On occasion our feral cat Oscar likes to go awol on us. We've been feeding him for four years now but we're still not allowed to touch him. Over the past year he has, at times, lived on our porch 24/7. He eats an insane amount of canned cat food while hanging out on our bistro table on our front porch, usually four cans per day, and he isn't close to being overweight. Currently he is happy with the Meaty Bits selection of canned food, but as we all know that is subject to change.
Two weeks ago I was returning to the house with Ewen one evening. Oscar often relocates to our back porch during the evenings, and Ewen and I made the mistake of disturbing Oscar as we went in the house. I told Jason when we came in that Oscar looked angry at us for daring to disturb him. I had no idea how right I was about Oscar's anger. We didn't see him again for two weeks. The first couple of years Oscar began hanging out on our porches he would disappear on occasion for several weeks at a time but he always returned. His disappearances gradually declined in both frequency and duration.
Over the past several months the longest absence Oscar had has been 4 days, and that only happened once. We weren't too concerned when we hadn't seen him for one week, but when the two week mark came and Oscar still hadn't reappeared even Jason began to wonder if Oscar had met his demise. We had a daily discussion about Oscar, if he was ok, and if he was still alive. More accurately I talked to Jason and voiced all of my concerns and asked "what do you think happened to Oscar" while Jason contributed almost nothing to the conversation.
Then, a couple of days ago, Oscar suddenly reappeared again. He was laying on the table on our front porch, waiting for us to deliver some cans of Meaty Bits to him, acting like he had never disappared. He had lost a little weight and looked a little bit beat up, but that's usually how he looks when he returns from one of his disappearances.
When I'm honest with myself about Oscar I realize he is an ungrateful freeloader who has lofty demands (his food fussiness is well documented on this blog) and offers nothing in return. Yet, for some reason Jason and I are both pretty attached to him despite the fact that we've never been allowed to touch him in four years. Thus, we were both really happy when Oscar returned to his throne on our porch.