I don't think I ever posted this story - it was supposed to come after the last Italy post (which is still forthcoming). So here goes:
Upon our return from Italy my mom told us that she had found a note on our front door from a neighbor who had Willy. So she called and got the scoop.
Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Some of you might need the history on this one...
After we moved to this house in July 2008, our cats Wesley and Willy were let out in the morning and always came home every night. Then, on Thanksgiving last year my Willy cat didn't come home. I was worried sick and assumed the worst. 2 days later we walked to all of the neighboring houses and knocked on doors asking if anyone had seen our cat. Our next door neighbors said he was hanging out on their porch in the afternoon on Thanksgiving, but that was the last time they'd seen him. Several days later Willy showed up. I was relieved that he had not been eaten by coyotes (we have woods out back).
The next time we let him out he disappeared again and this time it was even longer until his return. This pattern went on and on and eventually we would go weeks and then months between seeing him. He started to come back home with an even bigger belly and he smelled like someones house. I finally realized that he must have taken up residence at a neighbors house (but we didn't know where).
Okay....so back to the story. The neighbors (who are on the street above us and on the far side of the street - pretty far away) began keeping/feeding Willy last November (ah Ha! Right when he disappeared the first time). The guy told my mom that his mother is 85 and her health seemed to improve when Willy showed up. So they've been feeding/keeping him for almost a whole year now. He went on to tell my mom that Willy had been in a cat fight and he took him to the vet. He made sure to tell the vet it wasn't his cat (nice).
So. I asked Pete to call the guy and tell him that I've had this cat for 8 years and that I've been through a lot of ups and downs by having my cat disappear to their house (he also thanked him for taking him to the vet). The guy seemed to understand (I think it must have been the common "uh huh" response with a roll of the eyes) and Pete asked that he not feed our cats (turns out Wesley goes there about 3 times/day to eat but won't let them pet him) and also asked if there was a way they could close off their cat door and keep our cats out of their house (since they don't have any cats - other than ours). The guy seemed agreeable and I was a happy camper - thinking my cat would return.
A week later and Willy hadn't shown up. So today...Pete went to rescue him. They didn't answer the door, so Pete called for him while standing outside of their house. Willy appeared from around the side of the house and ran to him and tonight we are rejoicing in Hailey being able to pet her Willy cat (who we hadn't seen since July) . He hasn't ever even seen the cat door Pete installed a couple months ago...so tomorrow I suppose we will be doing some trial runs.
I am happy happy happy to see Willy today!!