As long as I can remember my granny has always had cats – well, mostly just one at a time. And these have had the funniest names like Boris Becker for a ginger one. Also our whole family loves ginger cats. Thirteen years ago, just when I graduated from high school, my granny adopted another one. He was the tiniest kitten from his kindle. When my parents and I picked him up one summer day, put him into a chicken carrier (this is what you do in the countryside) and drove to my granny, he meowed miserably for the whole car trip. Once he got out in her house, he immediately ran up to the top of her stairs leading to the upper floor and stayed there for hours. But over time my granny and he became great friends. He got the attractive (or not) name Blasius and grew into a huge and stunning tomcat.
In their village everybody knows him and many cat owners are sad that he is neutered instead of being able to father many big and beautiful kittens. Every evening my granny puts him outside, every morning he sits in front of her door waiting for his breakfast inside. Then its nap time on top or in front of the radiator in the living room. Sometimes, mainly depending on the season, Blasius takes short walks outside during the day. But whenever my granny whistles, he is back. He also loves my parents and allows them to pet his belly, and he used to follow my cousin to the bus stop. Even though I see the cat only about once every two years, he seems to still like me. Maybe I just know how to bribe a cat … he really can’t refuse any chew treats. The last time I saw Blasius was this summer when I visited my parents and of course my granny in Germany. He was as amazing a cat as always. Even though at 13 years of age he should slowly become an old-timer. He even allowed me to pick and hold him up so that we could take one big “family photo”.
But shortly after my visit he one morning didn’t return home. My granny waited for days, called him, whistled for him. Her whole village looked out for him. But nothing. Luckily, no run over cat in the street. No cat in old sheds or garages which people rarely open. Eventually, when days dragged into weeks, everybody tried to accept that he had probably gone away to die. 13 years is a ripe age for a cat in our region, esp. for one that is allowed outdoors. Only my granny was very sad because he had kept her company for so many years. After he had been missing for three months at the end of November, she even trust my parents all the cat food she still had. Being cat lovers too, my parents feed two or three street cats in their village.
My granny has nice neighbors. Those neighbors use modern technology, like the internet. After the whole village had searched for Blasius without success, the neighbors started looking online for the cat at the start of December. And they found him on Ebay: two villages, about 10 km away, a family had found a beautiful tomcat at the end of October. They had taken him to a vet, who guessed that the cat was between 9 and 11 years old. But unfortunately he isn’t chipped. So that family adopted him for the time being and put a note including a photo on Ebay. That’s where my granny’s neighbor discovered Blasius and picked him up on the same day. Since he (the neighbor, not the cat) has a key to my granny’s house, he opened the door and put the cat in the hallway in order to surprise her. And of course she was overcome with joy.
Blasius apparently acts as if nothing has ever happened and he hadn’t been away for a little more than three months. Since he can’t talk, nobody knows where he was or what he did between August and October until that family took him in. Not that it really matters because he is as gorgeous and healthy as ever and I bet he is going to get plenty of Christmas presents, i.e. special treats.