Lost Cat Update
Personal stuff here - I got up at 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning and drove back to the rest stop where our cat ran away during Rita. Didn't see any sign of him, but talked to a maintenance guy who told me how to get on a road that took me past all the farm houses that back up to the place.
I was driving down that road, putting flyers in mailboxes, and one good ol' boy was just coming home from somewhere. He said the only cats he ever saw were his two (outside) cats that he fed, but that just a couple of days before, he had seen a black cat on his property (Our missing cat, Buddha, is black. Which the good ol' boy didn't know yet). As we talked, he then remembered that just that morning, he had left very early in the dark and had seen what he thought was his black and white cat lounging in his carport near the (St. Bernard-sized) cat food bowl, and thought it was unusual that the cat didn't run away like it always did. He said the more he thought about it, he thought it was probably my cat, since it didn't run. I hung around a while but didn't see him, but my cat hides anyway because he was feral when I got him and he's still a big chicken. But thinking about it, I know that Buddha's not stupid, if he's found a place with a continuous supply of food and water, he'll stick around. It's just a matter of him getting into a routine and feeling comfortable so he'll show himself. The good ol' boy gave me his name, address, phone numbers, etc., and said we could come back anytime and look for him. Next weekend, we have to go back to New Mexico to retrieve the rest of our cats (we left them behind, hoping we'd find Buddha on the way back, and not wanting to spread any diseases/ticks), so we're going to show up at this guy's house around cat-breakfast time and try to find him.
Meanwhile, if my cat has to be anywhere besides at home with me, this guy's farm is like a cat spa. Lots of fields of tall grass to hide in, crickets and rabbits and squirrels to chase, fruit trees to climb, flowers, cows to look at, continuous supply of food and water, etc. He's probably happier there than he was in our house, except that he doesn't have his sister with him, and he doesn't have anyone to lay in bed with napping on Sunday afternoons.
Anyway, keep your fingers crossed.