I saw a homemade sign stuck to a lamppost yesterday that told of someone’s lost cat.
I thought about how scary it would be to be lost and how the cat’s person (I don’t like to use the word owner) feels having a pet lost. It’s probably worse for the human than the cat in this case, as I’m not sure cats can feel the emotion of being lost or alone. Maybe they can?
Certainly the human, who is attached enough to his or her cat to make signs about him or her being missing, feels miserable. I would if it were me. I wondered all day if the person had found his or her cat and even briefly contemplated calling the phone number on the sign to ask; if nothing else maybe the person on the other end would appreciate the thought. Or maybe some stranger reminding the person of his or her lost cat would be awful.
I didn’t call. For once I made a decision that involved me not saying something weird to someone.
The sign is still up today. It occurred to me that maybe the person found the cat a while ago but never took down the signs—wouldn’t that be great? I hope that’s what happened.
Maybe there’s a deeper meaning here: We likely all have “lost cats” in our lives, literally or metaphorically. Maybe we have an actual cat who ran away, and we feel awful because he or she didn’t want to stay with us—I’m not sure if cats think that way, though; it might have been curious and took off without thinking of consequences. I bet cats do that a lot.
Maybe our lost cat is a child who won’t come home, a friend who is struggling and won’t return a phone call, or a part of ourselves that we haven’t seen in a while. Perhaps it’s a mistake—or several of them—that we know we can’t undo, a loved one who died or a failure we’re ashamed of.
Whatever the case may be, whoever you are, I hope you find your cat.