On top of all the craziness in my life, my Bengal cat, Savannah, is gone. I let her out early one Sunday morning without her collar. It had fallen off and needed to be put back on. She was annoying me with that loud meow she does so well, and I sleepily shooed her out the door without it. She’s been gone for three weeks, and it’s pretty much because I’m an inadequate cat mom. It’s all my fault.
After a couple days (I generally don’t go into “Holy shit my cat is missing” mode for a couple days, because cats are like inconsiderate teenagers who don’t call mom before heading to a friend’s house or being later than curfew.) I made lovely signs and posted them all over my neighborhood, and Nick inserted them in mail boxes. I made lost pet reports and searched the neighborhood and house many times. Nick called the animal shelter. A Bengal had been turned in, but it was brought to the shelter by its owners in Kennesaw. WHO JUST GIVES THEIR PET TO THE SHELTER?!?! Worse cat parents then me I guess.
It was a long shot, but I went to see if it was our cat. The animal shelter is a sad place. I feel bad for all the homeless kitties, so I played with every cat in the viewing rooms. I did not find the Bengal, so I was directed to “all the other cats.” I said “There’s more?!” Outside, in an outdoor storage area, were at least fifty more cats in cages. I felt so helpless, because what I thought was a good deed to every cat there was just for a fraction of them. The Bengal was in the clinic and wasn’t mine. Not even close to Savannah Montana. I then turned into the E-harmony Cat Lady and cried the whole way home:
small shelter cages
filled with cats fill me with woe
can’t hug every cat
I attempted to go into the “woods” near my house, as it turns out is an impenetrable fortress between a chain length fence and the huge interstate wall. I tried to enter through a creek around the corner from my street, only to find disgruntled old people giving me the stank eye and a big, scary copperhead. Nope. There is no way Savannah got into those woods. She was probably stolen, taken-in as a stray or is dead, and since I feel responsible, I keep having dreams about her, and I keep having the song Mona by James Taylor in my head.
I decided to force myself to write a villanelle, to reflect on my feelings and mourn for Savannah. I’m starting to lose hope.
I searched the shelter’s kitten queues,
hoping I would find her somehow,
I don’t know what to do.
I hope wherever she’s gone to,
is safe, with much love and cat chow,
I don’t know what to do.
When I wake to silence, I feel blue.
I avow I now miss her yowling meow,
Savannah Cat, I miss you.