Hello farm friends. Today I'm blogging, hoping for a little help. Those of you who have visited the farm stand have probably met Puff. He's a big, fluffy tan cat who absolutely loves people. He considers it his job to greet everyone who stops by, and is great about letting anyone pet him- young, old, special needs, it doesn't matter to Puff. Anyone can give him a pat or carry him around.
But Puff is missing.
Around the farm, cats come and go. Sometimes it's harder that others, but Puff is one that's a pet, a forever friend. Puff just turned 11 on the 4th of July, and I have known him literally before he was born; I can remember carrying around his pregnant mother and feeling the kittens move before she gave birth. Unfortunately, she was hit & killed on the road when the kittens were just 3 weeks old. I took them and raised them, midnight feedings and all. They all made it; two would find new homes. Puff's sister lived with us too, until she met the same fate as her mother, just on a different road. Puff was my sister Laurel's cat, and she spoiled him rotten while I was in college. I moved home after college to help care for my terminally ill father, and Puff was there. In fact, he spent the last day or so of my Dad's life on my Dad's bed, comforting him. If he stood to jump down, my Dad would place his hand on Puff, and he would stay, so unlike usual cat behavior. I think he knew, somehow, that those were Dad's last hours. After that, I took Puff because no one else in the family had room for him, at least not away from the highway, and Puff has always loved to be outside. I took him into my little trailer before I had even met Dan. Puff put up with my house bunny, not hurting him even when the rabbit would mistake Puff for a female of his own species. (So funny!) When I came to the farm, so did Puff. He adapted well to all the critters and the freedom to roam. We had no idea how social he was until we opened the farm stand and Puff appointed himself mascot & head greeter.
Sure, like any animal he got on my nerves. I spent the morning of my wedding cleaning an infected wound on his shoulder because he got into a fight. I've lost sleep many nights because he was sure the best place to sleep was on my pillow, purring with his tail in my face. When thrown off the bed, he comes back like a furry yo-yo. When he wants in or out, he scratches walls or doors until he gets his way. He does what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. I think he has trained me far more than I ever will him.
Puff comes & goes so much in the summer that I can't remember exactly when I last saw him. Definitely Thursday, maybe Friday morning, but I just can't remember. I didn't see him Friday night, and he missed “work” yesterday. All the kitties were MIA, but my Mom was visiting with her dog. That was scary to the other kitties, but Puff lived with Pepper the dog for years. Puff used to wrestle with our other dog Penny, so I didn't think that was why I didn't see him. I've checked & rechecked every room and building on the farm, no small task. No Puff either. We found the other cats hiding the day away in the cornfield, but no Puff. I've walked the road and checked in the weeds, no sign of his body, no blood on the road, nor any sign of a struggle that might indicate he met a bad end with a coyote. I've called and called, but he doesn't answer. I just keep expecting to walk into a room and see him curled up napping on a bed or a chair or the carpet in a room he's not allowed to be. It breaks my heart a little each time I turn a corner and he's not there. Mom said she dreamed of him last night; he was just sitting on the porch, waiting to be left in, looking at us all like we were silly for wondering where he was and when he'd be back.
It's so hard not knowing. He is 11 years old, perhaps he was sick, knew his time was up, and went off to die without telling us. But he appeared to be in fine health as always. Perhaps he followed someone, maybe a nearby camper, back to their place. He hates cars and yowls like crazy; I have a hard time believing he was catnapped and taken away, but who knows. If he was, I hope they bring him back, or at the very least give him the love that I did. I've put flyers up around the neighborhood, alerted neighbors, posted a sign on the farm stand with his picture, offering a reward. I posted to both the farm's Facebook page as well as my own personal one. Now I'm asking you, my blog readers, for help, too. I hope he comes back, one way or another, but my heart is breaking because I don't think I'll ever see him again. I worry he's hurt somewhere. I'd want to know, to be able to bury his body, if he is dead. But most of all, I'd just love to hear him purring in my ear again. I love this cat. And as much as Dan isn't a cat person, he is upset, too, but is the one trying to reassure me and tell me not to think the worst.
If you see ANY sign of Puff, please, please let us know. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org , call anytime at 814-755-3911 or just stop by the farm. A reward is being offered!