Au didn't turn up for breakfast yesterday morning. This is not unusual. Our senior cat has his bowl of fish anytime between 6AM and 9AM. Occasionally he comes home from his morning patrol and goes straight to bed, reserving breakfast for lunch.
But yesterday morning he just didn't turn up. At 11AM I got really worried about him. Accompanied by Target, I check the various places Au likes to sleep: the cupboard under the stairs, the laundry stack, the spare bedroom, the rug in the upstairs office... but there was no sign of him.
I called outside and still there was nothing. By now it was 1130 and I was getting very worried. I was debating whether to ask the neighbours if they'd seen Au when he walked into the kitchen, sat down and yawned.
I was so relieved, I picked him up and hugged him. As a sensible cat who is not into hugs, Au was of course upset by this.
He put his ears back and pushed me away. Get off me, you silly woman, his look said. But when he realised I'd been worried about him, he relented and rubbed his head against my chin. He then took immediate advantage by demanding a big breakfast.
I still don't know whether Au was in the house all this time or whether he was out somewhere. But one thing's for sure: he is currently residing in bed. And by the way he's parked himself on a tangle of bed sheets it looks like the bed won't be made for some time.
I don't care. All that matters is that Au is home.