By Thursday night, DH had given her up for dead, but I was still trotting downstairs to the cat flap whenever I thought I heard a miaow. And of course we looked in all the rooms, cupboards, the shed etc. On Friday, DH started leaving the doors to rooms open (normally we keep most of them shut as the cat can't be trusted not to scratch furniture) and I was going around closing them still thinking that she still might come back.
Saturday even I was losing hope and leaving doors open. I put up some posters around the neighbourhood, and Googled about lost cats which was a bit like googling medical symptoms in terms of depressing stories. I threw out the now-very-stale cat food, and felt sad whenever I passed the scratching post or a cat toy. We both felt very depressed.
Today I accepted that she probably wasn't coming back although I was still hoping she had just moved in with some other, nicer family, who were petting her all the time and giving her wet cat food instead of dry and keeping her litter box cleaner. We spent a while this morning tidying the house for our guest that is coming soon, and I collected up all the cat paraphernalia and put it in a cupboard. I was being sensible and I called the vet and the microchip provider to report her lost. Then we headed to a garden centre for lunch and to buy a replacement potted evergreen to replace the one that has died by the front door.
When we got home, we changed into our gardening clothes and I shovelled some homemade compost into the wheelbarrow in preparation for planting the evergreen. DH came over to help with the wheelbarrow and I suddenly thought that I heard a miaow. I shushed DH and listened harder, and sure enough there was definitely an insistent, plaintive miaowing coming from somewhere. We live next door to an old church which has a derelict basement and the compost bin is on that side of our garden. On Friday evening I had tried calling her name through the broken basement windows but hadn't heard anything. The church's old coal hatch is on the wall facing our garden so now I yanked that open and called her name again. The miaowing was louder, and by leaning right into the hatch, I was amazed and thrilled to spot our cat down on the floor against the wall, yelling her head off. I called her while DH rushed off to get the stepladder, but she was able to jump up on some debris and then jump across to the lip of the hatch into my arms.
She is very dirty, and quite thin, but alive and apparently unharmed. DH was quite overcome because as far as he was concerned she is back from the dead. We gave her some food right away which she ravenously ate, then she had a big drink of water. I called the vet but they said that unless her behaviour is unusual then we didn't need to bring her in. They recommended giving her some wet food to rehydrate her so DH rushed out to get some, which she also ate ravenously. Since then she has been following us around the house, wanting lots of petting and reassurance and miaowing if we go out of her sight. She's lying on the desk in front of my keyboard as I type this. DH is going to stay home from work tomorrow to keep her company, and the vet said not to let her out for a few days. She must have had some water in there and perhaps managed to catch something to eat, but it must have been so frustrating for her to hear people and cars passing outside and not be able to get out. We think she must have got in through the broken window by jumping up on some scaffolding that is near it. I hope she has learned a lesson and doesn't get in there again, but the coal hatch will be the first place I look if she goes missing in future.
Sew Brum - a fabric day in Birmingham
Saturday morning I headed off early for my pre-booked train trip to Birmingham for the Sew Brum event. This is a free event for anyone who loves to sew, and kicked off with a meet up in the lovely Edwardian tearooms in the city museum. Then we headed out in small groups to visit the fabric stalls in the Rag Market, and the Fancy Silk store fabric, before heading out by bus to Guthrie and Ghani in Molesley (another great fabric shop). My group had a lovely lunch at The Dark Horse in Molesley, then headed to G&G for shopping before finishing off upstairs with a cup of tea and the raffle and a fabulous free fabric and pattern swap. Everyone was really friendly and I met several interesting ladies of all ages. I had brought several pieces of fabric for the swap so it was good to see them go to new homes, and I brought home a few new-to-me patterns.
In the Rag Market I found some linen printed with sewing motifs which I am going to use to slipcover my sewing chair, and some floral red knit (£2/m!) which I hope will be a long sleeved top. In the Fancy Silk store I got some batik at £4.99/m for another summer top, and at G&G I got some lovely top quality marled jersey at £10.99/m also for a long sleeved top. So I am going to have some clothes sewing to do.