Last night, I was followed home from the pub.
*cue dramatic music and mood lighting*
It's not as bad as it sounds - honest!
Mr Squidge and I, having packed both kids off to scout camp for the weekend, decided after a day out to see 'A Little Chaos', Alan Rickman's new film. (Film was great - not much chaos in it, but plenty of intrigue and court politics and the most amazing costumes...)
We stopped off at the pub afterwards (remind me to choose my pubs more wisely - I reckon I was about 25 years older than most of the clientele, and had far, far too much skin covered up to fit in) where I was served a small glass of wine, but in a very large glass (Why is that? So they only have to stock supersized glassware for the serious boozers? Or is it one size fits all for small, medium and large quantities?)
Anyhoo - after being totally creeped out by the guy standing at my shoulder, who couldn't wait to claim the shelf we were resting our drinks on when we made moves to leave, we walked home. (Past, I hasten to add, the chippy which was shut. At eleven o'clock!)
We don't have far to walk home from town - about ten minutes or so. Halfway along the main road, we were approached by the most gorgeous cat, who we fussed before carrying on.
He/she followed us.
All the way home.
Looking into every driveway he/she passed, as though saying 'Is this it? Is this the one?'
Now as a cat owner, I know that cats have a territory. I also know, from being accompanied down the street by our Timmy, that there comes a point where they say 'Woah! No further! Alien territory!' For this little cat, there was no such limit; he/she kept following us, invited him/herself into our house when we opened the front door, and made themselves at home.
(Sorry - can't keep up the he/she! It's a he from now on, with apologies of it turns out to be female!)
I decided to persuade the cat - a beautiful grey tabby with orange splashes on his face - to follow me back down the road, working on theory that if I took him back to where he started following us, he might recognise where he was and go home. He did follow us, and after a toilet stop (the cat, not me) he sat down and seemed quite content. I decided to leave him there and walk home.
Four houses further on - I had a shadow. He followed me all the way home again, still checking driveways, seeming more nervous now. He invited himself in a second time, plonked himself at my feet and proceeded to purr whilst grooming himself.
Mr Squidge and I had a discussion. It was far too late to contact a vet/RSPCA to see whether this little beauty was microchipped. So we took a couple of pictures, posted them on a 'lost and found' page for the town, then popped our guest into the garage with a bed and litter tray until the morning.
Today, we've had a couple of possible leads for the cat, but none have borne fruit. We have been good hosts - offered breakfast and dinner - and although after 24 hours the poor puss is very keen to get out, we've decided to hang onto him until tomorrow when we can get him to the vet to have him checked for a microchip.
I know how hard it was for us when Timmy went missing (a whole week, shut inside the house of a neighbour who had gone on holiday. Apparently he only ever pooed in her bath though.), so I hope we can reunite this little one with his owner soon.
I'll let you know how I get on.
UPDATE: 'Misty' went home yesterday - he must've been looking for company and food as his owner was unfortunately taken into hospital. He lived about four houses down from where he started following us...