She was gone. For two days.
I heard her meowing from a steep ditch where water runs off the hill, down to the river. I’d just taken a shower, but clean clothes and all, I went barrelling down the bank, sliding, hanging onto trees. I managed to coax her out of her hiding spot inside a piled tangle of branches and brush, just close enough that I could grab hold of her and pull her out.
Inside the house, she stuck her head in a bowl of food and didn’t come up for air till it was empty.
Then she stretched out on my bed and took a long nap.
I know it sounds dopey when people talk about their cats. Spice is so smart. She can break in doors and windows at the old farmhouse. She can catch a hummingbird in flight. She’s innocent and sweet, and fierce and even sometimes mean. She deliberately seeks out other cats just to smack them.
And I love her.
Isn’t she beautiful?