Spencer, a gray and white Tom, came to live with us when we lived in a small town north of New York City. He was a scrappy boy, coming home with a torn ear once, once with bloody fur. He liked being in the house, but he liked to be outside better.
We discovered on a trip back to Oklahoma from New York that Spencer was a good traveler. We had a crate for him, but he liked to lie across the back of the back seat, I suppose to watch the passing countryside.
We made it to my parent’s home and settled in for a visit. Spencer settled in as well until wanderlust and curiosity about my parents’ barn cats overtook him. We finally in self defense let him go outside, thinking he’d be back in a few minutes.
We searched. We called. We put food out. We searched some more.
Days passed. No Spencer.
Our time off passed and we had to make plans to return to New York. Still no sign of our beautiful gray and white cat.
At last, feeling like the worst of villains, we had to load the station wagon, and head back to New York.
My parents promised to continue searching for him.
I grieved for Spencer, fantasizing about him finding his way from Oklahoma to New York and home to us. I know, totally unrealistic. But I imagined I would hear something outside the kitchen door and there would be Spencer, asking to come in. He’d be tired and battered but he’d be there.
Time passed. The ache for Spencer eased a bit. Life happened.
Then one afternoon I sat on our front porch, staring across the street and over to the park beyond. Something warm and soft bumped my hand. I looked down and saw a beautiful gray and white cat, marked just like Spencer, and just his size. He sat with me for a while looking out across the park as I was.
Then, he left as silently as he had come.
Although I looked for him around our small town neighborhood for weeks after that, I never saw him again.
Photo source: This isn’t Spencer, but I don’t have a photo of him. Here is the link to the Wikimedia image. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AGray_tabby_cat_August_22_2010.JPG