOOTSIE has returned, just twenty minutes ago. Pat has already telephoned and emailed the close friends who were agonizing along with us.
Tootsie had been gone one week today and Pat and Henry had given up hope that she would return to us.
When Tootsie arrived at the back door, she was in perfect condition but still so frightened that as soon as she ran inside, she hurried upstairs to hide under a chest of drawers!
Pat and Henry believe that she must have been accidentally shut in a shed or a garage -- they always thought that was the most likely scenario ....
Pat and Henry are overjoyed at (what they take to be) Tootsie's miraculous return, but we cats are not so pleased:
Although this pretty, dainty girl certainly LOOKS like our Tootsie, she SMELLS different to us!
One by one, we are each approaching her, to sniff her flanks and determine whether or not we actually know her. So far only her sister Cocoa and brother Hershey have recognized her sufficiently to touch noses and rub heads -- even her other sister, Taffy, is hesitating.
And because of her (whether or not this IS Tootsie), we are all under house arrest for the foreseeable future ....
More news soon, when Pat calms down.
Darling Tootsie went outdoors with several of the other cats on the morning of Thursday, June 23. Usually the cats roam the yard for only a brief time before returning inside for breakfast. But on this morning, Tootsie vanished.
Tootsie has always been the most fearless and adventurous of the cats. Just the day before Tootsie disappeared, Pat watched her climb all over the very steep roof of the house next door.
Now we fear that she may have been shut accidentally in a neighbor's shed or garage; or perhaps she climbed into a vehicle that transported her far from home.
If you have seen Tootsie or have any knowledge of what became of her, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the most recent picture we have of Tootsie:
Tootsie loved Dolly-Mop, one of the two kittens born in our house in August 2010:
Tootsie was also very close to her brother Hershey. Here, Hershey (on the left) helps Tootsie to more treats:
Since Tootsie disappeared, friends and relatives have been asking Pat, "so why do the cats go out at all if they have a pen? Didn't you learn your lesson when Hershey went missing in December?"
The answer is: yes indeed, after Hershey was lost and found, Pat decided no cat would go out unless she went with us.
The winter was long and and although we cats delight in leaping and dancing and skidding across deep, ice-covered expanses of snow, it was far too cold and wet for Pat's comfort, so there were very few mornings when we could go outside.
But when warmer weather arrived -- well, not only do we cats love to go out into the yard for a short spell in the morning -- Pat loves to go with us.
On warm, dry mornings, we have been going out together at 6:30 or 7.
Pat strolls with us in the yard or watches us from the deck as she drinks her coffee, and since we have so much fun playing with Pat and sharing all of our discoveries with her, most of us -- at least, most of the time -- stay very close and return to her side repeatedly.
Within an hour or two, with Pat's persuasion (sometimes coercion), we return, one by one, to enjoy breakfast in the pen.
Although we cats get plenty of fresh air and exercise in the pen -- and we really enjoy being free to go out there through our cat door, even in the middle of the night -- it's not the same as chasing each other at a mad dash through the width of three back yards, especially when we conclude the romp by scurrying up a handy tree.
These morning jaunts had become the happiest time of our day and also of Pat's!
And we still can't figure out what harm could have come to Toots at such an early hour of the morning, in a suburban neighborhood where such predators as there are come out only at night, and at a time of day when traffic in our neighborhood is so light . . ..
Here is Tootsie (on the right), as a blue-eyed baby, with two of her siblings (Cocoa on the left, and Hershey barely visible at the bottom of the picture). Tootsie could always be recognized by the big white patch on her left back leg:
Yes, in hindsight, Pat knows she was overly confident concerning our safety. And now that Tootsie has vanished, our outings have been cancelled.
OH how frustrated and envious we are now when we stare out from the pen and see the several other cats who live nearby, strolling all over OUR yard, at any hour of the day or night!
Sometimes at night other cats come right up on to our deck to peer through the screen door into our pen. When that happens, Summer Cat, our Fearless Leader, HOWLS so loudly that Pat fears the neighbors will be awakened! Then Pat gets up herself in the middle of the night to chase the intruders away.
Summer has always done his best to guard and protect all of the other Pat's Cats. Here is a recent picture of Summer with Tootsie:
As for Tootsie, we want to say this to her:
Dear, sweet, brave, beautiful, far-too-adventurous girl, you have now been missing for longer than any other of the many cats who have lived with Pat and Henry since our first adored and adorable kitten came to us (Zaidman, 1988 - 2005). Never before has one of Pat's Cats disappeared forever.
We hope you have suffered no pain. We hope that somewhere you are happy.