Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
Secrets And Starvation
by Russell Turner - 14:58 on 02 May 2016
Every cat has a secret life, especially Pandora and Willow when the weather's fine. The cat-flap clangs shut and they're gone (individually, of course – they spend time together outdoors only with a human referee). Whether they're out and about being active, lurking in bushes to spy on birds, or snoozing in the shade, we don't know. A combination of the three is most likely.
Maia's life is much more sedate – leaving The Rural Retreat risks missing a meal or tidbits, after all – but every now and then even she disappears. Occasionally we'll get a clue to where she's been, such as the key and hasty note pushed through the letter box two days ago by neighbours, in a rush to be away, who feared that The Black Shadow was shut in their house where she'd sneaked (not for the first time) in search of tasty morsels. By the time I found the note the wanderer had returned and was seated meaningfully beside her bowl.
This morning's absence was more of a mystery. After being trampled by Willow for fifteen minutes (Matchgirl is hanging out with the Vikings again) I decided that 6.30am was a good time for breakfast and descended the stairs pursued by two hungry ex-kittens but no Maia. She wasn't to be found downstairs either, even after opening packets prompted starving squeals from the remainder of The Pride – something that usually has sharp-eared absentees abandoning outdoor duties and hurrying into the kitchen.
Half an hour later, just as I was pondering whether I should go in search of her, Maia banged through the cat-flap as though projected from a catapult, soaking wet (April showers have dragged on into May), but otherwise fine. Apart from incipient malnutrition, that is. She wolfed down breakfast while I stood guard to keep back Pandora and Willow who'd already forgotten that they ate only minutes earlier.
Meal over, she dried herself down on Matchgirl's blanket and went to sleep on the sofa. Why she was outdoors at breakfast time, and how long she'd been there, is just one of the many moggy mysteries to which we'll never know the answer.
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