Forty-eight hours is such a small portion of time in the grand scheme of things but when you spend that amount of time in endless worry and comforting heartbroken children, forty-eight hours become excruciatingly long. Thank God, forty-eight hours is all it took to bring our kitty home. I am thankful to say that her coming home filled our hearts with gratefulness and love and gave me a much needed reminder that yes, the world is indeed good. You see, if it wasn't for two incredibly thoughtful and compassionate women, I doubt we would have had such a happy ending.
Bhakti escaped last Saturday night when the children went out in our front yard to bring garbage to the dumpster (just as they do every Saturday night). I was putting Baby F down at the time and I believe Kevin was in the garage or backyard. She must have run out the door when the children were holding it open for one another. I am guessing she just ran in the opposite direction of where they were going so that is why they never noticed her. Normally we see her if she tries to run out and if she did get out, she would just stop at the grass to munch. This time something very different happened. Maybe she got startled. Maybe she was right under their nose and they didn't notice. We'll never know. By the time we figured out she was missing, she had a good ten hour head start on us though. It wasn't until K did her morning feeding of the cats that we realized she was gone.
We searched our house thinking she got trapped in a closet or bathroom (it has been known to happen). After an hour of tearing our house apart we realized that she somehow escaped. We sat down and put the pieces together to figure it all out and made a plan to search for her. My first thought was to put up lost cat posts on a couple of local FB groups. I had posted pets that we have found there in the past and have always found the owners. I posted her picture and information about her and hoped for the best. In the meantime we went out searching and searching for her. Twenty-four hours passed. Nothing. My children cried going to sleep that night, worried sick about their beloved cat. Kevin and I barely slept. I placed bowls of food and water by our front door, just in case she found her way back home. I put Baby F's baby monitor by the food bowls, too so I could hear any meows or munching. I never did. Kevin heard the magpies singing and eating Bhakti's food the next morning though.
We continued to go out and search that day and I checked in on my posts. No sightings yet, but kind responses from people saying they would keep an eye out for her. That lifted my spirits. Then we had to go into town for L's Trail Life meeting early that evening. The girls were invited to attend as well for bike safety and an obstacle course. We spent longer than usual there loading and unloading bikes and then getting a few groceries we needed after the meeting. It was late when we got back home and I put Baby F down first thing while Kevin and the kiddos got the groceries in. As I was putting him down I noticed a car outside our house. It looked familiar but I couldn't quite place it. By the time I came out of my bedroom it was ten pm and the car was gone. Kevin and the children were all in the office on the computer. I walked in and asked, "Who stopped by? Did they have Bhakti?", because that was the first thought in my head. Kevin was too busy frantically typing on the computer so K answered me. She said, "It was Miss Jaci!". She didn't have our phone number but knew where we lived so she got in her car and drove over to tell us that someone found our cat and posted in one of the FB groups about it. I don't own a smart phone and hadn't checked my computer in hours so I had no idea. Apparently the kind person that found her (who was allergic to cats) was going to bring her to a shelter because I didn't respond within an hour or two of her request (again, I don't own a smart phone), but my friend Brandi saw the post and offered to hold on to Bhakti until I responded. Brandi and Jaci sent messages back and forth trying to figure out if it was my cat and then that is when Jaci drove over to tell us about it. Swoon. Those ladies are my heroes! Thanks to them Kevin was able to get in touch with the people that had Bhakti and at ten-thirty at night, he and the three older children went to get her.
She came home very dehydrated (the temperature was in the 100s!), dirty and tired but she was home. She has been bathing, sleeping and drinking non-stop since she came back. All of us have been taking turns loving on her and begging her to never leave us again. I know our attachment to her may seem silly to some but she is our special kitty (post on that here), and I don't know what we would do without her. Thank you, again, Jaci and Brandi!!