Murphy grew to be the biggest of our three cats. And as he grew, two thoughts seemed to take hold in his brain. The first was that he should be king. This meant establishing dominance over Zebie and particularly Sam. Murphy would lie in wait to pounce on Sam. But Sam has become a master of “Kat Fu”, the ancient art of Kitty Combat. Murphy would leap at Sam, and Sam would perform some small, subtle movement, and the next thing, Murphy would be flying like some maniacal dust mop across the hardwood floor. Another moment, and Sam would be standing over him, one or two paws pinning Murphy to the ground, as if to say, “You still have much to learn, young Grasshopper.”
The second abiding activity for Murphy was to escape. He was always trying to get out of the house, and became especially adept at observing when one of us was less than attentive while going through one of the doors. To be fair, most of the time he only went out a few feet, then to roll onto his back and glory in his triumph. Often he was content after having achieved this goal to have Pony pick him up and carry him back inside.
When we made the move from house to RV, he found a way to slide open one of the screens one evening (causing Pony to get dowel rods to keep the screens propped closed). But again, he was usually fine with proving his point, and usually settled on top of one of the tires, or in a gap underneath one of the sliders, waiting for us to find him and carry him back in.
Early Monday morning, and I am wandering ever farther afield through the park, vainly searching for our lost cat. I hate contemplating the notion of traveling on without him, but it hard not to consider that possibility.
We go into town for a good part of the day to take care of business. We split our time between a McDonald’s and a Starbucks, making use of the WiFi to work on the website and to use Reverb Nation’s gigfinder feature to look for ever more potential venues. This is often followed up with a few phone calls, I feel good about adding a new date at the end of the month, in Akron, with the possibility or one or two more in the Akron/Cleveland area to be confirmed in a few days.
Getting back to Lake Manawa, having a light dinner, then more searching about the park in the growing darkness. Another camper tells us he thought he saw our cat in a particular patch of woods. It is truly evening by now, and I go traipsing through that particular stand of woods with dog and flashlight (Rufus is not trained as a tracker, but I nurse some small hope he might help us flush Murphy out). The only thing I think I found in that search was a bit of Poison Ivy.
It is past 11pm. Pony and I return to the RV. I start washing dishes. On the dashboard of the RV is a Buddha statue with a place to set a tea candle. Pony does so, lighting the candle, then heading back out into the dark. Later, she tells me that she went out to sit on a bench in the dark, and meditated. She visualized a blue glow surrounding our RV, and in her mind she saw that glow extend out to the border of bushes where our kitty had originally vanished.
All I know is that I was washing dishes and suddenly I heard a soft mewling. I could see the other two cats and knew it wasn’t either of them. I could still hear it; it seemed to be underneath the RV. I went outside and found our prodigal cat under the RV. He was thinner by at least a couple of pounds and quite happy to come inside for some dinner and water. I picked him up and shouted for Pony with a mixture of laughter and sobs. Now we could continue our journey.