On the search for a missing cat at PumpjackPiddlewick

And so with great drama, tears and worry, we return to normal today (hopefully). This past week, we have been worried about a missing cat.

Our Gigi decided to disappear a week ago. Strong in personality, super smart and definitely alpha in our menagerie (along with Maggie, head duck.)

We think she planned on taking her trip. She ate extra portions of food just before she disappeared. And with the driveway gate to the courtyard open, she took her opportunity. Her curiosity getting the better of her, she decided to see what was on the other side. Scary for us, as on the other side of our solid gate is a busy road.

In general our other 2 cats steer well clear of even any interest in that side of the house. The back garden and woods beyond are definitely the domain of Noisette. Lapsong has always had a symbiotic relationship with the ducks (and chickens when we have them). She calls the duck enclosure home.

Where as Gigi, she would prefer if the whole world were her oyster. She prefers to be where Pumpjack or I are. Territorial at heart, including those she loves, every now and then she gets fed up with having to share. And we then contend with a missing cat.

Normally though she goes on walkabout for 2-4 days maximum. This time, we reached day 4 and began to worry. Where we lived before was surrounded by fields. Here we have a lot of woodland, but also a busy road. Dog walks quietly became looking for Gigi hurt or worse by the side of the road.

We began posting posters of a Lost Gigi at shops. As well as flyers through doors, asking people to check their outbuildings for a curious cat. We called, and called, but no answer. She remained a missing cat.

As we met people on our searches some said they had seen her. We were very lucky in that, as far as we know, we have the only Ginger in the village. Assuming it was her, we started to get a picture. She had been seen crossing the road. Then she was seen further along in a garden heading up towards fields and woods beyond.

Now our village is a road with terraced houses either side. The odd gate between leading to courtyards and gardens to the back. Most of these gates remain closed most of the time. Including ours. So limited access points to the lands behind. We began to think tat Gigi had managed to get herself trapped on the other side.

As word and phone calls of sightings came through, we managed to trace her path, more or less. We duly searched and called whenever we were given a new sighting. But through it all we had rain. Torrential rain. Gigi hates rain. No sightings ever on a rainy day.

And then yesterday dawned clear. Another phone call, a new sighting. Still on the other side of the road, but closer to the centre of the village. She had managed to find a way back to the road, but there was so much traffic she was spooked back into the fields behind. More calling and waiting for an answer, but still nothing.

Until. Just going dark and ducks being put to bed. Door closed on their enclosure. And I heard a frantic meow. Lots of meows in fact. I looked around and saw both Noisette and Lapsong near me. It had to be Gigi!

Calling her, responding to her calls, I worked out she was in our neighbours courtyard. She is very familiar with their roof and I can only guess she was trying to get up on to it to finally come home. But for some reason, she wasn’t able to get up there.

I ran for Pumpjack and he went around to our neighbours, whilst I remained in our garden ‘talking’ with Gigi. Both to reassure we knew she was there and to give Mr P a focus to look. Turns out she had managed to get on to a high windowsill but could go no further. Hence the cries.

The neighbours, aroused by the calls, came running out and provided a ladder. Of course, Gigi, well spooked I am sure, did not make it easy. But in the end, she was caught and brought home. Talking all the way.

Various animals were shooed out for some peace and calm, and her favourite food was set out. She wolfed it down. And a second and a third portion. Calming with each mouthful. Goodness knows if she had eaten in the 7 days she had been away. We got the impression she had not.

By the third bowlful and lots of petting and purring in between the stress levels on all fronts began to drop. She duly took the time to check her home, scent it and make sure all was as it should be. We had to keep a curious Lapsong away for a bit to settle our missing cat.

Night time and she settled herself on my chest. And didn’t move once during the night. We can tell she has come home exhausted from her adventure. She still sleeps as I write this, and I suspect will do so for most of the day.

And then… well, let’s say, when it comes to Gigi, if she decides to go on walkabout again (which will no doubt happen), we hope she will remember to remain on our side of the road. But then, she is a curious cat.

And it is with heartfelt thanks and admiration for our village that I also write this. Without their help, interest and support we would have probably given up, at least in our hearts, much earlier. They kept our hope alive. And because of Gigi we have met so many more lovely people in our adopted home.

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