I got home around 7 pm, brought the horses in to clean stalls prepared with fresh timothy and water. No Cricket. Daddy Cat was constantly demanding for food. Callie was in the tack room beginning to get worried. My loud calls for Cricket only silenced the owls' mating calls and alarmed the deer in the yard who decided to stop eating and stare. I watched them closely as their ears reveal even the slightest of movements and point in that direction. Nothing. I was getting nervous but decided to satisfy my hunger pangs. The huge '3 million candle' spot light was getting dim. It had been on for 40 minutes of searching.
I am reading "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. Incredible reading. "You see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it. It is not uncommon for the voice to become a person's own worst enemy".
With this knowledge, I tried not to worry, tried not to think of Choo Choo's disappearance, tried not to envision anything negative. I tried to give attention to my thoughts as an observer as advised in the book. I began another search at 9 pm. Loud calls, then immediate hush in hopes to hear small steps that would rustle dried leaves, or a tiny meow. Coty and Nugget were out. Human's senses are so dull compared to animals. Coty let out an alarming bark. I spotted two small eyes way up on the steep hill. I was hopeful, but only for a second. The grayish brown fluffy coat with it's cute brush revealed a little yearling fox. I went up the lane, stopping at the cemetery, more calling. I spotted a possum walking briskly away from me. Still trying to be in the moment and not in my mind. The mind is beginning to take over while I continue up the long lane. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't come. I know he was hungry. It was cold out. Is that big owl around? I spotted the trees, maybe I could see it... yeah, right. I went out to the big field, down both sides. Deer were bedded down and didn't run. Still nothing! I didn't cross the field and spot toward the river, certainly he could hear my big mouth! Back to the barn. It was 10:30 by now and the horses needed to be hayed and grained and watered again. Just as I was finishing, I thought I heard Coty bark again. This time he was looking towards the big field, so I knew it wasn't the fox. Sure enough, here comes this incredibly long and lean black and white cat with its 15 inch tail standing straight up! Cricket! I scooped him up, thanked Coty and Nugget, and in the tack room we went. Callie and I watched him while he ate. Poor Callie, hungry herself, wouldn't interrupt so I put a handful on another plate for her. It was satisfying to just stare at their precious heads while they gobbled food. Cricket had to go in Grammie's "Love Jail" but didn't seem to mind and gave me this irresistible look as if to say "I was fine, you should have known that!" Upon release, he gave me his usual tail rub as I sat in the chair contemplating that last four hours.