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I am very happy to announce some unalloyed good news. Yes! Mr. Zig is back!
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how he disappeared one afternoon, seemingly never to come back. Later that same night, the temperature dropped precipitously and then we had several days of snow and bitter cold. How could he survive out there on his own?
I don’t know but somehow he did.
I was reading a book when suddenly I heard an awful cry coming from outside. I sprang to my feet and looked outside, dumbfounded with surprise to see Mr. Zig was the one out there howling, begging to be let back in. I rushed outdoors and scooped him up in my arms, almost unable to believe that it was really he.
After 18 days of being missing, he showed up, seemingly none the worse for wear. Yes, he was a little skinny, and the pads on his front paws were slightly abraded, but otherwise he was healthy and happy.
Two seconds after I brought him back in the apartment, he eagerly began devouring food. When he was done, he was as spry and happy as ever, acting like he’d only been gone for five minutes instead of nearly three weeks. The other cats gave him a sniff in way of welcome and then it was back to “normal” for all of us.
Unfortunately, I never injected a GPS tracker in his skin, so there is no way to know where he’s been. I feared he might’ve gotten injured (or killed) from wild dog attack, or perhaps poisoned (even inadvertently) or caught out in the bitter cold, suffering from exposure, but it looks like he is perfectly healthy.
So where did he go for 18 days in the middle of winter? Did he hitch a ride and go visit his distant cousins in the village? Did he find some warm place to camp out and make friends and find decent things to eat? Or did some weird old woman lure him into her house, keeping him prisoner until he finally managed to escape?
Frankly, we’ll never know, as Mr. Zig never learned to speak Romanian. He’s been incredibly sweet and affectionate, wanting a lot of extra cuddling, but otherwise he doesn’t seem tormented or traumatized. Whatever happened to him will just have to remain his secret, no matter how much I am burning up with curiosity to know exactly what happened.
I realize a lot of you aren’t big fans of cats, and an animal disappearing or not is hardly of any interest. That’s fine. But I do find it amazing that a cat that spent his entire life as a pet still has the “wilderness skills” to survive in a hostile environment for nearly three weeks. That’s pretty darn cool. And it makes me appreciate once more just how incredible all animals are.
Some of you, however, are cat fans and animal lovers and that’s why I rushed to post this so that I could share in the good news. I got a lot of very kind and considerate messages about Mr. Zig when we all thought he was lost, and I thank each and every one of you for those words of encouragement and solace. I am bursting with happiness that my little boy finally made his way back home.