conspiracy theory.

by Liz on 06.18

Salvador went missing this weekend.

I went through a whole guilt-complex thing because I didn’t even notice he was missing, and when I finally did, couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen him. Clearly he ran away because of my neglect (or Little J’s tail-pulling. I made sure to hiss, “YOU DID THIS,” so he adequately felt his own guilt in the matter).

Sal was from the SPCA so he came with a standard microchip thingy in his back. When we first got him, I thought it was cruel and gross and weird. I would pet him and swear I felt a square corner poking out of his back and then I’d yell, “ROBOT CAT” and jump away from him. Turns out that microchip thingy is sort of neat. It’s not, as I stupidly first assumed, a sort of homing device. My cat unfortunately does not have a GPS tracking system beneath his fur. Bummer. But apparently, if he was found and brought into a shelter, they’d be able to tell who he is by scanning his back or something. I guess that’s pretty cool. I mean, it’ll do.

So, we called those guys and they “flagged” their systems to keep an eye out for “the cutest cat in the world with long fur and whiskers that curl at the ends like Salvador Dali’s mustache, sob.” Then we put his bowls of food and water on the front step and (gross) sprinkled some of his used litter in the yard. I don’t know. It’s supposed to help him smell his way back? “Yep. That right there smells like my butt. I must be home!”

We made fliers and I was embarrassed to realize all of my photos of Sal were instagrammed. So, his “Lost Cat” fliers looked like a retro yearbook photo. Then, we hunted the neighborhood with giant flashlights, making that whispery deranged cat-sound that people make. I envisioned finding him flattened in the middle of the road. Or half-eaten by a dog.

But, while bracing myself for the various ways he may have already died, I also wondered. When did I last see that stupid cat?

As the day progressed and it became pretty clear that, no, he wasn’t just hiding under the bed to spring out for a Father’s Day, “Surprise!” I began to remember. The day before, I had seen him just before I’d gone out to the store. I was setting my cup of coffee on the nightstand, contemplating whether or not it was worth the extra energy to bring it all the way in to the kitchen sink. Nope, I decided, and turned to Sal with a wagging finger, “Don’t spill my coffee!” He blinked and went back to sleep in what I resigned myself to believe was compliance.

When I came home later that day, sure enough, there was coffee all over the top and side of my nightstand and spilled across the jeans I had tried on (again) but that didn’t fit (still). “Dammit, now I can’t wear these! It’s all your fault and has nothing to do with the girth of my hips! All your fault!” But, I couldn’t find Sal to appropriately berate him. And, oddly enough, though the coffee was spilled absolutely everywhere, the cup was standing upright.

Luckily, last night we heard some mewing at the door. Poor little Salvador slunk through the screen door with matted, muddy fur and (in my eyes) noticeably fewer pounds. After a bath and some angry cuddling, we’ve made our peace.


So, amateur sleuths. Did Sal knock over the coffee, try to solve the problem by righting the cup, realize it was no use, and flee? Did someone sneak in, pour coffee all over my house, and steal my cat? What do you think happened to Sal and (most importantly) it wasn’t my fault, right?

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