Abish has vanished.
She left home a week ago
Oh, we will miss her!
I wake in the morning and stumble out to the living room for family scripture reading. As the family assembles, Abish joins us in our circle. Sometimes I grab a knit mouse toy while the children are gathering and Abish swats and pounces, leaping high in the air. She is our expert hunter, occasionally bringing us birds, mice, katydids, and grasshoppers. As we read the scriptures, she lays happily on the sofa next to Steven. It was a tradition. she will be missed.
I sit at the table with my Frosted Mini-Wheats and my Honey-Nut Cheerios. Abish sits near by and watches as I eat. I must be careful if I become distracted or leave the table before I'm done - Abish will swoop in like a vulture to drink the milk from my bowl. When I'm finished, I take my bowl to the sink, and dump most of any remaining milk, but Abish races over and licks my bowl anyway. She loves the milk, but if she gets too much, she throws up. Again, it was a tradition, and she will be missed.
I remember one day I was eating Ritz crackers and she came, watching me intently. At one point, she grabbed one from my hand, dragging it off to eat by herself. I didn't know cats ate crackers!
Elsewhere in the house are reminders of her presence - the box of paper reams with the edges chewed and shredded, for example. She loved to shred cardboard. The blanket on top of the TV stand was her favorite place to sleep, and often snore to our amusement.
Hannah's bedroom was another favorite sleeping place. When the door was closed, she would meow and scratch, hoping that it would be opened for her, often in the middle of the night. It was about 5am last Sunday morning (the 22nd) that she was howling outside Hannah's door, and I picked her up and let her out the front door of the house so the rest of us could try to get a bit more sleep. That is the last time I remember seeing her. She might have come back in - she frequently went in and out all day, never straying far from the house. But that evening after dinner we opened a can of cat food - a ritual that the cats never miss - but Abish wasn't there. We called for her. We looked outside and called for her. We searched the house and we searched the yard, but she wasn't anywhere to be found. And she hasn't been seen since.
I contacted animal control. We put up signs. But with no luck. I dreamed about her almost every night for the last week, sometimes finding her in my dream and being so happy that she had returned, only to wake and be sad again because it was only a dream and she is still gone.
Ishmael and Lala remain of the four cats we once had. Ishmael has been wanting more attention lately, frequently standing up on me and requesting hugs. The poor guy is without his oldest friend.
Did she get attacked by a wild animal? Was she hit by a car? Did she get stuck in some garage or window well? Was she taken in by some lonely soul? Is she still alive somewhere? I think the worst thing is not knowing what happened to her. One way or another, we will miss her.