As regular cat-minded followers of this blog will know (see ‘our cats’), Frodo is a very fine Norwegian forest cat who came to live with our neighbours, Hannah and Robert across the garden, eight or nine years ago. However, because he rather liked the food in our house and because, some time ago, his own family acquired a rather noisy terrier to which he took a rooted dislike, he spent a great deal of time in our house and garden rather than his own. An arrangement that appeared to suit all parties as Frodo is a cat of great character and we were more than happy to have him around.
So we were very concerned two months ago when he did not appear at all for a few days. A text to Hannah revealed that they had, horror of horrors, moved house! Not to very far away – about a mile – but far enough for Frodo to have moved out of our lives.
There was, obviously, nothing that any of us could do, so we just mourned quietly. But then, about two weeks after they had moved, I got a text from Hannah to say that he had absconded – presumably intending to head for ‘home’ and his own territory. But he did not show up here – or anywhere else – for a week… Eventually he found an open cat flap in St John’s Wood (in diametrically the opposite direction to ‘home’ which does not say much for the homing instinct of Norwegian forest cats…) and settled himself on a sofa. The sofa’s owner took him to a vet who checked his chip and called Hannah.
She then called us to say that they felt they should not have tried to move him and, if he did not settle, would we consider having him to live with us – which of course, we would! For a few days (while he was, obviously, recouping his forces) all was well and then, about three weeks ago, he disappeared again. But at least this time, he was not only ‘chipped’ but had a collar and tag with ‘his’ address and phone number.
So we waited…. For him to re-appear, for there to be a call…… But nothing. One week ran into another and we had all but given up hope. Cat-napped or squashed seemed the most likely outcomes although we hoped that maybe he had just found another friendly sofa. And then, nearly a week ago, a text from Hannah to say that they had been called by a lady who had found him wandering in Fitzroy Square and, thinking that all did not look well in his world, had taken him home.
Now, to those not familiar with north London this will not mean much – but the square where he was found is a good two miles from where he started (and while slightly more in the right direction still a long way too far south for ‘home’). But more to the point, to get there, he would have needed to cross, among others, Euston Road which is a major six lane highway (the London end of the M40 motorway) which is teeming with traffic 24 hours a day….. Nine lives? More like 19!
Now, nearly a week later, after a great deal of sleeping, a lot of eating, and few tentative expeditions to check out the garden territory and into his old house (courtesy of its new owners) he is beginning to look a bit more like his old self but I think it may take a while yet for all to return to normal.
However, we are extremely relieved that he managed to survive and very happy to have him back – although we do feel badly for Hannah and Robert who have now, effectively, lost their own cat!
Boris and Mushkin, who had definitely been very puzzled by his disappearance, have not been quite as enthusiastic as we humans at his return, but one gets the feeling that they are also somewhat relieved that things are back to normal, even if it does mean that they are once again demoted to ‘junior’ cats…
(See Michelle’s cats‘ for a full status report.)