The Cat Came Back (with Rainbows)
For the two or three folks who’ve never heard of Boo Radley, he was the reclusive character in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Jem, Scout, and Dill were determined to make Boo—who had reached near mythological status in their minds—come out.
For years, my reclusive cat Potter—the feline equivalent of Boo Radley (and who was plucked off Route 40 in Glade Hill the same day the first Harry Potter movie came out)—wouldn’t go outside. This fall, he “left the building” for very short trips to the end of the deck.
Before daylight on October 21, my husband let Potter out because “he was crying to get out.” Potter took off.
After I couldn’t find the elusive kitty anywhere—and it was clear he wasn't coming back, I conferred with my animal communicator friend Karen. She said Potter was close by and frightened and that Camilla (my little brown cat) knew where he was but wouldn’t tell. Camilla says this is good for him, Karen added.
After a few days, we caught fleeting glimpses of Potter, but we couldn’t actually catch him. In fact, we couldn’t get near him. Karen thought we’d have to trap him. Cats like him often turn feral she said. She referred me to a “Lost Pet Behavior” article on her website. The “catatonic/xenophobic cat” profile described Potter.
Potter was hanging around, though, and would come into the garage to eat if we weren’t close. We’d often watch him on the security camera. He’d occasionally answer my calls with a meow or two. But he wouldn’t come to me.
Yesterday, while working on my new website, I looked out my study window and saw a rainbow. I stepped onto the front porch to snap a picture. Some critters lounged on the porch. Ruby Sherwood, the little yellow dog from down the road, sat in the wicker chair.
Potter was on the wicker settee. When he saw me, he leaped off and vanished into the boxwood. (Apparently Potter has been entertaining friends on the porch while he’s AWOL.)
I snapped the rainbow picture and sat down.
After a moment, Potter meowed from under cover of boxwoods. I talked to him; the meows came closer. I sat still and focused on the idea of him coming back to the settee.
Shortly, he did. I reached down, and he allowed me to pet him. I worked my arm around him and scooped him up. Trapped in my arms, he protested, but I kept hold until I got him through the front door.
Ruby stayed seated for the whole cat-grabbing. She’s very fond of my wicker chair.
After Potter was back inside, the sun came out.
Later the sky darkened, but another rainbow appeared—one that was mostly red.
I think Potter might be glad to return to housecat status. He’s friendlier than he’s ever been before and is behaving almost like a regular cat.
And he didn’t ask to go back out this morning.