CONNER GETS AWAY

         I was reminded this morning of something by my wife which concerned our cat Conner. We sent him on his way around last Christmas; he had stopped eating and was wasting away. There was nothing we could do but summon the Vet. He had been in our charge most of the fifteen years of his life.
         That was not the memory, though. This went back to when we first got him. He had been brought in from a farm where he was born, and we accepted responsibility when he was approximately a year old.
          Growing up in the wild outdoors of a farm, he not only had a highly individualistic nature, but yearnred to be out in the world free. When we saw him, he was living with five other cats, two of which we were thinking of taking. They were both cute, mischeivious females, and were always pestering Conner. The owner said the other cats didn't like him, so we chose him , in part to bring peace to the household.
          From the start he was a handful, always trying to get out. He remained dist ant, suspicious, and not usually appreciative of our attempts to cuddle. It was, we figured, a guy thing.He disdained expressions of affection. And then one day, after four months or so in our care, he got out.
          Once we noticed he was missing, we both went around the outside of the house calling his name, hoping against hope he'd reappear. Finally we had to give up, due to people business. We figured we'd lost him for good.
           "You never know," hopeful Gerri said, "he might be back at dinnertime." But we both knew that wasn't very likely.
           Back home that afternoon, there was still no sign of the errant orange boy. As Gerri busied herself preparing dinner, (her turn) I decided to go out one last time to look for him. My mood was heavy. It's amazing how quickly a critter like that can worm its way into your heart. I felt forlorn, not expecting much, and wondering how long we'd keep looking for him. Then I saw him, three doors down in the alley, nosing around their garbage cans.
          "Conner," I called to him, and he just stood there as I walked up to him and pickdd him up. He didn't struggle until I got him home, when he flipped out of my arms and went right to his dinner. Gerri had put it out, hearing us come in.
          "He didn't fight you," she said, and  that revealed the moral to this story. I guess sometimes a guy just needs someone that likes him to come looking for him.