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Posted on 04-19-2016
February 8, 2016, marked the anniversary of my cat missing. “Senor Gato” wasn’t just your ordinary domestic short haired cat, he was one of a kind, with an almost human-like and dog-like personality. He had gone missing from my apartment in 2013. He was a foster cat that I had adopted from one of my coworkers while I was working at the Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin. I had Senor for less than a year but a bond had grown and it grew stronger every day.
When Senor went missing, I felt like I had lost something inside. A part of my heart. It was really hard the first couple of days; then it turned into weeks and months. Senor Gato was my cat, my friend and my feline companion. Gato had been missing for about a year when I left the Emergency Animal Hospital to work at a day time veterinary clinic. I was always looking for him, even went I went bike riding, I would ride through the neighborhood across from my apartments looking in windows, car ports and back yards. Once I arrived home, I would shed a couple of tears and just hoped that someone had him and hoped that he brought joy and smiles to their faces and lives like he did mine.
After a while I started picking up shifts at the Emergency Animal Hospital again and on the first day back, there was a gray and white cat in Senor’s cage. He had the same personality and same demeanor as my Senor. It was almost as if Senor sent this little guy there so that I could rescue him! I named him “Hombre” and I swear, he was like a little Senor with his bad manners and his lovable and cuddly self. He brought joy to my heart. I still thought about Senor often, but it was almost like Hombre was there to let me know things were ok.
As time passed, I still thought of Senor. When I talked about him to others, I would also mention Hombre and I introduced him to all of my coworkers, friends and family. Then I decided to move away from Austin. Part of me didn’t want to go just in case Senor came around. I was scared that when I moved away from my apartment he would show up. He had been missing for two years.
On December 23, 2015, I moved from Austin back to my hometown in Houston, TX. It was bittersweet, since I had lived in Austin for thirteen and half years, and it was the city that I fell in love with; the city where I became an adult and where I learned to be a better veterinary technician than I was before. Most of all, I had a sad feeling deep inside, because I was leaving the city where I had lost Senor. Before I left, I had a conversation with a good friend about what would happen if someone called and found Senor? I turned to my friend and said that no matter where I was, I would come and get him. There was no doubt!
February 8th 2016 was the three year anniversary of his missing. On Monday, February 15th I received a phone call saying someone had found Senor! I couldn’t really talk. I took the number down and took a deep breath. I can’t really describe how I felt. There was no way it could be him; it had been three years! All these absurd thoughts ran through my head, different scenarios and I thought there was no way it was him. As I made the phone call Hombre came into my room and jumped on the bed. It was almost like he knew or could sense something was about to change in our lives. As I spoke with the person on the phone who had found the cat, she was sure it was Senor. When I hung up I called another hospital where two of my dearest friends worked and who knew Senor Gato. My friend said everything would be fine, and she would go and pick him up. I hung up and cried, he was gone for three years and here I sat in disbelief. Hombre sat next to me comforting me as I balled my eyes out. How could this be?
Not even thirty minutes later she called and said it was him. Senior had a microchip and I asked her to scan him again and make certain it was really him. I couldn’t even think straight. How could I be sure? What if he and Hombre didn’t get along? Once he was at the veterinary hospital, I was reassured by my two friends it was him, they even scanned him while I was on the phone and sent pictures of him to me. Right then and there, I knew Senor was finally coming home after being who knows where and with who knows who. Since I lived in Houston I wasn’t able to pick him up, to actually hold him until Saturday…it was only Monday.
Now, I as I sit writing this, I look up to see the two boys, Senor Gato and Hombre running back and forth, tumbling and flying in the air making frequent stops to their cat beds full of toys. There is nothing better than the feeling of having both your loved ones together under the same roof. Someone asked me if I ever lost hope. I didn’t really know how to answer because I was not sure. But I do know that I thought of him often and my friends were always positive and hopeful. Most importantly, there was the HOME AGAIN microchip that lead him back to me.
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