Hibbert’s Story (probably the first of many)


Fidy Says
22nd May 2011

Hibbert’s Story (probably the first of many)

posted in Cat Stories |

A few years ago the couple at the local pub had a black tom cat called Cookie. He was a friendly soul and often visited us in our garden. Nothing unusual in that, but the thing that set Cookie apart from the rest was the fact that he would go walks with the family in the evening.

It was not unusual to see them after tea walking up the lane with the 2 children and the dog, and trotting along behind was Cookie.

As much as this was amusing to watch, it always made me uneasy. Our cats would never follow us further than the boundaries of our land. Dulcie occasionally thought about coming further, but I was always relieved when she decided to go back to the safety of the garden. Let’s face it, she didn’t have a great track record where roads were concerned.

As life long cat owners we’ve come to the conclusion that cats have a kind of mental ball of string in their heads that they unravel when they go out. This helps them not to get lost. If they stay hold of the string they find their way back home, stretch it too far or let go, and they don’t.

On Thursday evening we decided to go for a walk after tea. Hibbert had been asleep on the landing all afternoon, and as we don’t leave him in unattended I coaxed him to the conservatory with his supper, the idea being we would slip out of the gate whilst he was eating.

Surprisingly he wasn’t hungry and arrived at the gate before we did. As we set off up the lane he followed. We kept thinking he would get bored or scared and go back home, but he didn’t. He just kept on walking with us.

To be honest I was very uneasy at the prospect of him accompanying us all the way. For me it would have turned a relaxing stroll into a stressful one.

After a little while we got to one of our neighbours houses. She has a yappy little dog and once it started barking at us through the fence, Hibbert was going no further.

He positioned himself in the gateway of a field and watched us walk away. At the time I thought things would be OK, and that he would just turn round  go home and be waiting for us in the garden on our return. Peter on the other hand thought we may have come too far and that he may have let go of his string.

When we got home at around 7.15 pm he was nowhere too be seen, and we didn’t see him for the rest of the night. By the time I went to bed I was getting worried about him.

Next morning I was up at 7am and when he was still nowhere to be seen I went straight out looking for him, but no joy.

By the time Peter got up I was really worried, so at about 11am we set off up the lane again looking for him. To be honest, I didn’t think for a moment we would find him. Let’s face it he could be miles away. Cats, as I’ve said before, are opportunists and he could be well on the way to finding himself a new home by now. After all that’s how he’d found us.

If a cat disappears of it’s own accord , you never know if it is injured or has been hit by a car. In this case we knew he hadn’t been, so it wasn’t so much that I was worried for his safety, I was actually feeling guilty that we had caused him to become lost again. Frankly we should have known better, and that is why I was kicking myself.

So there we are strolling up the lane feeling pretty bad about things. As we approach the house with the yappy dog we stop in the gateway to the field. I was just about to say “This is where we left him” when his head popped up and he came running towards us.

Miracle of miracles we had found him not 10 feet from where we had last seen him. He had spent 16 hours in a field of oil seed rape!

I picked him up and we set off home. When we were almost there I set him down and he walked happily with us up to and through the gate. We gave him some food and then he spent the next 8 hours asleep on the landing, breaking off only occasionally to make sure we were still there.

I’m pleased to say normal service has been resumed. How lucky is that!

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