The Return Of Zazou

Last night, in the middle of a dinner party, with twelve people noisily celebrating a friend’s birthday, three weeks to the day after her mysterious disappearance, Zazou appeared at the door.

Lots of you had commented that cats sometimes do come back, even after long absences, but since we’ve been hearing the coyotes almost every night, we’d really given up on her.  And yet, here she is.  She arrived clean and shiny, with only one small paw injury.  Famished, she’s been eating nearly non-stop since last night. And sleeping the rest of the time.  On laps, snuggled up next to us in bed, sticking as close to us as she can get. Mewing plaintively in her sleep sometimes.  It’s a heartbreaking thing, a small cat crying in her sleep.

The thing is, she was never a cuddly sort, so it’s hard to get used to her new attachment to us.  And maybe she’ll revert to her former independence, but for now we’re taking all the snuggles we can get.  We keep asking her where she’s been, but she just won’t say.  That she’s been through something difficult seems clear, but what? And why?  And most important, will she leave us again, or has she learned a valuable lesson, that family comes first, that freedom’s just another word for being a small animal all alone in a very big world?

For now we’re keeping her tucked in tight.  The cat door’s open, though, so she’s free to leave.  So far she’s shown no sign of wanting to be anywhere but wherever we are.  She’s like a whole new cat, and we like her like that.

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32 Comments on “The Return Of Zazou”

  1. Wendy Says:

    Yea! What great news! I hadn’t been able to say anything about her disappearance to you because 1) I might start to cry & 2) I was holding on to the crazy hope that she would be back! Yea!

  2. I am very happy for you and Zazou. Sometimes a cat will get shut in a garage or house when folks go away for vacation and don’t know she snuck in. She probably swore at whomever in French when they let her out.

  3. Sharon Worster Says:

    Awesome news!!!!!!! My Disco ‘Mr. Boo’ bengal cat was gone for a whole month and was returned thanks to his Home Again microchip. They found him in Austin, TX, which was over 3 hours by car.

  4. Jeanne Says:

    Happy Happy Joy Joy! Welcome home, Zazou. We all missed you 🙂

  5. Julie H. Says:

    This is so sweet and such a wonderful thing to read. Yay for you and the kitty.

  6. Jennifer Southcott Says:

    YAAAAAY, I love a happy ending. It’s amazing how you can stress over a missing cat that you’ve never met, but feel like you’ve known her all your life.

  7. Annie Welch Says:

    I didn’t even know Zazou was gone! Believe me, we’ve been through that with our cats, and we call it their “vision quest”. It’s like something a cat has to do once in their life……

  8. Abra Bennett Says:

    Hopefully her vision was Laps and Love. And hopefully it’s only once in her life!

  9. Rona Y Says:

    Whew! I’ve been so worried about her; I’m relieved she’s back to provide some loving purrs to y’all. I once read a great anecdote, maybe of Mordecai Richler, about his cat that disappeared, only to return months later. It was suspected that a hawk or owl had carried it away, but it managed to make its way home.

    Zazou is quite an explorer, but she now knows the best place for her is home where her family loves her.

  10. Debra Lane Says:

    so excited to hear this! happiness!

  11. Barry Says:

    Best News today !

    You never know your luck until you tread in it !
    (Old Twyman Proverb)

  12. Linda Says:

    Youpie! Always wonderful to wake up to such good news.

  13. Rebecca Says:

    Wow, what JOY! At these times I wish so that animals could talk in a language more nuanced than grrs and purrs!

  14. Amy Says:

    OK, the cat didn’t come back the very next day, like the song, but she did come back. A early happy birthday to you.

  15. Lauren Says:

    Three weeks! Wow. That’s a long time. I’m so happy she’s home. It’s interesting that she’s so attached to you know. Maybe she’s learned the grass isn’t greener?

  16. Abra Bennett Says:

    And she’ll still barely set a paw outside. This morning I opened the door to the back deck for her. She finally went out about 6 inches, sat for a minute or two, and came right back in. This from a cat who refused to stay inside just three weeks ago.

  17. dana Says:

    so happy to hear that she’s returned!

