“M” had been offered a home on Bainbridge Island with his best mate, the beautiful Birman, Oliver. But “M” was devoted to “Daddy Grant”, and was very happy to stay at the “Kitty Suites” and become manager of the foster cats.
He was good at it, too. As the senior boy, the others appeared to defer to him, more or less. They would have denied it, of course, but he was clearly the dominant boy. I had been in love with Oliver and I missed him. It was sort of bittersweet when “M” came back, but we were delighted to see him and soon it was clear that he did not want to be adopted.
We wanted “M” to have a better home, where his person would have more time for him and where he would have a proper place all to himself, or maybe with just one other. But unless someone special came by that was a “love-at-first-sight” kind of thing, he was going to stay.
Once, when Grant was making some improvements to the Kitty Suites, we decided to take “M” upstairs to a spare room where he could enjoy peace and quiet for a day or two. My own cats being the nosy-parkers that cats are, came to sniff at the door, but they were used to it being closed (I had never let them see it open!) and there were more interesting things to occupy them, so they left “M” to settle down.
I should have known it was all going too well.
Next morning I went up with breakfast for my visitor only to find the room empty. How could it be? I had left the window slightly cracked but jammed firmly with a stick and there were two screens, as I had bird-screens on that side of the house.
But where else could he have gone? I rushed to the window and saw that “M” had managed to push the window open and force the inner screen out, along with the bird screen behind.
“M” recounted the story his own way:
“I was a bit affronted, being unceremoniously removed from my rightful lodging, wherein I am, after all, the senior resident.
“I was pondering this while sitting on the windowsill contemplating the patio below. Gradually I became aware of a slight draught around my toes, and discovered a teeny weeny little crack in the window
“My paw fit perfectly into the crack and with a bit of a huff and a puff, I was able to push the window open.
“With a rip and a tear I made a hole in the screen.
“Down on the patio a gaggle of scruffy birds were watching, encouraging me to take to the air. Lowering my head, I realized that they were a long way down, but I was committed now.
“Out I jolly well went, turning gracefully in the air, as only a cat can, and landed with a thump on the patio amid a great fluttering and flapping of wings as the dopey birds took to the air.
“I confess I rather lost interest in the stupid birds, being somewhat winded and realizing that I had just left the room where breakfast would soon be served, with no way to re-enter.
..................................................................................(M jumped from the top left window)
“However, after a nice cool drink from the bird bath, I felt very much refreshed and noticed that the terrain looked familiar. This was where foster father brought me for walks. All would be well. A day of missing breakfast would be good for my waist line.
“The air was cool and sweet and there were lots of lovely smells to check out, so I merely spent the day exploring the hill behind the foster garden. Yes, I confess, I did vaguely hear anxious cries “M? Mr. M?”, “Here M!” Well, you know what they say….dogs will come when called….and I am no dog!
“After a full day of chasing down mice and squirrels and all manner of good stuff, I curled up in a nice cool bed of ivy, for a well earned nap.
“I don’t know how much later I began to dream of fishes and chicken and bowls of kibble, and my nose was beginning to twitch in anticipation.
“Suddenly I heard again: “M”? Where’s my boy?” In my mind that was the dinner bell! So, stretching slowly and deliberately, in order not to seem too anxious, I pushed my head out of the ivy…
“”M”! Oh “M”!”…Well, I couldn’t resist. I was ready for dinner and for a bit of loving, so I scampered down the hill and into foster father’s arms.
“It’s so good to be loved and wanted! I was carried back to my foster palace, a returning hero, and within moments foster mother came flying in and threw her arms around me.
“My room mates couldn’t wait for the foster parents to leave so they could start quizzing me: “Where were you? What did you do? Who did you see? What’s it like out there these days?” All of which I answered in my own sweet time.
“But first I tucked into my dinner and a little kibble with a lick of water.”