After a full week of being outside, Itchy has decided to come home.
This is a HUGE relief to me, since I have been outside every single morning and evening with bowls of food, trying to coax him back, and I have the mosquito bites to prove it (by the way, there’s something about NJ that makes things grow extremely large…including mutant extra-large mosquitoes!). I had even started falling into a depression about this situation, mostly because I wasn’t getting very much sleep (getting up at 6:30 in the morning to spend a half hour outside, and then going outside again close to midnight) .
Itchy started off being very shy (as I wrote about before), but hunger started overriding his fear, and he would come up only when I had set the bowl about arm’s reach away. Then yesterday he wasn’t around for breakfast or dinner, and I started to think that he had either gotten completely lost and disoriented or perhaps had gone off somewhere to die. Scratchy was looking concerned all night, too, because off he went in search of his brother once again as I went to bed.
This morning, I got up and called for the cats, and I heard Itchy’s distinctive, familiar, somewhat annoying meow. He appeared by one of the bushes and walked right up to the stairs, something that he hasn’t done since he ran off. I walked slowly down the stairs, food in hand, and he waited for me to set it down by my feet and let me pet him while he ate. I was shocked. So was Scratchy, I think!
After he had had a few bites, and I had been petting him with him actually responding to my caresses, I picked him up and carried him upstairs to safety. Scratchy followed at a safe distance. When they were both inside, I put Itchy down and breathed a sigh of relief as they both descended on the food bowl.
Now I can actually give him his medicine. Maybe I’ll be able to help him out a little bit anyway.