Xena's gone, to which I was saying "good riddance" until I saw these photos from a couple weeks ago. She snuck out of the house yesterday morning while I brought in a basket full of laundry from the line. Not the first time she's managed to escape. I believe, full-heartedly, in cats having time outdoors, but Xena is not yet fixed; we've been protecting the chastity of her and her litter-mate, Birgitte, (as well as our wallets; God knows we can't afford more kittens) by keeping them indoors (where they have been efficiently driving me utterly insane). But, being more advenurous and calculating than Birgitte, Xena was in the habit of sneaking through our legs every once in a while--if the dog dawdled at the door, or if our arms were overburdened with groceries (or laundry baskets).
She came back, though, in the afternoon. Wolfman called to her and she followed us inside--only to promptly shit on the carpet. I yanked her up by the scruff of the neck as she circled about looking for a spot to piss. Have I mentioned that Xena refuses to use a litter pan? We'd been locking her in the bathroom during/after her meals, where she still refused to use the litter pan and instead would shit in the tub and pee in the sink. But, at least that was manageable--easily washable. On the carpet, however, is something I can only take so much of, before, literally, tossing her out the front door, and shouting (much to my neighbor's benefit), "My house is not your toilet!"
I haven't seen her since, and something tells me I will not be seeing her again. Wolfman looked for her this morning, his brow slightly wrinkled with concern, though he'd said to me, when I informed him of her missing status, "Good." I'm not worried for her safety, unlike Wolfman (I know he is; Xena is so small, after all, and he is a nurturer). I know very well that cats, even small ones, can take care of themselves. I do feel slightly guilty about not having gotten her fixed (we couldn't afford it) before she disappeared into the great Suburban wilds. However, I don't feel too guilty--I tend to view feral cats like squirrels or raccoons or possums. Let them be, says I; they're wild.
And Xena certainly was wild. Never affectionate, only destructive. And photogenic. I'll light a candle tonight and pray to my spirits to keep her safe and let her live a long, wild, predatory life. I wouldn't mind seeing her again--in a tree, or darting out from under a bush, or perhaps catch a glimpse of her globe eyes glowing out at me from the night. But, she was never really mine--not my pet, not my friend; she was always just a visitor, I guess, and one who overstayed her welcome.