After a week with no sign of him, I was convinced that I had managed to kill him off after all. I didn't want this cat, but I accepted responsibility for him and I didn't want to inadvertently kill him. Thinking that my good intentions had been the end of him had me feeling very depressed and futile.
I figured he'd gone off and died of pneumonia or been eaten by the coyotes or the Fisher Cat that I found in the woods last week (they like cats for dinner). I had just about given up on him when I was out late at night stacking wood and heard a noise in the barn. Sure enough, it was Oliver looking perfectly healthy and wondering why the food dish was only half full.
I gave him a lecture about crying wolf and he stuck around for a few days before taking off again. He finally reappeared last weekend looking sick and miserable and with one eye badly damaged. I couldn't tell if his eye was swollen because of illness or injury, but I treated it and tried to make a vet appointment for him. Before I could get hold of the cat carrier and him stuffed into it, he disappeared again.
This is getting very tiresome.
Heading out to the barn this afternoon, more than a week later, I look up and see him lying nonchalantly on his favorite rock.
His eye is all healed and I can now see that the damage was caused by a fight not illness. It is obvious that he has been getting into a lot of fights.
Despite having "brain surgery" over a month ago, it is clear that Oliver is still suffering from acute testosterone poisoning. He is proving to be the living embodiment of the term "catting around".
I told him that he is welcome to stay, but he has cried wolf one too many times. I was feeling very guilty thinking that my good intentions had gone awry, but now I know better.
The next time he disappears, I won't give it a thought.
I know better than to throw my heart after a man who only comes around when he wants a soft bed, a full meal and somebody to lick his wounds.
No matter how charming, don't fall in love with a man who only comes around when he wants something and always has one eye on the door.