So I spoke last of my play-dough kitty. My little tuxie love bug Eugene, but Eugene lived a double-life, and was known to the world quite differently.
Eugene was an indoor-outdoor kitty. He was let out in the morning and returned home later each day. We trained him to come when called by singing "Here Kitty, Kitty!" whenever he ate, so when he heard his call in he came running. I always imagined him getting teased by the other kitties when he was called in for dinner.
It was surprising how much he liked to eat at home too, because he was a serious hunter. I think he thought he needed to feed the whole family. I guess he thought we would enjoy mice, birds, and rats. He even brought home a squirrel once. Always thinking of me, he would bring them right to me, sometimes already dispatched and sometimes still alive in case I wanted to kill them myself. I think he thought my shrill cries were delightful congratulations.
He went missing once, and I was beside myself. Mom and I scoured the neighborhood to no avail. After a day we decided to start knocking on doors. As I described my Eugene, all the neighbors knew who I meant immediately.
"The tuxie? Oh he's your cat? We've lured him with milk for months before he would even let us pet him! He comes every morning and we give him milk - he prefers condensed milk - and we pet him whenever he lets us." Said the elderly couple two houses down.
"If he lets you pet him? Eugene?" I said, imagining my loving lap kitty.
"He comes onto my house at mid-morning and suns himself on my bed." Said the lady behind our house.
"In your house? On your bed! Seriously?" I said.
"Oh yes. He lets me pet him and everything now. One day he just wandered right in the house."
Similar stories were relayed by about four different houses. I could hardly believe it. They all thought of him as an amazing kitty who had graced them with his companionship. The same way I thought of him actually.
Eugene returned home after about four days. He had lost weight and was covered in mud. He never told me were he had been during those four days. I told him never to leave me again, and true to his meow, he returned home every night for the rest of his years.
I hope all the lost kitties find their way home soon. You know who you are (Arty Mouse).