Seems so trivial, in light of what is going on in the battle for delegate votes in the crucial presidential campaign, but Bijou is very real, and he is here. His visits to me at my workplace are veritable flurries of love and sending out of emails before they are ready to go, stolen pens, chewed notes. I kiss his little face and thank San Gennaro for his existence. He paces the window sill looking very much like a miniature panther, and I have found his breed on the Internet. He is a Bombay, all black, sleek and slim. I wonder if his siblings survived and what they look like.
He was microchipped a couple of weeks ago, something I should have done with Mojo, but Mojo is gone now, lost in these predatory hills, and I am closing the barn door in an attempt to prevent the next horse from running off. Also — have I mentioned this? — lockdown takes place before dark at 5 p.m. If he is outside at that hour, I call for him, and he always comes, so far, while my heart beats a little faster in case he doesn’t. All the little ones answered to their names when summoned. Another call “Where is this cat?!!” usually gets results, as well. My tortoiseshell Pinky, my heart, would skid around a shrub or door to me whenever she heard that. My 13-year-old Loaner, Pinky’s sibling, also reports for duty when I need her to come.
Along with the microchipping of Bijou comes a package service with Home Again, which sends out photos and details of missing pets within a 25-mile radius of one’s home. Something perhaps helpful. How I wish. Tell that to the coyotes, foxes, and bobcats around here.