A terrible thing happened on Saturday: Scarab disappeared. Scarab, for those of you new to my blog (welcome!) is our fat and benevolent tabby cat. He doesn’t scratch or bite and he’s kind to small furry animals. He doesn’t nick things off the side and he doesn’t do birds. He is more or less perfect.
He joined our household after a long campaign on my part to add a cat to our merry crew. My husband took convincing – he grew up on a farm, where the cats were slit-eyed and skulked along barn rafters. Occasionally one would venture indoors to slap a dead rat on the kitchen floor, scratch somebody and retreat back to the rafters. They were not fun. The cats I grew up with, on the other hand, tended towards the fuller figure and a lot of purring. They were nice. I wanted one quite badly.
Eventually a friend of mine owned a Siamese cat who took a walk on the wild side and produced a litter of rather special kittens. They looked like little Scottish wildcats but had a certain something that Siamese genes will always bring to the party. The yummy Siamese mummy chose to bring up her darlings behind the bath and when they ventured out we chose Scarab to come home with us.
He’s been the most enormous success, in every sense of the word. Calm and portly, he plays gently with babies of all species. He is a lap cat, gourmet, genial host and above all a cat of habit. So when he didn’t appear at 10pm ready for Second Supper the alarm bells went off. However cats have an element of mystery – perhaps he was busy. But there was no Scarab next morning either and now it was serious. He never misses morning tea, followed by First Breakfast.
I searched the house, then the outhouses. Nothing. I went out into the road and looked fearfully into the ditches. Nope. I phoned Anna, our wonderful and very cat-aware postmistress, to spread the word that everybody should look in their sheds just in case Scarab had been exploring and got stuck. By now I was miserably convinced that one of the kindest and furriest hearts that ever beat had fallen victim to a car or fox.
Late that night, when the world was asleep, I heard a muffled Meow and tracked it down to a wardrobe full of Army boots. How did Scarab get in there? Nobody knows. But he strolled out with a wide yawn and placed an immediate order for several meals to be served immediately. He had been stuck in that wardrobe for a minimum of 30 hours and the wardrobe (and Scarab) still smelt fresh as a daisy field. What a cat! What a bladder! And what a massive relief!!