Lucky didn't come home Saturday morning.
We walked miles, day and night, calling for him.
We posted on Craig's List.
We called our vet.
We mass emailed all our neighbors.
We have cried rivers of tears.
Helpful friends all have stories about how their cat went missing for weeks and then came home.
We would like to hope the same of Lucky, but reality tells us different.
He never wandered. He was never late for breakfast.
We hoped originally that he may be in a neighbor's garage or barn.
Once all the barns and garages had been checked, that hope left.
This is the one and only time, since we moved out onto acreage, that I wished we still lived in a neighborhood where the houses are close together. Then I could hope that he was just 5 houses away, hanging out with a neighbor cat, eating that cat's food. Neighborhood cats do that. Country cats do not. Besides, none of our acreage neighbors have cats---at least not indoor/outdoor cats.
There's a reason for that. Coyotes.
Lucky came with the property. He showed up during the framing stage of our house, 10 years ago.
He was predator savvy.
A neighbor saw a coyote, up in the neighborhood in broad daylight, just yesterday.
Our little acreage neighborhood borders hundreds of acres of wide open, undeveloped land. We know the coyotes are out there. We've heard them. We know they come up out of the brush at night, because they leave their calling cards in the middle of the road.
The hardest part on all of us, is not knowing. Is he hurt? Is he treed and just can't get down.
After 3 days of searching endlessly in the woods, pastures of the surrounding area, we're beginning to feel like the answer is no.
He talked. A lot.
If you called his name, he would meow loudly and come running.
He was not a hider or a wanderer.
We've never dealt with the loss of a pet in this way. There's something to be said for 'closure'. For knowing what happened to a beloved pet.
People all say it's not necessary.
Yesterday, I put his bed away.
Today, I put his food bowl away.
I still can't walk by a door without looking out, hoping he's going to be sitting there.
I've done this before. It never gets one bit easier.
If you're the praying type. Please pray for Pearl. He's her cat.
The last time a we had a pet die that really broke her heart was years ago.
Now she's bigger. Now her heart is more tender.
Lucky was her cat.
"I love dogs, but I'm a cat person."
I wish for all of us, that some miracle would happen.
I think the miracle might be that we got to keep him for 10 years.
He showed us that cats don't have to be mental.
He was our first cat, ever. He was a fine example of why anyone would ever be a 'cat person'.