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Nine lives

October 9, 2010

Two years ago in November I wrote here about our errant cat Hank.  We got him in a barn cat package deal of three siblings, much like the cat trio we have now.  Of course, we fell in love with Hank, and had him fixed to keep him home.  Sigh.

We think of Hank often and laugh about how he would surprise us, (after we were sure he was cougar scat somewhere) by meowing in the barn and being his crycat self.  The new cats have heard all the stories of dear ol’ Hank and are tiring of those stories, I am sure.  After all, they are the cats now.  If there is a cat version of glazing over after hearing the oral history of predecessors, our new cats are doing it.

We don’t think about Hank coming home much now, since 2 winters have passed since we last saw him.  But, today, wonder of all wonders, when I went up to the greenhouse to get some peppers for lunch, I saw a cat over by the haybarn.  I thought it was the feral skank of a black cat that we see all over.  He keeps his distance, but is always diligently hunting.  I called “kitty kitty” for some reason, maybe to see if I could get a reaction.  The cat looked up – I again could not believe my eyes – it was Hank!  He meowed, and took off, a streak of tabby, and as I called he ran into the implement shed and came towards me, meowing a greeting, as if he had wondered all this time where I had been.  Typical cat!  He came right to me, purring and rubbing.  Goofball.

He stayed long enough for a photo shoot, a bit of lunch, and scrapping with the new cats, and then he was off like a shot,  He is in good shape, which makes me wonder if he isn’t some house cat somewhere.  Even so, we still love him, and are so glad he comes back for even a fleeting visit.  He is 7 now, and we fear we may not get many more surprises out of Hank.  But maybe…

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue permalink
    October 9, 2010 12:45 am

    What an amazing story. And a wonderful surprise. Sure makes me wonder where he has been/is…………

  2. Sheila Z permalink
    October 9, 2010 2:19 am

    He is someones house pet for sure. Maybe someone that over winters in Florida and he goes with them? Does anyone live within a few miles of you and been on sabbatical for two years?

  3. October 9, 2010 3:02 am

    He’s beautiful. And yes, he probably is king of the manor somewhere since he looks well fed. But it’s nice that he came back to see you. Please let us know if he decides to come around more often.

  4. October 9, 2010 3:22 am

    awwwww….what a cute story! hank is very handsome. i had a cat named bootsie when i was young and he would do the same thing! let us know if there are anymore hank sightings!

  5. October 9, 2010 3:32 am

    We’ve got a part timer like Hank. I thought he was long gone when I went down to a neighbors house for a visit and found him on their couch. Spike has found a very happy place to stay, although he was being called some sissy name now.

  6. October 9, 2010 3:33 am

    That is so cool! I remember the last time he came home, glad he stopped by again

  7. October 9, 2010 4:03 am

    There’s a cat that’s been hanging around our house (attracted to our plethora of animal-loving girls, no doubt). He has a nicked ear and only half a tail from his adventures in the world. He used to be a neighbor’s housecat, he’s fixed and declawed and totally helpless to defend himself. They kicked him out when the daughter found a kitten she liked better. I probably shouldn’t, but I’ve been keeping him brushed and fed in the backyard. My heart just breaks for him. I don’t have the authority to list him on Petfinder, and the neighbor won’t give it to me. I’d call the pound, but we don’t have a no-kill shelter. I may not have a choice once the snow flies.

    Perhaps Hank has found a “sucker” like me. 😀

  8. October 9, 2010 4:21 am

    Aw, I’m glad he came back for a flying visit! I always really like your cat photos.

  9. Jenj permalink
    October 9, 2010 4:34 am

    Wow, what a wonderful surprise! Hank is a beautiful boy and looks great.

    I have two new barn cats coming home from the animal shelter today – first time in my life I’ve ever owned outdoor cats. I’m hoping they’ll do as well as yours are doing, but I’m also hoping they will stay home instead of visiting with the neighbors!

  10. October 9, 2010 5:11 am

    Cat wonders will never cease!

  11. finding pam permalink
    October 9, 2010 8:13 am

    That is such a sweet story and I love how the other cats are bored from hearing about the amazing adventures of Hank.

    Over the years, we have had cats disappear and my first thought is that someone is holding him hostage and against his will. I never received a ransome note! LOL!

