I am waiting for my cat to come home. He disappeared on Wednesday. Today is Friday. People say he’ll come home, that cats always come home. But maybe you should check local shelters, just in case.
I go to Cat Haven, which sounds almost like Cat Heaven. There is a mural on the side of the building with red hearts and smiling cats. I hand a photo to the lady with braces and brown hair. In the photo, Finn is stretched out on the couch, showing off his soft belly. The lady with braces and brown hair asks me questions. Yes he is microchipped. Yes this is out of character. I tell her I am treating this as if my child has disappeared which of course is a ridiculous thing to say and also not true. She says, “But he is your child.” I do not argue with her. She works at Cat Haven.
My friend Celena knows how hard this is. Her cat is named Boris and likes to sleep on top of the bookshelf. She posts flyers near the lake and calls Finn gorgeous which in Australia means enjoyable.
The neighborhood kids come over after school. I feed them Arnott’s biscuits with rainbow sprinkles and slices of apple. My older daughter distributes flyers, exactly 24 to each child, and goes over the plan. They will walk down Keightley to Hensman. They will stay together. They will be back in 40 minutes.
I make tea and check Lost Animals of Perth. A Maltese named Roxy was last seen on Parry Street. One Rainbow Lorikeet has been found, and another is lost. It is not the same one. This has been confirmed.
My phone rings. It is a woman with an Eastern European accent. She lives in the neighborhood and received a leaflet from a child, but she has not seen my cat. She loves all animals and will keep her eyes open.
I call the microchip company, located in Ontario. A woman named Sherri answers. Sherri’s job is to talk to people who have lost their pets. This is what she does all day. I give her Finn’s microchip number and she asks what the weather is like in San Francisco. I say I don’t know but it is raining in Perth, Australia and I’d like to make sure they have my correct phone number on file. I tell Sherri I will put Finn’s litter box outside, but not food because Sherri says it will attract other animals and from what she’s heard about Perth this is a real concern. Sherri has a friend in Perth. I tell her I’ve met several Canadians here, they like the weather.
At night, I promise the kids I will wake them if the cat returns. Dave and I are rewatching Friday Night Lights so we cue up the next episode. It is called, “What To Do While You’re Waiting,” the one where Smash needs to fold towels in the locker room as punishment for taking steroids. We talk about how kind people are in Perth, how much time people are willing to give. This lost cat reminds us why we love it here.
I dream that my cat comes home. As I pet him, he turns into a dog with the face of a man I don’t recognize. Where is he, where is he, where is he.