The Cat Came Back

Chili, the cat who first wormed her way into our hearts as a kitten, is gone.

Our snuggly, cuddly friend has run from the flooded town of Guayabitos. It’s been two weeks since anyone has seen her. She hasn’t been around to paw the door open and she hasn’t touched the food that’s been left out for her.

“She’s gone to higher ground.”

“She’d have to cross the highway. What if she got hit by a car?”

“She’ll come back. She’s smart.”

“She’s a people cat. She’ll try to approach someone and they’ll chase her away.”

We picture her, broken tail wagging a question mark as she brings home offerings of dead mice or insects. “Thanks a lot, Chili, but we know you love us. No need for gifts, really, no need.”

We phone our caretakers every week and every week it’s the same—still no sign of her.

“Do you think she’ll come back?”

We wait anxiously for our cat-expert friend’s answer. He shakes his head. “I don’t know. They can get lost.”

She’s a people cat we remind ourselves. She’ll do her best to get back to us.

Three long months go by with no sign of Chili.

Then, “Meow! Meow!” A scrawny, wounded Chili is back. She presses up to the first human she sees and her meow sounds like “gracias” as he offers her a tin of Whiskas.

She’s dirty and has suffered what look like burns. Perhaps someone threw boiling water at her to chase her away, but she’s back.

She presses up against each piece of furniture, against the man’s legs again and again, and pushes her head into the palm of his hand. When she hears our voices via Skype, she presses up against the computer.

She sleeps beside the man. Each time he rolls over in the night she gets up and walks around him to settle in facing him, her gaze never leaving his face.

The next morning her tail wags its question. “Yes, Chili, yes,” the man says. “We love you. Yes, we do. We’ll bath you and feed  you and pamper you. We promise.”


11 comments on “The Cat Came Back

  1. We’re so happy she survived. She’s a most loving cat and we’ll lavish a whole lot of attention on her when we get there.

  2. I wonder where in the world she got to? Thank goodness she has lots of lives to go. I wonder how she and Sally will get along this trip, and if sally will revert to Mexican pooch??

  3. I was so happy she came back I had tears in my eyes. Love my dogs so I can see how you would feel the same way about your cat. Are you going to try and bring her back to canada? Beautiful writing Darlene!!

    • I don’t think we can bring Chili here. Leeme already has Sally and her condo only allows one pet and Chili wouldn’t do well confined inside anyway.
      Thank you for the compliment on my writing.

  4. She’s a survivor, eh? Last year it took Sally a while to get used to Chili again. At first she chased Chili every chance she got, but eventually Chili could walk around and under her like they did when they were both living in Mexico. I expect this year will be the same.

  5. Pingback: Monday Mentions: Dogs, Cats, Babies and Treats « Amy Shojai's Blog

  6. Pingback: Monday Mentions: Dogs, Cats, Babies and Treats | AMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood

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