Agent X Missing In Action

Posted: 30. April 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

6:30 Thursday morning I opened our back door to let the cat out, as I have done every morning since we moved into our country home about a year ago. Xena usually stays out for a couple of hours and comes home to have a nip and go sleeping on the couch in the living room for 5 hours.

But not this time.

It is now tuesday morning, and she has not returned yet.

I believe it would be fair to say I haz a sad.

For seven years Xena has been a part of my life. Since we first met on a sunny June afternoon till that spring morning five days ago where I wished her good hunting and watched her run off into the mist under the evergreens. We have shared four homes, hundreds of dinners, bed, chair and different adventures. Like the time when she lost herself and jumped onto the balcony of the apartment next door, and I had to climb the wall and move along a ledge to rescue her; in the middle of the night and it was raining. Or the time, last summer, when she was stuck in the garden shed of our next door neighbour, who was on vacation, and I had to break a part of the wood panel to create an escape route for her. Or our many walk-abouts in the area that is her current territory, exploring; she would not be following me like a dog but running around, mostly unseen, but always within reasonable range of me, and always there if I discovered something interesting.

She is my Warrior Princess, Agent X – her ear tattoo says CVL007, which of course means she has a license to kill, and she obviously has her own 'M' too.

Seven years – that is a long time. Also, because this period has been a period of big development in my life.

Seven years back I was living in this Half-Way house, just out of rehabilitation, slowly realizing that I might be on my way to an entirely new existence. I met Xena just around the time where I had decided that it was time to move on, get a life for myself, a home that was my own and all that. This cat gave me hope, because I knew that now I could leave the security of the rehab programme and try out on my own without being entirely alone.

The same year I met my wife. And my wife met Xena. They actually lived together that winter, in the same house where we live now, while I was preparing to move out, finding a proper home for all of us, and finishing the programme. Next year the three of us moved in to an old apartment downtown, and slowly, from that point on, my wife and I have built a new life together.

Xena is an important part of that life.

Last year we moved into my wifes old childhood home. The place where she lived when I met her. The place where Xena spent her first winter, running around under the same trees. The circle was drawn, and my wife and me were happier than we had been for many, many years. So was the cat, after five years as an indoor dweller, she was now free to roam. We were finally able to build the foundation of a solid and promising future in a place that was not temporary or second-choice or anything like that. A proper home.

And then…

I am totally and utterly heart broken. I am known to be a tough guy, bordering the cynic, but this situation has kicked me in the balls like nothing I can remember. For the first time in perhaps a decade I have been crying with real tears. Not even the loss of my father, a couple of years ago, can compare to this. He was old, and he died, closure, finito. But Xena is missing, something that is entirely different than if she'd 'only' died. We don't know where she is or in what state.

This uncertainty, this feeling of doubt is the worst thing about it all.

We have spent the days since her disappearance searching for her everywhere, in the woods, the fields, the ditches, neighbouring gardens, toolsheds and garages. We have been handing out posters with her picture, asking people to keep a watch out – but still without any result. I've been on my knees praying – something I'd never do otherwise. I even called out to the old gods to help me, and to watch out for her, if she's somewhere out there, lonely, scared or maybe even wounded.

I miss her so much.

Comments
  1. claudeb says:

    All I can say is, don't lose hope yet, and make sure to ask around.

  2. garlingmatthews says:

    Have you tried asking the neighbours that you had in your last apartment? Cats can go a long way to find home.I hope that she turns up.

  3. FlaRin says:

    Steady as she goes, Lion. I had a Cat that disappeared for 6 months, who found his way back. His name was Zoot. So all is not lost.

  4. Aqualion says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I am suprised how this has hit me. Must be because I have reached that point in my maturation where a man goes soft. They say, that middleaged men can be embarrasingly emotional. I guess it's true. Only ten years ago, I would never have been so stricken by an incident like this.She might return. I know that. However, I am pretty sure she will not return to our old neighbourhood, since she was an indoor cat there, and she has grown very fond of the wild. Also, it is very common for cats to roam in spring, even spayed females. And she is extremely curious.

