I printed out about 20 missing posters, which was about 20 too many, as it turned out.
"Sad," said my wife, as she saw Gig's forlorn features, staring out from the paper in back and white. For now all talk of being sent away to a farm, which may or may not have resembled Orwell's sinister Animal Farm, was gone.
So out we headed into the muggy May night, across the asphalt of the development, breathing in the slightly evocative smell of other people's barbecues.
We put four posters on the mailboxes, which was probably excessive. Zara said she hoped her friends would see them so as she could point out "that's my cat."
"Your ex-cat," a pessimistic voice inside me growled, convinced Gigi was roadkill, although, to be fair, he's so big we'd probably have heard the sirens as the guys with the cutting equipment tried to rescue a truck driver whose vehicle was lying on its side following the jarring impact.
There weren't many other places to put them and, although I was impressed with my creations, I had forgotten to print "missing" prominently on the top, so scrawled it on with a pen.
We concluded we could put the posters on the dumpster, although I ignored Zara's suggestion to stick them on the hole which people throw trash into. Instead we put a couple on a white fence, which mostly fails to conceal the hideousness of the whole communal dumpster experience.
We forgot about the cat for a while as we went to check out the delights of the retention pond in the twilight, but there were no turtles in sight. So we counted a few frogs as we ambled round the back of the condo, calling out Gigi's name with little hope of success.
Then two doors away from ours, we stopped. "There's Gigi," I said in a matter of fact way. He was lying in the middle of a lawn, meowing but making little effort to do anything overly active.
Taking a deep breath, I managed to lift him and drag him into the house. The whole episode was a bit of an anticlimax.
"Bugger.We need to take down those posters," I said. It would have been somewhat embarrassing to leave up missing posters for a cat that was lying on a lawn 20 foot away. Missing posters are normally for those desperate souls who have lost hope of ever seeing their beloved felines again.
So Gigi is back and all the worry, not to mention my blog post, which replaced a weighty tome on the nature of Memorial Day, all seem like overkill.
But Gigs has been rather strange since he returned and also covered in burrs and foliage. I'm convinced something sinister occurred, something ritualistic and sexual in nature that involved many raccoons, I fear.