It was in Cedar City, Utah that I spent a couple of hours enjoying the BFA exhibit at the Art Museum. I then spent another hour or so attending a performance of Red, a play about Rothko. Then I had to stop to restock the larder. It was way past dark when we pulled into a large turnout at the beginning of highway 14, a two-lane highway that leads to some of Utah's most spectacular scenery. Smith, inside all day, had had enough, but I was reluctant to let her out. The highway was barely 200 feet away and there were other cars coming and going. Finally, at 2:00 a.m. after pleading with her all evening, I strapped her into her walking jacket tightening it as much as I could, clipped it to the roof rack and lay down to sleep.
In the morning it lay at the end of the lead, empty. I walked up and down calling until 2:00 in the afternoon. She hadn't eaten since her after-dinner snack at 8:00 p.m. so I figured she'd be hungry by noon.
The spot was next to Coal Creek and had all the things she loved: steep, rock-laden banks to clamber upon and lots of hidey holes to explore among the boulders. Half a mile downstream were a number of nice looking homes, each with a goodly amounts of land around them. Across the street was a spectacular canyon, no doubt FULL of mice, voles, reboks and all other manner of prey.
She'd reached that age where children are fed up with their parents. She enjoyed being outside so much she wanted it full time....like me. Sitting in a car, waiting, was no longer acceptable.
It's been a relief. I still worry about what became of her, but know she's resourceful and had managed to survive in the Redwoods for god knows how long before I found her. I'm confident she found a place where she can get her meals and be outside all the time too.
But I still get a hollow feeling in my stomach when I think about her. But next time a kitten shows up it'll be straight to the shelter; I learned my lesson. And yet, I miss her.