Thursday, November 3, 2016

Lost Cat! Peyton is Missing!

This is so hard to write. It's hard to even know where to begin, because it was like no beginning. It just was and was too late...

All our pets are family. They are all beloved. They are all indoor pets. If you click on Our Family above in the menu, I talk about our family and there is a bio on each of our furbabies, even the ones that have past.

And BOY, it has been a tough 12 months! There's been a lot of loss.

First, Fancy past in October 2015. She had a very long life, but it didn't make it any easier.

Then in March of this year, our sweet, delicate Arwen shocked us when she suddenly passed after dinner, moments before we were going to bed.

Just shortly after his 15th birthday, in June, Dawson passed. His was a very painful death to witness.

Then in September, Skylar passed. We made sure she didn't get to the same point as Dawson.

All of these deaths were different. All of these pets were unique. And each of us grieved differently for each of them. But the common thread in all of them is they were passionately loved and sorely missed.

So when this happened, I didn't think my heart could take it. There had just been too much. I didn't know how I'd cope. But I had to.

So yesterday, after being home for a short time, I finally managed to get groceries we desperately needed. Ashton came with me. When I came home, instead of Ashton running into the house, I decided it was time for her to help carry in the small stuff.

I opened the garage door and we took trips back and forth emptying out the car. Ashton was a great help.

I then started to put away the groceries.And my husband, of course with his impeccable timing, came home when we just put the last item away.

I then told him I was going to walk Khaleesi, as it was a beautiful night and we wouldn't have many nice days left. I don't like walking at night, but that day I felt accomplished getting groceries bought, paid for, Ashton on good behavior-even helping out, and everything put away, I was going to finish out the day walking the dog and feel like I conquered the world. Most days I feel like I'm always catching up, not ahead. So I reveled in the feeling.

While walking out I noticed that the garage door didn't close. Don't know if I forgot, if a sensor went wrong, or if the hubby had it up for a reason when he came in. He's always tinkering out in the garage. Regardless, I wasn't going to stop my day's stride. I was going to walk the dog. I'd put it down when I came home.

While walking the dog I like many women I'm sure was going through my mental checklist. I knew the moment I got home, I'd better call my father to wish him a happy birthday He's an hour behind us, so he should be settled in by the time I'd be done walking the dog.

Khaleesi was walking very well, I was getting my steps in, I was thinking about now that I'm back I can focus on my health and fitness and make it a priority again as I lapsed during our vacation.

On my way back to the house Khaleesi was pulling me to the house. I made it to the neighbor's house next door. Right there in the middle of the sidewalk was Drusilla! What was she doing out? The garage? Did someone leave the front door open or garage door? Did she slip out? Is anyone looking for her?

I picked her up, it was very dark by now. I didn't see or hear anyone.

I walked inside. "Look who I found outside! What's going on?" I am sure I scanned for Peyton. I did a quick dog check and cat check I'm sure. But I remember this part vaguely. It was all scattered in my brain.

Noticed garage door open to garage.
Closed that.
Closed garage.
Got Khaleesi water.
Scanned for pets. Thought my hubby did the same.
Ashton wanted my attention.
Rushed to call Dad on phone.

It's sketchy but I really swear I thought I saw Peyton in her usual spot on the couch. And I wasn't being to deliberate, because I thought my husband was checking on all the pets too.

I called my dad to wish him a happy birthday. Then I called it a night, got Ashton to bed, got us to bed.

Next day, get to work.

Get home from work.

After a couple hours home, we notice we haven't seen Peyton. That's odd. I try to recall seeing her this morning in Ashton's room. 9 times out of ten she likes to wake Ashton with me. She made a big fuss over her yesterday morning, or was that this morning?

And I don't recall her snuggling with her last night...

Petyon? We searched the house casually. Both my husband and I talk about swearing seeing her last night after the Drusilla incident.

She couldn't have? It's been 24 hours since... We would have surely noticed...

We start frantically looking through the house. Ashton helps. Quickly after, my husband decides to check outside.

Damn! It's pitch black outside already. It gets dark so soon. Was it cold out last night? No, no. The weather has been mild. How will we see her?

I turn on all the lights outside the house and inside. We check the oddest places from closets, to under beds and couches and inside the dryer to inside the kitchen cabinets. She's no where to be seen.

I get Ashton to bed. Beg her to stay while I check the perimeter of the house. She couldn't have strayed far.

My husband's already checking the woods our house is backed up to. Acres and acres of woods. I'm listening intently for her little meow or her bell. Nothing... nothing!

I begin to panic. Did we actually lose our own cat and NOT notice? Did we actually loose another furbaby, and this time it is actually all my fault? Is she gone? Is she safe?

I go back inside. It's been 24 hours. It's not like she's hanging around out house. Not now. I have to go forward a few steps. I go online and fill out a lost pet in the area form. I'm trying to think the last time I took a picture of her. I'm scanning through photos that best show her face, her collar, her body. I feel nothing but shame and panic.

I get together a quick lost cat sign. The one here, pictured. I know what I have to do tomorrow. I pray that it doesn't come to this, but it is.

After a while, my husband comes back defeated. He went through the neighborhood, the woods, no sign of Peyton.

We talk about Drusilla and Peyton. Of the two, we'd both bet on Drusilla to survive. She has a mean streak, she can bully if she needs to. They're both declawed but Drusilla is the tougher of the two.  But Peyton. But Peyton. That's like releasing a toddler out into the world. She is innocent. She is pure. She is always happy and curious. She loves shiny objects, and doesn't have one mean bone in her body. She trusts everyone. She loves dogs, cats, kids, people... no common sense! I worry so much about my girl.

Now here we are... no cat. No Peyton. Who knows where she is. If she's scared. If she's dead. If she's safe in another's arms. No idea what direction she's headed. Can she climb a tree declawed? Will she come if called out there, somewhere? Too many questions. Too many possibilities.

Tomorrow we'll put up posters, check online for any leads, check local shelters. But first I have to go to work. We both do. We have to not think about it and focus on work, then rush the daylight hours to find her.

It's easy to think of what did we do, what we didn't do yesterday. But it does no good. It happened. And we didn't really think about it. We had to recall and step backwards about not seeing her today. We didn't notice. It's heartbreaking.

We LOVE Peyton. Fiercely, love her! We'd never intentionally do anything like this, yet it still happened. To our baby. And I think of all the loss, it's just too much. I can only focus on what I'm in control of now and what I can do to search, get the word out, all of it.

I just feel wretched and tired and helpless. This is a terrible feeling. I just want our baby home.
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