  18. Zuleme Says:

    I have peace of mind in the form of a cat fence that goes around my whole yard and connects to my inlaws house next door, where we have our studio. Every morning we check it for bear break ins as we let the cats out. They come in at 6PM for dinner and bed.
    Best of both worlds, they get to be out and I know they are safe.

    It’s deer fencing, black nylon staked to steel posts and staked to the ground every six inches. It’s too floppy for them to climb. They don’t really want to get out but we live near a road and if there was a chipmunk running, they’d go after it.
    I wanted this for years and my husband thought it was silly until we lost a cat we really liked on the road.

    You could fence in a small area with daytime cat door access.
    It sure seems like she got scared out there but what a blessing to have her back.

  19. Nim Says:

    Hooray! I was so sad to hear about her going missing. Hopefully she’s got the itch out of her paws, and will stick close to home from now on.

  20. geri Says:

    great story…whew!

  21. Abra Bennett Says:

    Thanks for posting all that detail, Sharyn. Our outdoors is definitely not fenceable, but possibly some portion of it might be. They do have a large and safe upstairs deck to be outside on, and we’re out there all summer too, so it’s a bit of outdoors, even though it’s up in the air. The eagles normally stay out over the water and aren’t too near our deck.

  22. Zuleme Says:

    Sometimes Ramona wakes up from a nap while the rest of us are watching TV and we’ll hear this little cry from the bedroom “where is everybody?” I always go in and tell her I’m here.
    She likes to sleep right next to me.
    Few things in life make me as simply happy as my cats.
    When she is having a bad dream just cuddle her.

  23. jessica Says:

    So happy that there is such a sweet ending to Zazou’s journeys!

  24. Sue Says:

    What terrific News! I am so pleased. It’s bad enough to lose a pet, but to not know what happened to them is even worse. I am so glad to know she’s back with her folks.

  25. Lori Says:

    That is so good to hear. Sounds like she knew what great parties you throw and decided she didn’t want to miss out.

  26. astheroshe Says:

    she finally realized hoe good she had it at home..I hope she says put. My cat would never leave! She would not be soo foolish . great news!

  27. Nancy Says:

    I’m so happy she’s back home! Welcome home, Zazou! Perhaps that’s a sign that my recently-lost cat will come home, too. Whether he does or not, I’m happy for you all – and I hope Zazou’s lesson sticks with her.

  28. Connie Says:

    I’m so happy that Zazou came back to you. I lovelovelove your blog. I found it seredipitously (sp?) when I was googling (for a friend) about how to get rid of scorpions. I’m a cancer survivor, have lived through chemo, hair loss (and return) and radiation, thanks be to God I celebrated 5 years this year. I love how you two embrace life for all it’s worth and truly live each day. I also love your recipes! Thanks for sharing so honestly. God bless.

  29. Mickey M Says:

    Wonderful! I had a feeling that she would be back – so glad it turned out to be so.

  30. Margaret Pilgrim Says:

    Only because Zazou is home, safe and sound, can I be so glib as suggest that you might consider changing her name to Agnes Gooch.

    Regardless of the/her circumstances, we send you and her a resounding “Welcome home, Zazou!”

  31. Carrie Says:

    “That freedom’s just another word for being a small animal all alone in a very big world” is something I’ll ponder for a long time . . . starting now. Zazou’s reappearance has given us hope since the day she returned . . . and today we stopped hoping and started singing!!! May Franka give somebody else hope!!! After 27 days, we received three phone calls that she’d been spotted. Two hours ago we retrieved her from the abandoned house down a few doors and across the street! Just like Zazou she’s famished and cuddlier than ever!!! I think Abra’s birthday aligned the stars just right for all of us!!!

  32. Sue Says:

    My dear friend Megan posted this to my facebook page,because I have almost giving up hope on finding my Eddie, he’s a 13 yr old black cat.He has been gone since the 8/19 and it is very uncharacteristic of him to leave the yard. Thanks to this beautiful story & happy ending I feel like there is still hope. I am so glad to hear Zazou is happy at home, I hope we will also have a happy ending.

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