Diamond Takes A Holiday

After what seemed to be a long time I cautiously made my way through some backyards to a familiar hiding place behind a house with an attractive lawn, overgrown with bushy shrubs. No sooner had I settled into my spot when a huge orange cat wandered down the steep incline at the fence line. It slowly made its way towards my hideout. After spotting me, it hunched its back and let out a piercing howl, challenging me to come into the open and fight. I quickly scrambled up a tree, across a branch, and onto a roof. Heart beating, I looked down as the cat disappeared back up the slope into the night. A couple of people walking by pointed up at me. I tried to hide, but there was nowhere to go. I crouched on the warm shingles and waited until they passed on. Quickly I sprang to a tree branch and climbed into the backyard. I hid in the bushes and tried to sleep.

Once again I heard the whistle. A light flashed in my eyes. And then.”Here Diamond! Here Die! Here Diamond! Here Die!” It was too good to be true! I peeked out of my hiding place, and after a few moments crept towards Jim. He picked me up in his arms, hugged me, and started towards home. Suddenly a tall human strode towards us through the dark shadows. In a panic I squirmed to release Jim’s grip. In my frenzy I scratched his wrist and face. Blood trickled down his cheek and made red splotches on his wrist.

When the shadowy human wisely backed away I calmed down. Jim carried me firmly in his arms across the street and up a few houses to our home. We walked through the very door I had left eight days ago. He set me on the floor. I crouched in the hallway, more or less dazed, but immediately recognized that I was home. It felt wonderful. I wasn’t starving, but really appreciated the food and water he put in front of me. My sister, Dallas, instead of being elated at my return, hissed at me and wouldn’t go near me. Vimy just ignored me.

It’s so good to be home. Jim was over-the-top excited to see me. He admitted to everyone that he had experienced a gut-wrenching, stressful week wondering what had happened to me. To celebrate he sat with a double scotch and watched with joy as I wandered around my very own indoor world.

I have not once thought of racing out the door since that dark and gloomy Wednesday night. My unexpected eight-day holiday was certainly a novel, if scary adventure. I much prefer the safety, predictability, and comfort of my home. And anyway, Jim missed me too much when I was away. It really stressed him out. The catio is a good compromise to wandering aimlessly through strangers’ backyards or along rooftops in the dead of night. Jim still wonders why I ended up on his neighbour’s roof. I hope that he will come to understand that it was simply my SOS call. And it worked!

Jim still allows me to go into the backyard with him once in a while to sun myself on the patio. Funny, but I never seem to have the urge to run away when I am with Jim. When he picks up the hose I know it’s time to head for the door, especially if he turns the nozzle to “Jet”.

author
Dr. James F. McDonald is a retired elementary school principal who lives in Dundas, ON.
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