...is for Kitten.
After my beloved Tom died, the decision was made to adopt another cat as quickly as possible. Within just a few days, an adorable black kitten, aged around 6 months at the time, came into our lives and stole our hearts.
But Zorro (for that's his name) is a totally different cat to Tom. Not just in colour, but in character and behaviour. For one thing, he's scared of absolutely everything and everyone, meaning that in 6 weeks with us, I have succeeded in (very, very briefly) touching his tail just once. There is no stroking, no affection, no communication apart from the plaintive "feed me!" miaows.
And now, I fear the worst. Last night he went out on to the balcony and, despite this great fear of everything, jumped down into the courtyard behind the flat. At first, he was under the neighbour's car, but the promise of croquettes wouldn't bring him out and Y couldn't get him into the box he'd prepared.
As night fell, Zorro became invisible and Y had to give up for the night, though he had Zorro-flavoured nightmares all night and even I, who rarely remembers dreams, dreamed of Zorro and felt uneasy when I woke up.
Y left the balcony door open, left food out, made a kind of footbridge (pawbridge?) from the courtyard to the balcony (we're on the ground floor, but a 6-steps-up kind of ground floor, making the courtyard quite a way down for a small cat). A neighbour's menace of a cat came in, of course, and ate everything, but of Zorro there has been no sign. I feel sick to the stomach, terrified that we've already lost him.
I'm heading off home for the long weekend and pray that we'll find him and be able to bring him home safely.