  5. Stardancer says:

    She may be looking for old friends from when she lived there before, too. My sister had a cat that disappeared for a month. He just turned up one day on the porch, hungry, haggard, but not much worse for wear.I hope she comes home, Martin. It hurts to lose a friend.:smile:

  6. gdare says:

    I am so sorry to hear that. But as some people already said, don't lose hope. My in-laws' cat went missing for a week in the area where coyotes are common and he returned safe and sound. When I was a kid, my father thought that our 10 year old cat was too old. So he came to a stupid idea to take her away, in a closed bag, in a car and released her about 20km later. Exactly 30 days later, she was back. How – nobody knows. She lived with us for the rest of her life, 9 more years.I hope she will return. I know how we would be devastated if something happens to our cat, Cleo 😦

  7. derWandersmann says:

    I, too, will pray, friend Martin.

  8. Aqualion says:

    Thanks again. I've heard so many stories about cats returning after having been lost. People are so kind. So are you. I'm much better today, going about business. My stepson is turning 25 on Friday and we're preparing the party. It's good to have some diversion.

  9. FlaRin says:

    One of my ex brother-in -laws had a dog called Jed, who went missing. He was away for days, they were worried.It transpired that mo-in-law had put him in the boot of the car to go shopping (a not uncommon practice) and had forgotten he was there. So for a couple of days she & the rest of the family were driving around town, looking for him, when he was being a good dog and biding his time in the boot. He was pleased to be let out and had the longest pee ever upon his release, as you can imagine.That story never gets old :)Jed was a bit of a rogue, and was occasionally spotted running down the street with a string of sausages or similar hanging from his jaws, and once stole an entire, freshly cooked roast leg of lamb from a neighbour's kitchen. Happy days 🙂

  10. heggum says:

    She will come back. Her work is far from done. I'll happily look for her when I visit tomorrow.- The Son

  11. Aqualion says:

    Hello son! Welcome to MyOpera. Check it out. You might find somebody with the same interests as you around. We might not get time to search for Agent X this weekend, and I actually think that what I have done is enough. She knows she's welcome anytime, and there's a door open.And to the crowd: Check out Simon's page. He just started. Oh, and he is talking about me in his last post.

  12. garlingmatthews says:

    Hi, Simon.

  13. heggum says:

    Hello everyone!And good. Let's hope the cat is not in the sack!

  14. Spaggyj says:

    This made me cry. I really hope Xena finds her way home to you soon. It is not knowing that is so hard, yes. I still miss my Mojee. Thank you for sharing such details about your life with us and again i really hope she returns soon. I will be thinking of this.

  15. derWandersmann says:

    As in "How many were going to St. Ives?"

  16. FlaRin says:

    Self expression is a complicated thing, isn't it. I'm much better at emails than I am at conversations on the phone, for instance – even though exactly the same subjects will be on the line.So I easily understand the ability to write out one's drama and feelings, and the difficulties of expressing the same emotions via speech. Nil By Mouth, as they say.Also – and this would be typical – I wouldn't mind betting that you're supremely good at listening to others express their difficulties, a good 'shoulder', so to speak – you'd probably make a pretty good counselor for those with liferelationship difficulties….you can help others unload, but not do it so well yourself. I might be wrong, of course 🙂

  17. Aqualion says:

    Thanks Kimmie.I posted this because I needed to articulate my sentiments. It is hard for me to talk about it, because I will start sobbing, so I wrote this. In general, I find it less complicated to express myself in writing than in speech.That is how I do it, and what makes me a writer. And this way the cat is actually out of the bag, right?;)

  18. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by FlaRin:

    you'd probably make a pretty good counselor for those with liferelationship difficulties….you can help others unload, but not do it so well yourself. I might be wrong, of course

    From 2001 to 2004 I was in fact in a counselling position, doing voluntary work at the local shelter for homeless in the town I lived in. That was around the time where I quit drinking and went to rehab, and it was via the rehab programme I got in touch with the organisation I came to work at. We rented an old shop downtown where the homeless could come and get counselling and advice on which ever problems they had. We were attached to a national network of all sorts of organisations and individuals with expertise on social matters. That job was very giving to me.I am a good listener, and people can feel this instinctively (like you did yourself, Flarin), so absolute strangers actually seek me out at social gatherings and give me their stories. I'm that sort of guy, you know.I am known to be discreet and diplomatic. I can keep a secret. The truth is that I tend to forget what people have told me. Very simple. People will come to me and say, they're glad I didn't tell anybody about what they said to me, and nine out of ten times I wouldn't know what they're talking about because I simply forgot. Plus, I really don't talk much, a silent guy, so other people's secrets would not be the first thing on my mind when I actually do speek.But hey, that's just another form of discretion, right?Also, in my old job as editor in chief, this was of great advantage and benefit to me.;)

  19. heggum says:

    A great curse for a cat owner!

