Saturday, 7 September 2013
On Monday, it was a beautiful day and we spent it outside, building the stone retaining wall. The patio doors were open and we were in and out all day.
After eating our own dinner, I went to grab a shower before my night shift and left Euan to feed the animals. That was when we realised little Maggie, our blind elderly cat wasn't there.
She was always the first in the queue at dinner time-beginning her 'feed me' bleating at 6pm on the dot. Its quite funny to watch her racing through from the kitchen and making a sharp right into the utility room -she has only missed the doorway gap a few times and ran straight into it.
But she wasn't there. She wasn't anywhere.
We panicked, neither of us could remember when we last saw her after breakfast, we hadn't noticed her all day, we had been too preoccupied. I phoned work and said I had a family emergency and we frantically searched the garden and area immediately around the house. Maggie is so brave and loves being outside but she hasn't left the garden since we moved in a year ago. We ran up the driveway anyway, which is 1/2 mile long all the way to the road calling her. The farmer has recently harvested his barley fields and has ploughed and re-sown the fields so they are brown and flat all around us in every direction. Maggie is white- she would stand out a mile off. We were out looking for her well past dark, combing the ditches, woods and fields and then we turned the house upside down.
Its about a mile to the nearest house. There was no way she would get that far.
We were out again first thing, re-checking everywhere but by this time, the realisation that we would not see her again was sinking in. She was very frail, more so in the last few weeks and completely blind. We both began to feel that she wasn't really lost, she had simply slipped away to hide and spend her last moments alone. It was heart-breaking.
At work on Wednesday I kept to myself, I didn't want to talk to anyone, I was too upset. I know we both secretly hoped that when we pulled up at the house that night, she would be there to meet us. She wasn't of course. The best we could hope for was to find her little body; if she had gotten lost, there was no way she could survive two nights out in the open.
I didnt want to give up and Euan knew that I was finding it really hard to accept she was dead -that night he found a butterfly sleeping in our wardrobe -he said that it was Maggie, she had turned into a butterfly and flown up to heaven.
On Thursday morning at work, I went onto the local Cats Protection webpage, I don't know why really. There was a message on the noticeboard asking for suggestions for a location for a car boot sale so I sent a response suggesting the village park in Luthermuir. At the end of my message, I decided to just add that we had lost our little blind cat in the unlikely event that someone found her in the woods and thought she had been abandoned. I did not expect to get a reply.
My heart jumped out of my chest when I opened an email a few hours later from the CP saying that a cat that sounded like Maggie had been handed in to a Vets in Brechin. I was shaking too much to phone them myself so I texted Euan, who was also at work and asked him to call.
I told myself over and over while I waited for him to call me back....'it wont be her, dont get upset when he tells you, you know it cant be her'
But....it was her. It was Maggie. A lady had found her at a nearby farm, and brought her in.
Euan's crew was about to leave his fire station on a shout when he got my text and he asked his crew manager if they could hang back a minute while he made the call. They all knew we had lost our cat (don't worry, it wasn't a serious incident they were heading to) and he said he had to stop himself from crying like an idiot in front of his crew when they described little blind Maggie over the phone.
The Vet told us that she was in quite a state when she was brought in and with her age and blindness they very nearly put her to sleep.............but she perked up after some food and a drink and then they were contacted by the Cats Protection lady who works with them about my email!
I still cant believe it-it feels like a miracle. To get to where she was found, Maggie, who cannot see a thing and is just a tiny bag of bones, had walked over a mile through ditches, woods and farmland, along a country road and survived 3 days without food or water at her age. She made it to a house in what's mostly just farmland in every direction, someone kind found her who bothered to pick her up and take her to a Vet.
It was sheer chance that I sent that message to the CP, a message really about the Boot sale!
Although I had phoned our own Vet because Maggie is micro-chipped, I didn't think to phone any other Vet! Given where we live, its not like she would be shut in someone's garage so we didn't see any point in posters or anything like that. We didn't think she could have made it out of the garden in all seriousness.
She started meowing and purring as soon as we came into the room at the Vets- she must have heard our voices in the hall and they said she hadn't made a sound before that.
She is now curled up in her bed at home, where she belongs.
We know she isn't going to last forever, maybe not even that much longer but it was agony not knowing what had happened to her and I just cannot believe we got her back.
Euan and I (okay Euan, more than me- but I helped) made a big carrot cake and took it round to the lady who found her to say thank you.
The week ended much better than it had begun. Life eh? Sometimes you just cant believe what happens.