Certain my cat, Cleo, was no longer among the living and was lying dead somewhere in the field, I was feeling blue. I missed my cat. For nearly three years, she had kept me company, been around to speak with, and help me write my stories. Now she was gone.
On the morning of the fourth day, at nine o’clock, I locked my front door and made ready to keep a 10 AM appointment at the radio station. Olga was interviewing me for my book, Lake County History. I didn’t feel much like having an interview, even though Olga has always made any time I had on her program a pleasure.
However, just as I have told others, when things are tough or not going right, sometimes the best thing is to keep on going forward with your chores and not freeze up. That was what I was doing. It was time to practice what I preach.
I started for my appointment. Just as I was about to step off the porch to my car, I heard a cat sound. It sounded like Cleo. I thought it was coming from the shrubs in front of my porch. It was such a weak, pitiful sound I barely heard it, but I was sure that it was Cleo, perhaps badly injured and lying in the tunnel under the shrubs breathing her last and calling me for help.
You can imagine how I felt. CLEO WAS NOT DEAD. SHE WAS ALIVE.
I searched the bushes, but she wasn’t there. It took another ten minutes of the time I had left before I had to go, on my knees peering into the darkness into the small crawl space between the front porch and the bushes. There was nothing there except a tin can and some rubbish that had fallen off the porch. Perhaps, I thought, I only imagined I heard Cleo’s voice. Perhaps her loss had affected my sense of reality.
Not wanting to be late for my appointment at the radio station, I forced myself to forget my search… I had looked everywhere I could; I headed to my car that was parked next to the porch steps.
All at once, as I opened my car door, I heard the same faint mewing sound a second time. This time her feeble call came from above, over my head. When I looked up, there, ten feet above me, draped over the edge of the eaves, was the furry, sad, forlorn face of my friend Cleo. Her big round yellow eyes were fixed on me like a magnet. She was calling me, begging me, to come and get her off the roof. I knew what happened. Something had frightened her three days ago while I was gone and sent her streaking to my roof for safety. Cleo had spent three days and three nights without food or water on my roof.
My ladder was up against the eaves in seconds. I climbed to the roof, and Cleo came to me. I grabbed her and put her under my arm. We went down the ladder together. I carried her to my front door, unlocked the door, and took her to my office, where she and I spend most of our time. I gave her fresh water and some soft cat food. I made sure her bed was clean and ready.
I had to leave to make my appointment or be late. Satisfied Cleo had what she needed and was not damaged, I left. When I got back two hours later, Cleo was fast asleep and happy to be home.