  20. heggum says:

    It's in a cats nature to leave home without leaving a note. Alot of cat-owners are (at this moment) pulling hairs out of their heads, because their cats are missing. It's very hard! I have had three cats and most of them have been missing before, for at least two or three days… Weeks can pass without the cat noticing…Thats the problem and the beauty of the cat's insticts. It's doesn't love you like a dog, and it does what it want. Thats why I like the independence of the particular animal!

  21. Furie says:

    Ah man that sucks. Chances are she's exploring under something and decided to make the cat equivalent of a fort there for a while because cats are a bit dumb like that. Hopefully she'll come sauntering in like nothing happened before too long.

  22. Spaggyj says:

    Yes I sometimes find it easier for me to write as well. In fact always.Simon, you are right. They go and do stuff and time is of little consequence, I didn't really consider it that way before.

  23. FlaRin says:

    I like both Cats and Dogs, but in my experience, Dogs make better buddies. Cats don't want to be buddies – on the other hand, you don't have to take them out for walks.Now that I live in an apartment a couple of floors up, instead of having a couple of acres of my own, I've decided I don't want a Cat. It's too bloody annoying, having them indoors *all* the time, it's like living with someone else's constantly naughty children. Cats need space and freedom to move around.We will however get a Dog, when everything's in order 🙂

  24. heggum says:

    Thats exactly why I like cats better than dogs. They have their own will – Just like humans…

  25. spryteLy says:

    My little guy used to go 'Walkabout' on occasion also.Always came back wondering what we'd be fussing about!!He lived a full 24 years… still missing him.Just think of the happiness in your house when she returns.

  26. edwardpiercy says:

    As I was reading this, belatedly, I started hoping that there would be some announcement in the Comments that — a miracle — that she had returned. Was very sad to find out this is not the case. 😦

    This cat gave me hope

    Well understood. Our pets are a source of great comfort to us. Not just the fun times, but the difficult ones as well, they are with us. In 1985 I moved from Dallas to Phoenix with my cat Hummel. I was staying with my sister for a bit until I could find a place. Hummel we kept out on the high fenced patio each night. Well one night somehow he managed to get over it…and disappeared. I search all over for many days, to no avail. Finally, I had to acknowledge that he was gone. It was so very sad.I know your tears.

  27. pamelamelitta says:

    Dear Martin, I was not long in opera blog.I was in hospital. Intestinal inflammation. But today I look after everything in my addresses. And I read these sad words. From a guy who looks like a really tough guy. But everything you write in other subjects comes from your heart. And tough guys have heart. I am sad with you.About the cat. When we miss the animal it is a sad time. At home you look at the places where she was or is like. You think you see it the same as it comes around the corner. You hear them and you go look. There's nothing there. But you can not rest if you do not look. I do not think the worst thing that a sick mind …… You can not understand whats going on.— I had three Cats.And the last 18 years. Hobbes.I was loved him so much. He was a cat with elegant transition.And he come to my man´s body and to my body In the end he was very emaciated and blind. But he heard us and he always responded with a small meow — I have during the day he died, I write the moist Augen.An we gave him everything he needed was fresh. We asked him his toilet in the vicinity but he could unable to walk. We had to pick up something to furniture. And when we got back to him first. . I saw him and I felt a spear in my heart. He was very relaxed in his Katzentoillette and fell asleep. As if to say — I did not do anything dirty looking.Dear Martin ,i hope

  28. Aqualion says:

    Thanks again.I've settled down with the idea that she is missing. I've stopped looking for her everywhere, but my thoughts are still 'out there', if you know what I mean. We actually need a cat, because the last couple of days we have heard the characteristic sounds of mice moving around in the walls. I've been checking out the panels around the house and secured a few holes, but I'm sure that we will have visitors on a regular basis.As a practical precaution I have started to befriend the cats of the neighborhood, especially the ones I suspect to be feral. Now that the lady is no longer in the house, they have started to hang around. I let them know they are welcome as long as they understand that her being away doesn't mean they're allowed to do everything they fancy. Most of them know me already, of course, and they know that if I pick up say a pine cone, they'd better be on their way, because I have a dead eye aim, and I can pitch the entire garden range, if I have to. A pine cone to the back side will not hurt any cat, but it's intimidating to them, and they'd rather not have it. I only very rarely have to pick up a stick, but that makes them clear the perimeter entirely. A man with a stick means trouble in any known animal language.I like dogs too. I'm not entirely a cat-person. And my wife and me have actually decided a long time ago that when Xena was gone we'd have a dog in stead of a new cat. It's suitable to have a dog if you live in a house like ours. A good, well-trained guard dog. However, we have not dismissed Agent X entirely, and we give her this summer to return.

