Where Is Molly?

I have a sad, nervous, sinking feeling in my stomach tonight.

Molly-EyesMolly the Cat left the back yard sometime before her dinner this evening, and she hasn’t come home yet. It’s eleven o’clock now, and I’ve walked around the neighborhood twice, calling her name and making kissy sounds, but no Molly. She’s old — almost fifteen years — and frail, but she is so fiercely independent that there has never been any question that she gets to go outside when she wants to. When she was a young cat she would often stay out until two or three in the morning, but in the past year or so, she has limited her ramblings to the immediate vicinity of the house, and she has rarely wanted to stay out more than a half hour after dark.

But today, the last day of Pacific Standard Time, 2014, she is out somewhere, by herself, late, with no food. I keep looking at the back screen door, expecting to see her skinny little self sitting there, looking in, eager to get a bite to eat and a warm place to sleep. But she’s never there.

I’m going to bed now. I put her bed on the back porch in case she comes back when I’m not there to open the door. I expect I’ll wake up and check for her at the door a few times. There’s no use looking for her any more. She has never come when I called her anyway. I hope she’s OK. I hope she comes back. I won’t be mad at her if she comes back.

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UPDATE, March 11: She did come back! She vanished just before her dinner late Saturday and I found her about the same time the next day, hiding in the bushes at the side of the house. By that time she had not eaten or had fresh water for 36 hours. She does not have any broken bones or visible wounds (like from a car accident or animal attack), but she was bleeding from the mouth and her breath is foul. My guess is she was in a fight (uncharacteristic for her) and bit somebody hard enough to lose a tooth, and now has a stinky infection in her mouth. She has done little but eat and sleep for the past day and a half, although she is not much interested in dry cat food, which supports the lost tooth theory. I’ll have a vet check her out, but she is my baby and I am so glad she’s back.

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