The Traveler

On a frigid western Oregon evening with temperatures hovering in the single digits, a lovely tri-colored stray cat took up residency under my front porch. I began feeding the cat twice a day by sliding a bowl of canned cat food under the porch. Every time I retrieved the bowl it was licked clean—I could only hope it was the cat and not a raccoon.

I wondered where she came from. Over the years, I’ve had several stray animals find their way to my ranch, cats, dogs, horses, goats, llamas and even a pig that wandered fifteen miles before stumbling onto my ranch. This cat would soon become the newest member of my animal family.

Perhaps it was the frigid temperature that slowed her responses, but three days later I was able to snag the nape of her neck and drop the hissing, struggling cat into my carrier.

I took the carrier into my house and set it on my dryer. I would take the cat to my veterinarian when the weekend passed, and if she got a clean bill of health, I could introduce her to my two other cats. She was a lovely calico with a white, tan and black coat, and two beautiful blue eyes. I named her Callie.

Three days later, the roads were mostly clear of ice when I made the trek to my veterinary clinic. The staff at the front desk were not surprised and simply added yet another page to my thick file.

The Technician took Callie out of her carrier and immediately corrected all my assumptions. My lovely Callie was a neutered male. He was not a calico, he was Tortie/Siamese mix. And he was microchipped. The desk staff called Home Again and learned that the chip had never been registered.

The doctor said he was thin. His coat indicated he’d been in the frigid weather a long time, but otherwise he was in good health.

When I got home, I called Home Again, and was told that the cat came from a feline rescue in Massachusetts. He had been adopted by a family living in Boston, but they never registered the microchip. Home Again sent me paperwork and I registered him in my name. And, I changed his name to Traveler.

The unanswerable question remains—how did Traveler get from Boston to Springfield, Oregon and my front porch?