After my failed attempt at capturing Frodo, I went off to work in the city. When I returned in the late afternoon, he was waiting on my back porch. I looked at him and decided that I had to try again and NOW.
His earlier cleverness was really a result of operator error on my part. I had set the door tripper wrong, too high up on the bar so that the friction made it difficult to close. This time, I placed the food and set the trap with Frodo watching. Then, he went right in, stepped on the bar and the door slammed shut.
I threw a towel across the cage and burst into tears. I had spent over a month gaining his trust and now I had trapped him. I was worried for his welfare and I was worried for my own because I identified with his wild, unfettered soul. I valued his freedom and mine. And his getting closer to me was also about my getting closer to him.
I called Oasis and left a message that I had caught the cat and then I paced the kitchen, looked out at the trap, paced some more. I cooked dinner and ate it in between trips to the back door to check on Frodo. Then I paced some more.
An hour later, the phone rang and I raced to pick it up, knocking it from its cradle onto the floor. Jean, from Oasis was in the neighborhood trying to catch another cat and while waiting, had checked phone messages. She would be right over.
When she arrived, she told me that Cindy, the “other woman” feeding Frodo had called her and asked if he could be dropped off at her house after the surgery. She wanted to adopt him. Jean and I marveled together at this happy ending. Frodo would have a home and his freedom.
On Wednesday morning, day of delivery to the new home, Jean called me and said that when she arrived, Frodo had already been there for breakfast. What? A twin? An imposter?
Never mind. Jean decided that the beautiful Bengal I caught would be worth keeping awhile. “I’ll put him in a cat condo,” she said, “and see how he does.”
I miss him. Miss meeting him at the back door every morning and finding him waiting for me as I arrive home from the studio. In our odd, self sufficient way, we bonded. I like to think that the bonding blessed both of us. And this cat we called Frodo is teaching me still: keep your options open, go where the flow takes you…