Meet Chuka: he is a great cat, an Oriental shorthair, acquired from the Humane Society of Missouri the day after Newton disappeared.
Newton must have sneaked out of the house when I had the screen door open while I talked to a departing client. He was not to be found. I went to the Humane Society to see if someone had picked him up and taken him there. There was a Newton-like Maine Coon knock-off, but no Newton.
There was a skinny, black kitty in the adoption room, an Oriental shorthair. He was so weird-looking that the staff had put a hand-written sign on his cage: “Very Sweet.”
I took him into the getting-acquainted room. He hid under the bench. When he did come out, he snuggled up to me. I adopted him the next day, after telling my husband about him.
I got him home. Barrie looked at him and announced, “He looks like a rat.”
We locked him in the guest bath with the door open a crack and food and water and a cat box and went off to our favorite Indian restaurant.
At dinner we asked our favorite Indian waiter, “What’s Hindi for black cat.”
“Calli billi,” replied our favorite Indian waiter.
“What’s Hindi for black rat,” we asked.
Chuka had his name. And, he is very sweet, but he is a talker.
Where was Newton? Who knows where Newton went on his outdoor adventure. That evening I called from the front porch and heard a cat cry from the back porch. I called again, a louder cry. I called again, a much louder cry as in, “What don’t you understand about ‘I’m here.'”
That was Newton’s last adventure outside other than on our second story porch, save one.
Last fall I did take him out on the grass and put him down. He took one sniff, leapt six feet to the concrete patio, and ran inside. So much for Newton and grass.
Happy New Year.