When we arrived in Colorado it was with two kids, two cats, an old dog and a snail.
Gary the snail died not long into our time here. He was a Rosy Wolf snail and ate other snails. The dry atmosphere and high altitude does not make a good habitat for a snail. We could find none to feed him but honestly I think he dried up before he had a chance to starve to death. It was sad even though he was just a snail.
Theodore was a 16 year old shitzpoo (part shitzu/part poodle) who was deaf, blind and incontinent. We inherited him from my mother. Theodore lived through the road trip (that I was thoroughly prepared to be pulling over and burying him on some Texas roadside) and he seemed to actually flourish in the mountain environment. But his new lease on life was short lived and he went to the Big Dog House In The Sky a few weeks after our move. (See Theodore's Finale)
This left us with two cats, Sinclaire and Smee. Sinclaire has a thyroid problem that we treated with medication. She was a sweetheart even though she was constantly jumping on our counter which I found disgusting. I would spray her with a water bottle. She would get down and then return. I would spray again. She'd get down and return. This went on and on. Her thyroid issue made her very thirsty so she would also drink out of the toilet or any unattended beverage. Annoying!
Aaron and I found her a year after we got married. She came when he called her and so Aaron conceded to keeping her. She was a pretty silver tabby with a scar over her left eye. Sinclaire would often bring us the gift of a dead bug. She would follow me to the apartment laundry mat and stalk the ducks at the creek that ran through the complex. When I was pregnant, she would walk with me at heel as I strolled through the neighborhood. No one has seen anything like that. She played outside and came to the door and mewed when she was ready to come back in.
One day, when Gabriel was a little more than a one year old, Sinclaire came to the door and mewed loudly. I let her in and as soon as I shut the door behind her she opened her mouth and out flew a frantic (and slightly bloodied) bird. The bird flew all over the living room while Gabe and I both stood there screaming. It swooped down and BAM! hit the storm door and dropped dead. I grabbed a dustpan from the kitchen and proceeded to scoop up the bird. As I tossed it out the door it came to life and flew off! Gabriel could not speak but he would re-enact the whole scene over and over complete with our screaming. Sinclaire brought live birds to Gabriel, and later for Drew, several times during their infancy's. I think she was trying to teach them to hunt. Ug.
Sad for our loss of Theodore, Santa brought the boys a new dog last year; our beloved Drake. Drake is the most loving beast a person has ever known. Everyone who meets him falls in love! The problem is that he is 90 lbs of cat hating muscle. Drake wants to eat the cats. He's come very close to getting Sinclaire. We did some training with him to correct it and it seemed to help.
A few days before Aaron and I were to leave for NY (August), Sinclaire went outside to play. She would usually return to us around 3 or 4 in the afternoon but one day she did not. I called and called for her, hiked around hunting for her and she never turned up.
"Are you going to put a sign out for her mom?"
"No buddy..." I always kind of laughed at people who put Lost Cat signs up out here. Really, if your cat has not come home....fox? Mountain Lion? Lot's of options as to it's demise. Once Caren saw a sign for a lost goat. Bwahahaha!
Aaron and I figured one of two things: she left to die (thyroid getting the best of her) or she was some mountain animals lunch.
Today was Baking Day and I made two sour cream coffee cakes. They were to bake for...
"...an hour and a half?! Why do I always manage to get these recipes that take a hundred years to finish?"
After two hours of baking they were still doughy and raw in the middle. Caren and I dumped it out and decided we would have to make a bread pudding with the remains.
When the boys got home we had to rush through homework. I needed to take a meal to the school for the teachers who were working late for parent/teacher conferences. After that I needed to take Drew to Cub scouts and Gabe to soccer. I had a hard time getting the boys out the door (imagine that) and so was late. I grabbed all of the food for the teachers and peeled out of the drive way. As I raced down the hill I suddenly saw something gray in the corner of my eye. Instinctively I knew and slammed on the breaks. I got out of the car and walked up to my neighbors fence to have a better look.
There, sitting near my neighbors horse coral, was...
She looked at me but did not move.
"Come here kitty, kitty, kitty! Sinclaire!"
The cat gave me a blank stare. With no acknowledgement she turned away from me. Her profile revealed her scar over her left eye! That damn cat is alive and well! I don't know if she's been living with our neighbor all of this time or what but there she is! She obviously has no interest in returning to our house. Hmph! After 12 years!
She's been gone for 2 months. I heard a recent story of a cat who left home for 6 years and was found in another state. I wondered if Sinclaire could be out there living the mountain life but doubted it.
I called Aaron.
"I knew she wasn't dead," he said. "Nothing is going to kill that cat."
I just laughed and sang: "Oh, the cat came back the very next day. The cat came back; they thought he was a gonner but the cat came back. He just couldn't stay awaaaaay!"