    I am too afraid to let my old cats stay outside at night. At our former home, they had a screened in porch with a little door and mostly they slept all day on the glider. I would let them in at night to sleep.

    I hope Hank is happy where ever he is living. I am glad that nothing has killed him.
    I love your three cats that you have now. The other day, my sister and dobie were at my house and the dog came up with a huge rat in her mouth. Good dog!

  12. October 9, 2010 1:27 pm

    Just when we start to get smug about all that is under our control, we find how little “in control” we actually are.

    I am glad that this surprise had a happy face.

    Blessing on Hank, and all.

  13. Eliza J permalink
    October 9, 2010 2:38 pm

    What a gift, to know that your lost “Hank” is okay…….Maybe someone will see your post and contact whoever is caring for him now. At any rate, I have 3 adopted/rescue dogs, and have often wondered how it would feel to lose one of them……..someone did, at some point.. They are well cared for and dearly loved. I hope the same is true for Hank, and am so glad he connected with you again!

  14. October 9, 2010 3:01 pm

    Our wonderful kitty is named Hank. What a good name for a cat. Glad he came home to you!

  15. October 9, 2010 4:48 pm

    Aw…I love this story!
    It made me smile to think of Hank wondering where *you’ve* been all this time.
    He’s a beauty, too.
    Hope you get to see more of him now that you’ve shown up again. lol

  16. October 9, 2010 5:38 pm

    Wow. Thanks goodness he is okay. If Hank comes by again, you could tape a note to his collar to find out who is taking care of him now.

  17. Enjay permalink
    October 9, 2010 10:45 pm

    Henry is so pretty, I’m glad he still visits with you now and again. We had an old barn cat that used to wander across the street (very tiny little town, the grocery store parking lot butted up to our riding arena) and visit with the residents at an assisted living facility. They’d feed him little tidbits of chicken and tuna, I bet he thought he’d found the mother load!

  18. boveybelle permalink
    October 9, 2010 11:14 pm

    This made me smile. Hank is sure of a welcome if he ever turns up at yours again, and meanwhile he is probably, as you said, boss of another farm now! We are on the migration trail of all the stray cats in our part of Wales, and have just “inherited” 3 kittens whose mama thought we would give them a good home! They are now nearly 6 months old and starting to get their paws under the table . . .

  19. October 11, 2010 5:45 am

    Cats are so independent and it appears Hank is no exception! Glad he showed up and in such wonderful shape, at least know you know he’s alive and doing well. Praying he stops by now and again just to say hello to all of you.*wink*

  20. Lucy permalink
    October 11, 2010 10:35 am

    Cats will sure put you in your place when you are thinking YOU are keeping THEM!

    We have cats come and go. I figured out they visit the next farm over where canned cat food is served, whereas we serve a little dry food and expect some genuine hunting to go on.

    Many years ago we had a blizzard on Halloween and my hubby’s favorite barn cat vanished. We thought the worst. She strolled into the barn the next May. A couple of days later I heard an elderly lady down the road a ways was looking for her missing kitty – yep, same cat.

    We also had a dog stolen off a tether in the front yard. She came back 15 months later. We were quite shocked to see her again. She was filthy and matted and laughing as always! Our other dogs went crazy over her; it was very touching!

  21. October 12, 2010 7:44 am

    Cats are such amazing things! I’m glad you got to see him again. And my little mind thinks, wow! A male calico!


  22. Kay permalink
    October 13, 2010 1:00 am

    That is just awesome! I am glad he is okay.

  23. Ozarkhomesteader permalink
    October 13, 2010 6:02 am

    Hank’s return gives me hope for other rural cats that I know who have disappeared (not ours, thank goodness!).

  24. October 18, 2010 7:54 am

    What a wonderful story for me to come across today. Two years ago, today, we lost our cat to cancer. A more loyal, affectionate, absolutely trusting cat, I don’t think I will ever have the joy of caring for again. I am so happy that your Hank is alive and well and what a wonderful feeling it must have been to see him and pet him again – after two years!
    Thank you for posting this story – it was nice to find and read today.

  25. Jack permalink
    October 24, 2010 7:19 pm

    I like your story on pasture grass. Its always good to look across the fence and compare the grass. I have a lot of improvement to do on my own place,how ever I keep trying and storys such as yours give me something to think about. Very well done.

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