Chloe and Clem hunt a lot and feed themselves probably more than we even know. Still, they usually check in at chore time to get some fresh kibble and some petting. Sometimes one will miss one chore session but is back at the next feeding or seen strolling around the farm randomly during the day.
We saw both Chloe and Clem Friday night. Saturday AM Chloe wasn't in but we didn't think much of it. Saturday night I realized I hadn't seen her all day. Andy didn't recall seeing her out and about either and he went and checked the big Morton building in case she had gotten shut in by accident. No Chloe. Well, it was an awfully hot day and maybe she was just cool and comfy somewhere and we'd see her in the morning.
Sunday morning, no Chloe. Now I was getting really worried. Cats have a reputation of being aloof and independent but as friendly and domesticated as ours are it was not normal for her to not check in for this long. We walked the ditches, thinking maybe she had been killed by a car. Nothing but some empty Red Bull cans and beef jerky wrappers. (grrr, again). We don't have any open wells or cisterns, no exposed chemicals, no poisoned rodents staggering around, no buildings or vehicles to be shut in... No Chloe on Monday. We went through all the buildings, climbed into the rafters to look at the top of the hay mows, wandered through the tall weeds around the corn cribs, fence lines, backside of buildings, calling and listening for a meow. A dead or hiding cat could be nearly impossible to find.
A dozen ugly scenarios ran through my head. She got caught and eaten by one of our too bold coyotes. A big owl, like the one that likely took the rat off the lawn last winter, caught and ate her. The fisher came back and got her. She got attacked by a coyote/owl/fisher but got away and hid and is slowly dying. Or rolled by a car and is now holed up somewhere, dying. Or got beaten up badly by a feral tom cat (there are a few around) and is holed up, dying. Has been secretly developing diabetes/kidney failure/heart issues and is holed up somewhere, dying. See the pattern? It was awful to not know what had happened.
I'm ready to write her obituary and this morning she comes strolling into the barn. No injuries, no scruffy fur, no sniffles or weepy eyes, full belly.......
"What a nice day. This cooler weather is lovely."
But the sun is nice too....mmmmm...<rub, rub, roll>..... makes me feel like a kitten."
"There's no need to take a tone with me. Call it a midlife crisis. I went walkabout. You wouldn't understand."
"No midlife crisis here, no sir, I'll be right here for kibble any time you're handing it out."
Give your sister a talking to, Clem. We don't wan to do that again.