September 20, 2009

The Case of the Amazing Geronimo…

Filed under: About The Animals — Ann @ 7:12 am

…and the Reappearing Collars.

Breakaway collars are de rigueur for cats these days, for all the obvious reasons. The trouble is, well, they break. Away. And disappear. In the few months that my husband Neal and I have not-owned Geronimo (see “Here Cat!”), he has come home collarless three times.

The first collar to go missing was his original collar, the orange cloth one, the one he was wearing when we met him, which had his name and the phone number of his real mom engraved on a black disk dangling from a metal loop. That disappeared months ago. His real mom replaced that with a sporty medium green one with a bell, upon which she wrote her phone number in black Sharpie ink, having no more black disks.

One day, he came home without that and Neal and I went to Safeway and bought him a bright red one with a red bell, and we wrote Real Mom’s phone number in black Sharpie on that one.

He’d been wearing the red collar for awhile when one day, Neal found his green one, dropped on the stoop of our back door. Amazed, Neal brought it in to show me, and we pretty much agreed that Geronimo had brought it back. When I e-mailed Real Mom that after a long period of absence the green collar had returned, she wrote back, “Geronimo wants to wear that one; I’d put it back on him.”

Well, Neal and I being procrastinators as to Non-Urgent Matters — and switching cat collars is most certainly in that category (pardon the pun) at present — we left the bright red collar on and tucked the green one away for future use. Experience had taught that we’d be needing it.

And sure enough, about a week later Geronimo came home without the red collar. However, Real Mom got a call from a woman who lives a block over from us; she’d found the red collar and would hang it on her mailbox for retrieval. I did indeed walk over to get it but, meanwhile, we put the green collar back on Geronimo. And tucked the red one away for almost certain future use.

Then for awhile all was quiet. He came home every day and voila! Green collar was still intact.

But a few minutes ago, Neal and I were sitting on the couch talking and we heard Geronimo outside crying at the living room window. He usually does that when he comes home from wandering, so he can get his food. But this afternoon his cry sounded odd and choked. I asked, “Is he sick!?” Neal said, “He’s got something! It’s another cat’s collar!” We both went running around to the side yard. There was Geronimo, standing on the patio. Wearing his green collar. And looking down at — his original orange cloth collar with the black ID disk, which has been missing for months.

Just goes to show you — well, I don’t know what it goes to show you. We now have three collars. Knowing Geronimo, we’re going to hang on to all three.

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