We'd been cleaning the house and had all the doors and windows open.
At about 4pm, I came downstairs for something and stuck my head out the door to see Snoop sitting under the shrubs out front, lookin' like a peaceful little orange badass. He questioned my glance and started to get up. I told him it was ok, he could stay right there because I was still vacuuming.
He settled back in, enjoying his spot & looking very content.
I didn't see him for the rest of the night and kept checking the spots he likes to chill in by the front door.
We left the back door open for him.
The next morning I checked his usual spots again & called to him & made a few, "Hey, Matt! Where's my cat? Where's he at? Do you know where my cat's at, Matt?" jokes.
Usually, when he stays out overnight, he's slumber partying with our neighbors next door, but I'd heard that they'd just gotten new kittens, so I wasn't sure if Snoop would've been too down for a kitten slumber party.
I did a lap around the building later in the morning, looking under the shrubs and bushes and on porches. That afternoon, our other neighbor Nancy, saw me walking around and asked out of her window, "Karen - you can't find Snoop?" Apparently, I'd let it show.
I shook my head and she said, "Hold on, I'll come help you look for him."
She offered to go check in the slumber party house since she had a key - no Snoop in there.
That's when I started to kinda freak out a little inside. Him being there was my safe bet.
We wandered all over the place - down by the lake, behind other buildings and on the other side of the tennis courts and pool. Other neighbors were outside and we asked them if they'd seen him....they helped give us a timeline.
Jenny said that they'd been happy houring on her back patio about about 4:30ish when an orange cat came walkin' up and hung out with them gettin' all sorts of attention. She's met Snoop before & sent us this picture a while back upon their first meeting at her house:
"Well, did he follow you back from the lake?"
She couldn't remember seeing him after he wandered around the side of one of the buildings down by the lake.
Another neighbor said he spotted an orange cat just wandering around the parking lot & didn't think anything of it.
No one had seen him since.
When Matt came home, we did another lap around the area where he was last seen.
By now, I'm thinking the worst. That my boy has wandered off to die somewhere.
It rains that night and I think about him out in it.
The next morning, I check all the spots again. I tell Bonnie about it & she makes a bunch of phone calls to other neighbors, spreading the word.
I do another couple of laps around the hood.
I make signs and post them up at the gate and on a few mailboxes towards the front incase he's made his way up that way.
Still no Snoop.
I am sad.
The following day, I'm wakened before sunrise by the doorbell ringing twice, slightly frantically. Nancy's daughter, Noelle, saying she just saw an orange cat but that it took off. But then she says, "Oh, I bet that was Turk, wasn't it?" Turk's our other orange cat who does cat things when it's dark out - mainly sleeping on top of my car & attacking small critters. We determine that it was Turk and she apologizes and leaves.
Then I check all the same Snoop spots again throughout the day.
Someone calls and asks if I've found him, telling me that he saw an orange cat (also has one himself) walking up the street like he had no where to be, but that he had a darker belly. I tell him that Snoop's got a lighter belly cuz he's older.
Then I go driving up the way he told me he'd seen this cat.
I see no cat.
I am sad.
The following morning, I start to feel acceptance. Everyone's either asking or telling me about every orange cat in the neighborhood. The signs I made are still up, but it's rained a few times so they've either been rained out or are gone. I make new ones and put them up.
I see Bonnie later in the day and she runs up to tell me she just saw an orange cat and that she'll drive me to him. We find him and at first I get my hopes up and I walk up slow and I'm all....."is it him?" with squinty eyes as if that'll help me see him better (why do people do that? you end up putting your eyelashes in view and your eyes can't focus on that and it makes everything even blurrier. squinting doesn't help a damn thing except to keep the sun outta your eyes if you don't have sunglasses and it makes Timothy Olyphant sexier in Justified - if that's even possible).
My heart skips and then I realize it isn't him and the cat starts to run from me.
Nope...definitely not Snoop.
I get sad again.
On the 5th, 6th, & 7th days, I make myself busy and start cleaning out Snoop things - accepting that I'll probably not see him again & will never really know why. Me, Matt, & Turk are starting to adjust to life without Snoop.
Later on the day on the 8th day, I get a phone call from Matt saying that neighbor Nancy has just called him with some news and that she tried knocking but I was listening to loud music and didn't hear.
I go outside and she flags me down and says, "Karen...this is Steve. Steve, Karen. Steve just might have Snoop."
So I follow Steve to his place....in the building by the lake - that we circled I don't know how many times. The whole time he's telling me how awesome Snoop is. (duh)
He lets me in, we find Snoop comfy and sleepin' in bed....like "what?"
I say, "It IS Snoop!!" and Snoop gets up and comes towards me and follows me downstairs to Steve's kitchen....where the food is.
Snoop eats and his humans discuss the vet bill that's spread out on the table.
Steve is shaking and freaked out & tells me he just lost his cat of 18yrs and thought that Snoop, he'd renamed Mojo, was a stray to take in and make him feel better, so he took him to the vet to get checked out. He gives me the run down on the meds. None of it serious but then he tells me they wanted to do a biopsy on the roof of Snoop's mouth by his snaggletooth.
I think I'll get a 2nd opinion. The dude is 16yrs old & perfectly happy with his snaggletooth.
I pick Snoop up and he loves on my nose with said snaggletooth.
We chat about cat sitting and I offer to leave Snoop with him for the rest of the afternoon, if it'll make him feel better. He shrugs.
I collect everything, thank Steve profusely, & Snoop follows me out.
Steve says, "Oh...also, he's negative for feline AIDS & Leukemia. So that's good."
I say, "Cool. Just like last time."
We stop and visit the neighbors that helped me look for him. He gets lots of attention on the walk back home.
Then Matt gets home and welcomes Snoop back - we try to give him some love, but he wasn't havin' it.
And instead goes to sleep in a laundry pile. I wonder if he was happier with Steve & mad at me for finding him. Turk walks by and hisses at him.
With Snoop being gone for a week & us adjusting to it, we now had to readjust that adjustment.
It was like Snoop was back from the dead.
It didn't take too long.
The next morning I woke up with Snoop in his spot up around my head and Turk curled up by my hip.
And every morning since then, I wake up & Snoop is up by my head.
The following day I gave Steve a Thank You card with money for the vet bill.
Yesterday I received the order for the custom made collars that have the boys' names and my phone number on them.