A while back Monica told me that Cutie, Honey (now Heidi), and Lovie had a more fortunate littermate who had apparently not been named by whomever named the trio. Along with a different name he also looked different; the three were tabbies while he was gray, and he was significantly larger. He had already been adopted by the time Heidi decided that we had passed her lap-worthiness test. A few months later a gray cat named Grayson, fostered by Jill, was brought in. He hid the whole time and has since been in foster care or adopted. At first I thought he was Heidi's brother returned, but Monica said he wasn't.
Two nights ago when I went to Kitty City, I discovered the city and the air tunnel empty, and all of the kitties and the ferret (Snaggletooth) in cages in the store room. Three had been taken home, and a new one had been brought in. The new one was Grayson and I was somewhat surprised to see him actually out, though he was not clamoring for attention like the others. Even the exceptionally shy Strawberry and Vanilla were begging for attention. I changed out the water which needed it and held or petted the kitties who wanted to be held or petted.
Yesterday morning Myrtice called and asked if someone had come for Grayson. I said nope, and that I was surprised at how much bolder he was this time around. Then she dropped the bombshell -- Grayson's cage was wide open and he was long gone. This was before Clark's had officially opened, but after deliveries for the day had begun through the huge truck bay door. I told callicrates, and he offered to come home early from work so I could help look. I was feeling fairly sick to my stomach because I was the last one there, which meant that I'd been negligent in leaving his cage door unlocked. About an hour later I phoned and Jill answered Myrtice's cell phone; they hadn't found Grayson yet, but they were looking. I'm not sure how most store stockrooms are, but this one has tons of nooks and crannies and is fairly disorganized in some parts. However I figured if he would come out for anyone, it would be for Jill, his foster mom.
About two hours later Myrtice called again. No Grayson, but they were leaving his cage open with food, water, and a clean litterbox. Myrtice said she doubted he would come out until after the store closed. I didn't have the heart to post about it yesterday, because if Grayson had gotten outside he would probably not have survived: if cars didn't get him animal services almost certainly would, and they have a horrible track record for putting down animals. It's almost as if they are competing with other pounds but were never told that, as with golf, in this case the lower scores are better. Monica and I spent the whole two hours we were both there looking for and calling Grayson. At some point I mentioned him being Jill's foster, and she said that no, he had been her foster. She also told me how his former owner used to call him. We didn't find him, but Monica left out a humane trap and a litterbox.
I was up before Clark's opened today, guarding the phone. By about 09:45 I gave up on waiting and called. The trap was cat-free and the bait untouched. However the litterbox, which had been left smoothed out, looked like a tornado had struck. Grayson had also made a deposit or two, and knocked down a few cans in jumping down from the shelves verifying that he is, indeed, a climber.
At this point I was relieved enough to take a nap after a fairly non-restful night, and in my dream I made a realization: there had been two PACA cats named Grayson, and the one I hadn't met had been Heidi's brother. So the fact that he was driving me nuts and plowing up his litterbox suddenly made all the sense in the world. Also, if he had a lot in common with Heidi maybe I hadn't left his cage door open -- these cages are for showing cats, not storing them, and other PACA cats have figured out how to open the cage doors of their own accord. So, with relief came giddiness. I later asked Andy if I'd told him about the connection I made or if it had been a dream, and he said the latter. His comment, when I told him my theory, was "It figures".
Tonight before going to Clark's I went to Wild Oats to get some meat for dinner. While there, I acknowledged that fresh fish isn't supposed to smell, but asked if they had any particularly smelly fish. The counter person made a suggestion, and I left with a piece of Mahi-Mahi. Monica cut it up and we used it to bait the humane trap tonight. There hasn't been any food left out for him since Monica baited the trap last night, but this is a pet shop storage room we're talking about, and Thena and Gail used to chew through bags of food whenever we accidentally left them out. Hopefully, though, the stinky fresh fish will be enough to lure him even if he has been nibbling on the stock.
So, the day count has begun. Thus far he's been on the lam for two days. As mentioned in the subject line, I hope that is the record for which he'll be remembered. If he doesn't fall for the allure of the Mahi, though, this may be the beginning of the day count.