September 08, 2008

We'll never know

Mismatched eyes

Ten days ago, one of our cats disappeared.

Emmy is a grey striped cat with a distinctive appearance. She has triple the body weight of any of our other cats, even though she has a small frame. One of her eyes is always dilated, while the other is not. With her small head and large body, she looks like a cat in a Far Side cartoon.

She's lived with us for nine years, and she is Film Guy's favorite. Not an active cat, she could almost always be found on the couch, sitting comfortably with family members, rolling over and purring as someone would pet her. She has this strange reaction: if you pet her in a certain spot, she will always turn and lick herself. She does this on cue, like a wind-up toy.

She disappeared, and we searched the house and garage and yard, and found her nowhere. She likes to be indoors, and she's not a wanderer, so her disappearance made no sense. We thought she was dead. We figured maybe she'd gone into the woods to die, like cats often do. Or perhaps a predator had picked her off. After about a week, I put away one of the cat bowls, figuring we only had five cats now.

Then today, at the back door, I saw a grey head. It was Emmy, waiting to come in. She rushed to a cat bowl and began eating ravenously. I opened a can of food, and she ate the whole thing. She had lost weight, and she had a big bare spot on her side, with some scratch marks, almost as if she'd been trapped and had been rubbing against something to get free. But otherwise, she looked okay. She purred as I brushed the matted fur and mud off the top of her, the spots where she can't reach.

I sent a text message to Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter, and she told Film Guy and Red-haired Niece. I called Boy in Black on his cell phone, and he told First Extra. I called my mother. Shaggy Hair Boy called Skater Boy and Quick. With-a-Why sat next to Emmy on the couch and petted her while the rest of us spread the news.

The cat we thought was dead has turned up alive.

Where was she all that time? We'll probably never know.

26 comments:

ppolarbear said...

Yay! The cat came back!

chichimama said...

So glad she came back. She sounds like a great cat.

Marie said...

Ahhhhhh. I'm a sucker for a good resurrection story.

Gawdess said...

she is an interesting looking cat and I am happy to hear that she is no longer missing.

Marni said...

bless her little heart... so glad she came back.

Teri said...

so glad your friend came home!

YourFireAnt said...

Well told, m'dear! Very well told.

FA

Addy N. said...

I'm glad she's OK!

Rana said...

Whew!

jodi said...

Thank you for this post. One of my cats has been gone for 48 hours and I can't find him. Hopefully he will turn up soon. So happy that yours did.

Zhoen said...

The dead's alive and the lost is found, glory halleluia!

Nadine said...

Good kitty.

kathy a. said...

i'm so glad she came back! our cat nikki -- my daughter's favorite ever -- just disappeared close to 12 years ago. it devastated us, especially my daughter. hard as it is to have a beloved pet die, it is harder still to just not know.

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

Glad that your cat has returned! We have to watch our beagle that he doesn't get out... because I don't think he'd ever come back.. off to smell new smells!

Tins and Treasures said...

Don't you wish cats could talk?!

landismom said...

Wow! I'm glad your kitty came home.

Maybe she was visiting the tuna lady? That's where I imagine my cats go when they're not here.

undine said...

Polar bear's comment has the children's song "The Cat Came Back" running in my head now!

It's good that she came back. I have had two over the years who didn't, and it is hard not to know.

On the other hand, a relative's cat disappeared and then came back 3 years later--just walked in the door as if nothing had happened.

red-haried sister said...

Did your kids ever watch the Winnie the Pooh tape where Pooh goes visiting Rabbit and eats so much he can't fit out Rabbit's door?He has to lose weight to get out. That is probably what happened to your cat. She probably visited a skinny cat and couldn't fit out the cat door

jo(e) said...

Red-haired Sister: I do remember that story from Winnie Pooh! That's the best explanation I've heard yet ....

Dandelion niece said...

Mom...or red-haired Sister...:that was funny!...Winnie the Pooh...haha...I'm so glad Emmy came home!

Bitty said...

My late, great Molly used to wander off for four or five days at a time. After our absolute terror the first few times it happened, we came to believe that she had adopted another family somewhere; when she was gone, we said she was on walkabout.

Eventually I had to keep the cats in all the time due to threats by a jerk neighbor. I'm sure the other family wondered what became of her...

I'm glad your Emmy is home, safe.

MonkeyPants said...

I'm glad the cat came back. In this part of the world, we lose a lot of unwary cats to coyotes, so it's always a triumph when one comes home after a mysterious trip away.

Jenevieve said...

No idea where she went, but the vet student side is just itching to explain the anisocoria. :) I'll refrain, for the sake of everyone who isn't a complete nerd.

jo(e) said...

Jenevieve: Oh, I'd like to hear the explanation for the anisocoria. Our vet didn't explain it very well ....

Jenevieve said...

Well, without knowing your kitty or what the room light was when you took that pic, I'd say that it looks like one of two things:

-If the room is dim, it is likely very mild Horner's syndrome on the right side- hence the slightly shrinky pupial and perhaps a little 3rd eyelid showing up. That could be caused by about 1 trillion different things, from neck injury as a younger cat to an inner ear problem. It's basically a malfunction of the sympathetic nervous system on that side.

-If it's pretty bright, than I'd say she has a parasympathetic nervous system defect or a cranial nerve III defect on her left side, causing that wide dilation. Again, aything from head trauma to previous seizures to a number of other events.

Yay, science nerd! She sure is a pretty girl, though. I love gray kitties. Why is she so much bigger than the others of the crew-- just a pig, or something endocrine?

Rajan said...

This is definitely not Horner's Syndrome because there is no protruding nictitating membrane (third/inner eyelid) from the inside corner of the eye. This is Bell's Palsy (facial nerve lesion).