A few weeks ago my indoor-only cat Titus ran away. Nick and I were literally just about to leave to go to A.J. Gooch’s memorial service at Tredara. The car was packed, I had peed, and I was just doing the “cat check” to make sure no one would be stuck in a closet all weekend. I quickly spotted Spike, Lord, and Lilly, but I didn’t see Titus. I called downstairs to my husband Nick to see if he saw him. Nick didn’t see him, so he went around and checked Titus’s various beds and hidey-holes where he was likely to be, but he still didn’t find him. Starting to panic, he continued to search the house while I started to look outside. Titus had once before slipped out the front door without us noticing, and we figured it was likely this had happened while Nick was preoccupied with packing the car. But we couldn’t find him.

We did “All The Things” you should do when your indoor cat goes missing:  hung up flyers, talked to neighbors, posted on social media, went door to door with flyers, set up traps and a trail cam, put out his litter box and sprinkled his litter around—you name it, we did it. And of course since we’re us, we also made offerings, did spells, and prayed for his return. The spellwork was difficult for me, though. I couldn’t get a clear picture in my head of how he would get home because there were various scenarios I could imagine. I mostly focused on creating a hearth fire beacon to draw him back to us one way or another. The days turned into weeks, and I became increasingly worried, anxious, and desperate.

On the morning of March 18 during my daily devotion I pulled the letter “Epsilon” which means, “You desire to see offspring of righteous marriages.” But that day my brain interpreted it as, “You desire to see the outcome of righteous marriages.” And that word “outcome” jumped out at me. I desire to see the outcome. In my omen journal I wrote, “Need to do the things that will achieve the outcome I desire.” But as I already said, I had a hard time visualizing that outcome other than Titus being home. So I thought:

“OK, first things first. When he was lost the other time, how did we get him back?”

“Somebody found him and called the number on a flyer that we had posted.”

“And how did she find him?”

“She saw him hiding under a bush when she was out walking her dog.”

And then it hit me what I needed to do. I needed Titus to be seen. We had gotten reports of people seeing him in one place or another, but they were always after the fact. It felt like playing whack-a-mole. But now I knew what I needed to do. I picked up the picture of Titus I had placed on the hearth and held it in the light of the sun. And I said, “Let him be seen.” I visualized an obscuring mist that covered him disappearing in the light of the sun and him being out in the open being seen.

The very next day I received a phone call at 7:30 am. My heart leapt when I realized it was a local number with a name I didn’t recognize. The woman on the other end of the phone asked me if I was Diane, and I said that I was. She said, “I can see your cat. I’m looking it him right now. He has the orange-stripy tail from the picture; I know it’s him.” She told me where, and I immediately drove up there. I arrived on her porch and she pointed and said, “there, you can see him right there!” And sure enough, there was Titus, sitting on a vine and brush covered hillside. It was the first time we had received a live report about him, and it was the first time I had seen him with my own eyes in almost three weeks. I went to him, but he was too afraid and dove back under the vines. I didn’t catch him that day, but now that I had seen him and knew where he was holed up, I visualized him in the trap. I went back up the next morning singing, “Gonna catch my kitty and bring him home,” over and over. I saw him again and tried to go to him, but once again he scampered off, this time underneath the deck of the house next to the hill. I moved one of the traps right next to the deck, and when I checked the trap again he was in it and meowing up a storm.

Once I realized what I needed, I was able to focus on making that happen. I needed for Titus to be seen. And that is what led to him finally coming home.

Titus on bed