Background: Ace and Samara were found by my brother-in-law one night outside the restaurant he worked at, which was located next to a vet’s office. Someone had dropped these two kittens off in a box after hours, and they got out and were wandering around. The woman who had left them returned to check on them, explaining that she had found them on the side of the road a few miles away, but couldn’t keep them because of her allergies. She got to feeling guilty about leaving them, but my brother-in-law decided to bring them home. My sister then called me asking if I wanted them, because I did rescue work. At first I was going to find them homes, but when I saw them, they were two of the cutest kittens I’d ever seen, and they were littermates and obviously loved each other – I couldn’t bear to split them up. Plus, one was orange and I’d always wanted an orange cat.
I decided to keep them both, and because they had such a sweet story of being abandoned and found not once but twice (and managed to stay together through it), I wanted to give them Biblical names. I googled Hebrew baby names, and for a boy found Azariah (shortened to Ace), He who God helps, and for a girl Samara, Guarded by God. Ace (the orange mackerel) and Samara (a dilute tortie) have both been indoor/outdoor cats their whole lives. I tried to make them indoor only cats, but they were miserable and desperate to go outside, so I made the judgement call to allow them to enjoy their natural instincts.
Samara’s story is not quite so complex as Ace’s. She was always more of a wanderer than my other cats. She would disappear for three or four days at a time, and I got used to it. But in the spring of 2009, a week or more went by and I began to worry. I called for her, to no avail, and questioned the neighbors as to whether they had seen her.
After a few weeks went by, I was getting very sad thinking I had lost Samara for good. I even told Ace as he was looking out the back door, “I don’t think she’s coming home this time, buddy.” Seeing him missing her made it even harder for me, because they had always been close.
After about a month, a neighbor from down the street had just left my house for a visit when my phone rang. She had seen a cat in the field across the street, and thought it looked like Samara. I grabbed a flashlight and ran out of the house, down the driveway, and across the street to where my friend and parked her truck with the headlights still on so we could see. After I called her name several times, Samara answered me and I was able to spot and confirm that it was her.
When I tried to approach her, she ran from me, but I managed to send her back in the direction of our house. After five or ten minutes of picking my way through barbed wire and sticker bushes trying to catch her, Samara seemed to finally recognize where she was and took off across the street, up the driveway, and was waiting on the front porch for me when I finally caught up to her.
I welcomed her back home with food (she was thin as a rail, but no worse for wear), and thanked my neighbor for helping to find her. I don’t know where she was that whole time, if something scared her, or if she was truly lost and didn’t realize she was so close to home, but that was the last time Samara did a disappearing act. She still goes outside, but now she will generally come back that same day.