"Terrible," he said. "Our cat is lost." I realized he was holding a tupperware container full of cat food. I asked a few more details, then promised to keep my eyes open.
I went inside and heard his voice outside as he paced the neighborhood, "Sparty!" He was clearly devastated, so I emailed my local friends on the off-chance somebody had seen the poor lost kitty. These are my favorite neighbors, really kind people, which makes the situation even sadder. They live directly across the street from me.
A little while later I looked out my window and saw his wife, sitting dejectedly on her porch all alone. I walked across the street and called, "No kitty yet?"
She shook her head and asked, "Do you know how to do craigslist?" As I came closer I realized she was on the verge of tears. I gave her a big hug, and offered to come inside and post an ad for her. She showed me her computer, and the signs she had made and posted all over the neighborhood.
I uploaded the information to craigslist for her. I then told her I was going for a bike ride anyway, so I'd look for him while I rode. I rode all over the neighborhood. At one point I actually saw a cat dive under a bush, but when I called "Sparty" it didn't reappear. The brief glimpse I had was of a different-looking cat than Sparty, so after circling the area and calling a few more times I continued on my way.
Shortly after I put my bike away and came back inside, I heard the voices of several neighbors calling the cat. I realized they were right outside my window and hurried back out again. Apparently somebody thought they had spotted Sparty running underneath my car! We spent several minutes with flashlights searching my backyard. She asked me if I had dry food in a plastic container, so I ran inside and made a little tupperware container with cat food she could rattle enticingly while calling the cat.
There were neighbors from at least four houses! The neighborhood is rallying around the lost cat... Sadly, Sparty did not reappear. We decided that we'd probably scared him away, all converging on my backyard with flashlights, so we dispersed.
I sure hope he comes home. Sparty is an outdoor cat, but is only allowed in his own backyard. Somebody left the gate open though, and he wandered off. On the plus side, he knows where his home is, so hopefully he'll stop hiding and come home quickly. I just heard my neighbor's voice calling again, so he's not back yet. Sparty come home.... your parents miss you!