  29. edwardpiercy says:

    Great Dane. Just sayin. 😀

  30. Aqualion says:

    Well, as of 10:55 this evening Agent X is back! A bit slimmer around the waist, otherwise unmarked by whatever adventures she's been into. There was some confusion, because everybody was in the house (both sons, my wife and I) and everybody made a big foss out of it, much to her annoyance.So, the search is off. 007 is back in the house. M is at ease. And my wife wept buckets.

  31. anonymous says:

    The wife writes:Great to see her again. I love that little Madam to bitts ❤

  32. derWandersmann says:

    I am VERY happy she's back. Martin. Danu seldom fails.I don't expect that you will have much success with behaviour mod with her, Martin … or with yourself, for that matter, but felix domesticus should not go outside, especially unsupervised.They take a terrible toll on wildlife, especially avian, they are exposed to any disease or hostile animal in the area, and they just plain live longer indoors. An indoor cat frequently lives to 15-18 years or more, while a cat who roams frequently doesn't make it past 5.

  33. heggum says:

    The feline fury returns. It's a bit like christmas here…

  34. edwardpiercy says:

    w00t! So glad to hear it! 😀

  35. gdare says:

    :happy:

  36. FlaRin says:

    Haha – excellent news!! 😀 <grins like an idiot while making Sunday morning pancakes> 😀

  37. Aqualion says:

    @DWDanish nature is actually the perfect habitat for cats, since the only predators that can compare with them are foxes and badgers and they live in the forests where cats will only go if they can't help it. There is an estimate of 125000 wild cats on the Danish isles, most of them feral. Wildlife Organisations have aggreements with most rural municipalities to do the occasional cat sweep, not to shoot the animals but neuter and vaccinate them to prevent overpopulation and the spreading of diseases. The only true danger for cats in these parts are cars.Apart from being a bit skitty and restless, the Princess is happy. She is currently curled up in her basket at the heater, and I reckon she'll stay there for the entire afternoon.And there was much rejoyce.

  38. garlingmatthews says:

    Great news. Pets become like a part of the family.

  39. spryteLy says:

    Originally posted by Aqualion:

    everybody made a big foss out of it, much to her annoyance.

    Exactly how my guy behaved when he returned from Walkabout.Glad to hear all is well!!

  40. Aqualion says:

    Thanks. She's recovering. Not so restless anymore. She sleeps for longer periods. I suspect she was dehydrated, because she really hit on the water bowl. Normally she only drinks a few sips, but she's been emptying the thing two times today. Food is normal. No wounds or visual bruises. Everything is okay. She's been sticking to me, though. Also when outside. Guess she missed me too, or, more likely, the obvious security of being next to a human being that will pick up stones and sticks and use them against any opponent.

  41. FlaRin says:

    I suspect that because it's most definitely Spring, she suddenly felt the inescapable urge to do official Cat stuff, take off, go walk on the wild side, explore, feel the breeze ruffle her fur, take a few risks and follow her feline intuition 🙂 It probably won't happen again…'been there, done that' kinda thing 🙂

  42. Zaphira says:

    And here's the missing part, right here. Sorry for my absence… :left:

  43. Zaphira says:

    I should read posts from the beginning instead of moving backwards, shouldn't I, really? 😀

  44. garlingmatthews says:

    But then you don't see the happy ending first. 😀

  45. Zaphira says:

    That's true. And I like happy endings 😀

  46. Aqualion says:

    Update: She's back to her usual self now. If anything her adventure sharpened her attention. She's been hunting a good deal more since she came back, also bringing some of the prey home. Usually I'll find the carcasses lying around in the garden, but as of late she's been bringing 'gifts'. I suppose it's a sort of offering to me, showing me that, after all, home is the best place to be.

  47. Furie says:

    But in your version the cat was happily at home and then went missing for days with no resolution. Monster!!!

  48. Spaggyj says:

    Ah, that's good.

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