EARLIER THIS week our cat Lurch disappeared. Well, not in the magical sense, but he was gone from our view for two days and two nights, behavior very uncommon for an animal that likes to come in for a snack about every half hour and never misses dinner or breakfast. So for him to be gone overnight, for two nights, was a clear warning bell that something was very wrong.
Since Lurch is one of a handful of beings I truly love, this was a huge upset in my world. I had to act, and act fast lest I become a sobbing mess, unable to eat or sleep or think about anything else. I remembered when a dear friend had this same thing happen to her years ago, and she called a pet psychic who successfully led her to the lost cat, huddled under a woodpile in the snow in a backyard just a few doors from her own home. I decided to give it a try, despite the derision of several people I respect who thought it was a nuts idea.The Pet Psychic (PP) I called lives in Washington state, about as far as you can get from me and my missing kitty here in Maine. She and I spoke for about half an hour. She asked a few necessary questions, explaining that the information would aid in her contacting Lurch. I sent her a recent photo of him, showing his eyes quite clearly. Oh yeah, I also gave her my credit card so she could collect her fee of $125. Then I waited for about two hours for her to call me back.PP’s call was full of news, both good and bad. “Sometimes I have to tell people that their pet has crossed over to the other side. This is not the case with your cat.” First she said that Lurch was alive, and located. Phew! I was relieved. Then she said he was hiding out in a small space, “about one or two properties away, under a deck or shed,” after an “altercation or fight with one, or maybe two raccoons.” She said Lurch told her he could hear my voice calling him, but did not say whether or not he had been hurt in the fight. He would not return until he felt it was safe to do so. This could take as long as a week or even two. PP added that cats can go that long without food or water by slowing down their metabolisms. (Who knew?) Next came my part. PP explained that raccoons urinate on the ground as they walk, marking the territory, and that Lurch would smell their urine and think they were still outside his hiding place. So to counteract that, she strongly advised that I fill a spray bottle with my own urine and go out and spray it about every 30 feet around the neighborhood and near places he might be hiding. Lurch would recognize mine as the “alpha” urine, a sure sign that I was protecting him. I was to do this every day until he returned.
PP urged me not to tell any passers-by I was spraying urine on the ground as this would be upsetting, and instead to say it was “cat pheromones.” (God knows where they sell those.) Also, I wasn’t supposed to say I had spoken to a pet psychic as people would think I was batty. (At this point I was thinking that PP was the batty one.)
Anyway, I did what she said right away. That was the first day. The second day brought a rainstorm, complete with thunder and lightning, of biblical proportions. Still I walked the neighborhood, checking under every shed and porch and deck within a few properties of ours. No sign of Lurch.
Later on the weather brightened and my son, Lurch’s first and true owner, came to aid in the search, although he drew the line at peeing on the ground which I thought would save us both a few steps. Together Zack and I walked and called out, shaking the treat can as PP had instructed, to no avail. I started to think the cat was a goner. After Zack left I resumed my sobbing, yelling at God that Lurch was too young to die and I was not ready to let him go.
Around dinnertime Lurch showed up at the back door without a scratch on him. I’d say that was money well-spent, much smarter than my campaign donations to Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson.