Woody’s buddy George went missing sometime between the evening of Thursday 12/6 and the evening of Friday 12/7.
This is Woody:
This is a likeness of George:
It all started about 6 years ago when Woody was 2. Our eldest cat had passed away and now Woody had full run of the house. One night in the wee hours of the morning, I heard this terrible crying sound. “Meowrrr, meowrr.”
What the heck is that? Is something wrong with Woody? In the pitch black I couldn’t see anything. The crying sound stopped and I went back to sleep. The next morning I found a table napkin on the floor. How did this get here?
Several times during the week, at night, we would hear Woody meowing and chortling. After-while, the napkin made its way to just outside our bedroom door. We realized that Woody was carrying the napkin around, in his mouth, at night, and meowing at the same time.
This was unlike any cat behavior we had experienced in the past.
Around the same time we noticed that Woody also liked to play with a small toy mouse that had belonged to our other cat. I decided to remove the napkins from the kitchen table at night and gave the stuffed mouse to Woody.
Woody eagerly accepted this stuffed mouse as an appropriate replacement for the kitchen napkin and started to carry the mouse around the house, meowing and chortling with his new found friend.
This is George the 1st:
George the 1st was well-loved with bald spots appearing where Woody has held him tight in his mouth. His tail eventually thinned, his nose came off as did an ear. Woody loved his George as he batted him around the house, tossed him in the air, carried him, and presented him to us.
And then one day George disappeared. We couldn’t find him anywhere. I tried finding suitable substitutes at the pet store:
Over time George the 1st was found and the world was right. Then, Woody stopped playing with George. I guess he’d worn him out.
Then came George II. A lighter shade of gray with a shorter nap; light, easy to swat around and easily sent airborne.
Woody has had George II for a couple of years now and his age is showing. He is practically bald with a stub of a tail and very little nose. Yet he loves this little mouse. George II has gone MIA before and we’ve learned which spots to check for him. But this weekend we were stumped.
George II wasn’t in either of our closets or our shoes. He wasn’t under the family room furniture
Or under the dining room furniture
Or under the bed
I pulled out the former crew of Georges. Woody would bat them around but that was the extent of it. He would walk around the house meowing and chortling without George II in his mouth.
I started to think about the scene in the movie Best of Show where one dog owner is desperately looking for a replacement toy for her beloved show dog. She cannot find the exact toy and there is no suitable replacement and the dog does poorly in the show. In reality the dog seemed fairly happy throughout the whole episode but the owner was quite distraught.
That is how it is sometimes when Woody misplaces George and we are searching for him. Woody does seem a little out of sorts and not as playful. I know George is in the house and sometimes hunt everywhere for him. I compare this to having a human child who has lost his or her favorite toy.
In reality I’m sure Woody is rather amused with our behavior and the importance we’ve ascribed to George II. I say this because there have been times when George II has disappeared for short periods and somehow Woody will find him. And he also knows enough to retreive George II from my attic level studio and carry George II all the way to Eric’s basement office. He’s a very smart cat. Smart enough to know his “parents” will search for his mouse.
Fortunately for all involved, George II was discovered hiding under the dining room curtains on Sunday afternoon. Eric found him and placed George II in the kitchen while Woody ate dinner.
Less than 10 minutes later as I sat at the computer in my studio, I heard the familiar meowing and chortling. Woody was carrying George II in his mouth and walking down the hallway toward the studio. He deposited George II at the foot of the stairs, came running up and hopped on my desk in a very proud manner.
For Woody, all was right in the world.