What do a canary and a cat have in common?

So while Ace, Kim, and I were truckin’ down two-lane highways, thrifting, setting up our glampsite, taking down our glampsite, and getting our honky-tonk on in South Dakota … the animals we left behind were awaiting our return. Rascal, our design studio mascot (tortoiseshell cat), was being taken care of by Ace’s roommate Andy, also a farmhand here (Ace, Kim and Andy are roommates at Kim’s farm), and Daffodil, my canary, was offered space in Carol’s office, with my husband taking care of her on weekends. (Kim brought her Border Collie, Riley, on our trip.)

Part of the job of taking care of my canary is feeding her a deluxe daily diet of fresh veggies and fruits, soaked grains, hard-boiled egg yolks from the bigger of her kin, AND gathering up her gorgeous blue eggs she lays 3-4 times per week. (Yup, she’s pampered.)

Ta-da. Meet Daffodil.

Upon my return and about the time I started to unpack, I heard the bad/sad news that Ace’s Rascal was nowhere to be found when Ace arrived home. Rascal had been introduced to a few new dogs when Ace moved in with Kim (you can probably see where this is going). With the friendship between her and those big ole chasers and barkers still tentative, and Ace having been gone for 14 days, she decided to strike out on her own. Andy reported seeing her the night before we returned. Being a newly initiated farm cat (and more specifically, being a cat named Rascal), Ace has learned that if she isn’t by her food bowl at least every other night, somethin’s up.

Fast forward two weeks. Ace had called the local Humane Society (where Rascal was originally rescued from), searched high and low, and made posters to hand out to neighbors. Why, she even searched the culvert next to the house where a neighbor thought he’d seen a black, white, and orange ball of fur zip across the road. All seemed dismal for our little Rascal.

Until a neighbor called.

Her 3-year-old had been making friends with a calico cat living in her hay barn, bringing her food, lavishing her with attention (as only a 3-year-old can), and she was wondering if they could keep her unless the cat belonged to anyone there.

According to Kim, this was about the point in the conversation where, armed with a flashlight, Ace was halfway up the hill behind their farm house (having understood the gist of things). And just who would come sauntering, nay, traipsing up to her feet, but our little fiend, looking happy, well-fed, and content? RASCAL!

Today, she’s here doing what she does best—making a mess of the recycling, meowing, and finding the best places to sleep—on top of a camera bag for starters. We missed you, Rascal!

Now, back to my canary, Daffodil. I was cleaning out her cage (like I do every day) when she swooped down and out (for years she’s stayed right on her perch while I clean). I have high vaulted ceilings so while I was wondering how I’d ever get her down (she hates to be handled and almost dies of a heart attack when I grab her to clip her nails), we both saw the open door at the same time and out she went, perching briefly on the railing of my third floor office deck before she was only a yellow spec in the sky. Gone. Just like that. Gone.

The next morning, Mr. Right (hubby), who talks to Daffodil every morning (Seriously?) (YES! and she chirps back) said he was a little sad. But oh well. Maybe she’s happier. He left to get busy, walked down three flights of stairs, but then turned and walked all the way back up. “What’s up?” I said. “Look who I found on the ground waiting by the back door?” His big rough farmer hands held our little Daffodil. Unbelievably, he bent down, put out his hands, and she hopped on.

And that concludes my story about a lost and found canary and a lost and found tabby cat.

I live alone, with cats, books, pictures, fresh vegetables to cook, the garden, and the hens to feed.
-Jeanette Winterson

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love a happy ending:-) Thank goodness both pets returned safely. You couldn’t have chosen a better name for your Canary~what a beautiful color!

  2. What beautiful pictures and stories of your beloved pets, happy that both had a happy ending and returned home. They both seem to know where all the love is.

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Oh the joys of animals & their antics!

  4. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Finding good surrogate caregivers for pets is always a huge concern for me. Lately I have had two cat sitters who just forgot to come over. What??!!!! Animals are so sensitive to our being gone when they are living in a home where the humans interact with them all of the time. When that routine is severely changed, the animal becomes so upset and stressed. It is truly a blessing to find good pet sitters because worrying the whole time you are away detracts from enjoying oneself.

  5. Shery says:

    Ok, that was enough pins & needles for one reading! I’ve lost and found pets too…some remained not found. So worrisome, sometimes heart-breaking. I’m so glad all four of you had happy endings. I bet little Daffodil enjoyed her junket out in the wonderful wide world, but still … there’s no place like home. Home is where they love you.

  6. Pingback: the birds out my window | Raising Jane Journal

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