i've had this cat for nine years. only a few months shorter than the length of my marriage.
she's gone missing on us once before, when we moved to portland, and she decided to hang out in the neighboring overgrown yard for a couple of days. but we've been in this house about a year now, so there should be no disorientation.
i came back from music lesson last night, read my son a couple of chapters, and settled with my own book before drifting off to sleep. i didn't get to ask my husband if he had sent her out for the night - a source of squabble, as i've never believed it to be safe, but the cat has never believed in letting us sleep through the night, either. i would be the one getting my nose or toes chomped around 3 am, while my husband simply couldn't stand the mewing or clawing to get into our bedroom if she was shut outside our room at night.
i noticed yesterday that she was walking gingerly up the stairs like an old cat. she's at least 11, and tiny. we don't know her true age as she was an adult when we adopted her. she hadn't been acting sick, but she had seemed to need more time with me after the kids had gone to bed recently.
even tj seems a bit put off, as if he's trying to ask where she is even though they were hardly buddies. he's had many a nose-swack from her in the mornings, idling for space at the breakfast bowls. the rest of the time, they ignored each other.
i hope i open the door to get the paper tomorrow and find her. i've checked the animal shelter's online lost and found, and unless she made it to gresham, she isn't there. also checked the major animal hospital, and craigslist. the number of lost pets on craigslist in just one day made my heart break a little. i have searched all the hidden nooks in the house, hoping that if she has passed, she found a comfortable space and slept until she couldn't wake.