July 23 • 07:15 PM

Faithful companions are part of family

November 19, 2008
The boss's dog is missing and it gets me thinking about what a worrisome situation that is.

A few hours later I learn that she's back, safe and sound and the world looks a whole lot brighter.

I remember going through the same ordeal with Guida—the faithfullest cat.

Originally her name is Guido because I think she's a male and she has a crazy black mustache type marking on her white muzzle right under her pink nose. Actually Rod names her when he reluctantly agrees to let me bring her with me when I move into his house. Not a cat lover, Rod finds it hard to say no when we're back at my soon-to-be-razed log cabin on the now non-existant Poplar Lane in West Bloomfield (!!) to get some things and Guida shows up, jumps on my shoulders and purrs up a storm. So I get to bring her with me.

I think she's a male because I don't know any different. I'm in my 20s but Guido-Guida is my first pet.

I find out her gender when she's in heat. Of course I think she's dying from some horrid malady what with all the yowling and rolling around and all. For some reason Rod thinks this is quite humorous.

"I think Guido's really sick," I say.

"The only thing wrong with your cat is he's a she and she's in heat," Rod says.

News to me. Though he warns me not to let her outside and to get her fixed as soon as possible she escapes. Three months later I have six cats. Guida and her five cuter-than-all-get-out kittens. I'm in heaven, though I know it's short-lived. Still, I talk Rod into letting me keep two of the furballs. When I go to the hospital for back surgery he kicks everyone out of the house. He feeds and waters them on the front porch.

Anyhow, I get Guida spayed and the kittens I keep spayed and neutered at the Humane Society. At the time I have no idea how lucky I will be to have them as pets.

Guida becomes my shadow, my familiar. She follows me around always, and ends up moving with me to an apartment in Royal Oak. It's a major change for her, as in Berkley I let her in and out of the house whenever she wants. As faithful as she is to me, I gladly return the favor. At the apartment, which is near the corner of Fourth and Washington, she's stuck inside. Too much traffic; too many hazards. She adjusts.

When I make the move out to the "country" of course it is without question that Guida and the surviving kitten Pachyderm move with me. Of course, they're the last to leave the apartment—Rod's insistence.

After a certain length of time in the new house I let Guida go outside with me. We're both in heaven. Trees, woods, nature, birds. She adjusts remarkably well and learns to stay away from the bird feeders. She often presents me with mice and the occasional mole. She's a mighty hunter.

One day she doesn't respond to my calls. I search all around, through the woods, across the road, in the field, next door. Nothing. I'm filled with anxiety and can think of nothing else. One day turns into two. More searching, more calling out. More nothing. Weeks go by. Every day when I pull up the driveway after work I say a little prayer that she'll be on the front porch waiting. She never is. I cry and cry and can't believe it. I finally decide that I must face the truth—that my faithfullest cat is gone.

"I just know that if she could she'd come back to me," I say to Rod. He admits he has to agree.

I'm inconsolable and those around me know it. Though my family's never been the pet-loving type, my dad even says to me "I'm sorry about your cat."

Time passes. Months go by. I make my peace with the sad, sad passing of Guida.

It's a summer afternoon and I'm doing dishes, looking out the window that's over the sink. I think I hear something so I turn the faucet off. I do hear something. It's a strange, yowling sound. I look out and it's a miracle. I think I'm seeing things. It's Guida and she's yowling up a storm. I cannot believe my good fortune but realize I shouldn't be surprised. She is, after all, the faithfullest cat.

For a while she's wild and I'm almost afraid of her. I open a can of food and put it in front of her. She horks it down.

It takes some time for Guida to get back to normal and until then she lives outside. Once I let her back in she shows absolutely no desire to ever step outdoors again. She remains my faithfullest companion for 22 years.

And now that she's back home, I hope Randy and Kim get to keep Bailey for that long, too.

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Castle Creek
07 - 23 - 19
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