Pardon my absence for the last few days. I have been quite distracted. My Scout was gone.
He was here on Saturday morning, greeting me as usual at the crack of dawn. I have no idea at what point he got out. I don’t recall the door ever having been left open.
We headed out on an all-day excursion sometime between 10 and 11 am. We ran a few errands around town, took the boys to the barber, stopped to get sandwich fixins’ for a quick lunch in the van, then headed down to Tampa, where we checked out Ybor City (Tampa Bay’s Latin Quarter), rode the street cars, popped into the aquarium, and ate some fantastic Cuban and Italian food at Carmine’s restaurant.
After our meal, we headed over to the west coast in hopes of catching the sunset. Unfortunately, storms had just moved through the area, leaving too much cloud cover for the brilliant sunsets that I have become accustomed to…so this is the best shot I could get.
But as we were approaching the storms from a distance, while crossing over the Howard Frankland bridge, I did manage to get some very interesting sky shots! Isn’t this gorgeous?! You can SEE, at the bottom of the clouds, where it is raining.
So…after the sunset, we headed over to the tiny town of Gulfport, to enjoy the “art walk”, which is held twice a month. By the time our Saturday excursion was over and we had arrived home, it was nearing midnight.
I immediately noticed that Scout didn’t greet us at the door when we arrived; unusual for him. He also didn’t come to bed right away; also unusual for him. Rob thought he was probably asleep in one of the other bedrooms, and dismissed it — until the next morning. When he didn’t come in to wake me up, as he ALWAYS does, we knew something was wrong. We made up fliers to post at all the mailbox kiosks, then several of us headed out on a 6 mile walk around the neighborhood, to pin the fliers up. Sunday came and went. Still no sign of Scout.
On Monday Rob called the local animal control and the home owner’s association to see if they had any news of Scout. They didn’t. As the day dragged on, I became more and more apprehensive. I just knew Scout was dead. It wasn’t the traffic I feared, as there is very little traffic in this area. I feared the wildlife! We have lots of raptors – osprey, eagles, and hawks (we have personally seen a hawk take a squirrel larger than Scout!). We also have foxes, wild cats of all sorts, and of course, the infamous Florida gator. Did I mention our neighborhood backs up to a huge nature preserve? I didn’t think Scout would stand a chance. By Monday morning, he (a very well-pampered, declawed, indoor cat) had been missing for 48 hours — in 90+ degree heat, without food and water. I prayed for his safe return, but had just about given up all hope.
The children continued to pray, and were thrilled to have their prayers answered last night. At around 10pm, Rob’s cell phone rang. Someone from the other side of the neighborhood (I can’t believe he managed to get that far away) had spotted Scout and tried to get him. He had managed to get away, but was still in their bushes. We jumped in the van and headed over there as quickly as we could and were able to coax him out of the shrubs. He was freaked out, to say the least — almost insane. He calmed down after we got him home, and just collapsed from exhaustion — too tired to even eat. He is back to his old self today — and happy that his adventure is over. He has suffered some minor injuries; a few cuts and scrapes, and an injured right front paw which is causing him to limp — but he is ALIVE! Praise God!