Crunching in the darkness through leaf-cluttered backyards, quietly opening and closing gates, we tip-toed through the neighborhood, supercharged with adrenaline.
“Minino!” We called and called and called. Our flashlights violated the private corridors of our neighborhood: dense town-homes or apartment buildings (obsessed with security) crowding in on older Craftsman homes with sizable yards and flimsy screen doors.
I’ve never been so determined to find anything or anyone. The hours disappeared like the flicker of his florescent eyes — bright, visible, certain and then suddenly nowhere to be found. He seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time, taunting us with his ability to transcend property lines by jumping from the top of one fence to another.
Certain we’d find him, we returned home in morning light defeated and exhausted.
The following day we oscillated between hopelessness and determination. Dutifully (and tearfully), we duct-taped bright flyers to heavily-stapled telephone poles — this gesture a brutal reminder of our desperation.
So when a (cat) lady named Patti responded to one of our LOST CAT Craigslist posts with a laundry list of cat-finding methods, we took her very seriously. “Some people have had success creating a scent trail back to their home by spraying their own urine around the neighborhood,” she wrote. Bingo.
Instead of spending the next night searching, we laid the groundwork for OPERATION MININO FIND YOUR OWN WAY BACK! We mixed one-part Brenton’s pee with one-part fresh spring water in a large spray bottle and went to TOWN. We also strategically placed Brenton’s dirty socks by our home. Finally, we left our backyard open with a bowl of canned food and water for his return.
To our delight (and initial disbelief), he was found sleeping peacefully in our backyard when I tip-toed downstairs to check outside at 4am. There in all his physical preciousness, contained and domestic, looking once again like OUR cat instead of a the wild beast we pursued the night before. ❤