Our cat Bandha has started disappearing from the yard in the afternoon.  I walk out back and I call and whistle for him but he’s nowhere to be found.  Then suddenly he’ll be weaving between my legs in the kitchen, talkin’ up to me, begging for food.

We only started letting the two cats outside this past summer, and after a few escape attempts they settled into just hanging out in the yard, vainly stalking squirrels and chirping at the birds.  One time Bandha did catch something, and he brought it in to Lu oh so very proud.  When he dropped the tiny white moth at her feet, all we could do was laugh.

But his behavior has changed.  Ever since that night we stayed over in the hospital, the night of Silas’ death, Bandha has been a bit different.

That night our friends came back to the apartment and cleaned up everything.  From random baby stuff to the mess of towels to the tub itself, they scoured the place for us, making sure we were returning to a warm and safe home void of too many reminders of our terrible tragedy.  To get the tub out they first had to pump the water out the window and in doing that left it open just a crack.  Bandha, being the dumbass that he is, managed to squeeze himself out of the window.  Once he had jumped down, though, he couldn’t get back in.  It rained all night that night.

When we returned the next day the female cat Chumby was acting strange and seemed very agitated.  Then I opened the back door and a few minutes later Bandha scampered in soaking wet and utterly exhausted.  After I chased him around to dry him off, he retreated to the bed and slept for hours.

Now, in the afternoons, he’s gone.  I call for him.  I watch for him in the yard, trying to figure out how’s he’s getting out.  But I never see him leave or return.  I shake the bag of treats, I wander around the backyard, I peer into other yards through the fences, but nothing.  And then he’s back.

Yesterday as I was searching for him something crossed my mind.  What am I really searching for here?  He’s a cat, he’s exploring, he keeps coming back.  Searching for him does nothing because there’s no way to know where he’s gone.  My search is deeper and more desperate.

I’m really searching for Silas and I will never find him in the back yards of the homes around us.  The only place we can find Silas now is deep in our hearts and in the love being showered upon us from so many sources.

I hope it is enough to sustain us and help us heal.  Today it seems that there will never be enough love to fill up what we have lost.

We have been alone today for an extended period for the first time since this happened, and I must confess, it sucks.  We are both so lost and damaged we can barely find our way around the kitchen.  But the training is valuable.  We need to be able to function in the world somehow, even if we’re just faking it real good.