Lost and found
Last night, Merlo went missing. I realised she was gone sometime around 8-8:30, and I hadn't seen her since around 7:00. Raoul and I searched the entire house over several times, and called and called outside. She didn't come, not even at the sound of food in her bowl (and she hadn't even finished her supper, so she had to have been hungry). Merlo never really wanders from the house much. The longest she's been away before has been maybe half an hour or so, and she usually comes soon after she's called. It was VERY unusual for Merlo to be gone and not responding, and also to have left supper half-eaten. I was extremely worried, and yes, I have to admit, I was crying. Merlo is my baby, and I can't stand the thought of her lost or in pain.
Raoul and I drove around the neighbourhood calling for her, and searching the bushes with a torch (flashlight for you Americans- we weren't setting the bushes on fire). We talked to the security guards and asked if they'd keep an eye out for her as well. (This was all at about 10:30-11:00 at night after we'd given her time to come home on her own.) We also drove outside the complex around the nearby roads, but saw no sign of her. Finally we went to bed, hoping she'd be there to wake us up in the morning for her breakfast like she always does.
I couldn't sleep. I was awake most of the night, imagining noises of her coming back, and during what little time I slept, I dreamed about hallucinating that she came home, but she never really did. I finally got up at about 4:00 am and got on the internet to look up phone numbers for all the nearby vets and animal shelters that I could call during the day. I also chatted with some friends and asked them to pray Merlo came home safely. At 5:30 I went back to bed, though I still didn't sleep much. When Raoul's first alarm rang this morning, Merlo still wasn't home. She always wakes him up in the morning, even before his alarm by sitting and purring in his face, and she goes crazy, bouncing all around, at the sound of his alarm, because the alarm means it's breakfast time. This morning, there was no Merlo...I was even more worried.
Raoul went downstairs to feed Keena, and called a bit for Merlo outside, jiggling food in her bowl, hoping she'd come. I came down then as well, hoping she'd appear, but again, there was no sign of her. Raoul started getting ready to leave, and I peeked out the back door again. I thought I saw something at the end of the garden, and hoped against hope that it could be Merlo. I thought my mind must be playing tricks on me, but I grabbed a torch anyway, and shined it outside. To my delight I saw two green eyes light up, and then my Merlo came running to me! I was overjoyed, so thankful to have her back and safe!
We still don't know exactly where she was all that time, but Raoul and I both think that what probably happened is she went out for a short roam and someone saw her and took her in for the night, then let her out when they heard Raoul calling for her this morning. I'm thankful that she was taken in, because that means she was safe from cars and everything, but I also think she would have been home MUCH sooner if she'd been left out. Still, I have my Merlo back, and I'm so glad!