Saturday, July 23, 2011

Missing Cats

Day 125: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We haven’t seen Willy for four days now, which is beginning to be worrisome. The last time I saw her was when I was on the balcony and she was walking away into the distance...

I’ve come up with three theories for what could have happened:

1. She is hanging out at someone’s house, which has air conditioning since our house is too hot right now.

2. She got hit by a car... but since she has a collar, I would assume that the driver that hit her would have been decent enough to let us know that our cat was dead, or if not, someone else who had seen her body would have notified us.

3. Someone kidnapped her and locked her in their house against her will... but Willy has been having problems lately and can’t piss in her litter box anymore. The past month we have been wiping cat pee off the floor at least once or twice a day, so I would assume the kidnapper would have gotten sick of her by now and let her go.

While I consider making fliers with Willy’s face on it, I remember the old woman from the missing poster that I posted during the beginning of Talking Barnacles. She is actually still missing since I had seen another poster of her in my neighborhood about two weeks ago. She’s been missing for five months now, which is crazy because where could an old woman with alzheimer’s be and how could she survive on her own for that long? And if she is dead, they would have found her body immediately...

I can’t help but recall my favorite novel in college called The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, which begins with a similar predicament. Like me, the main character is unemployed and has too much free time on his hands. Every morning he goes swimming at the gym and then comes home and makes spaghetti for lunch (I make curry). One day he notices that his cat- actually it’s his wife’s cat- hasn’t been home for several days, so he spends the afternoon looking for it in the alleys around his house. He is unsuccessful, so he waits for his wife to come home from work that evening to tell her the news, but she too never comes back home. From there, the story goes off in a kind of mystic/fantastic tangent, and if I remember correctly, he never finds either of them. Anyways like in the book, maybe there is a villain or a black hole of some kind in our neighborhood that has taken away our loved ones, and maybe Willy is with the old lady trapped somewhere.

A couple of years after I had read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, I met Haruki Murakami. He had come to N.Y. for a signing at a bookstore in Union Square. It was a Sunday, so there was also a farmer’s market going on in the park. On my way over, I stopped to buy some fresh apple cider, which was what I did every weekend. While I was there, I decided that it would make a nice gift for my favorite author, so I bought him some as well and then headed over to the bookstore.

After waiting in line for thirty minutes, it was finally my turn, so I said hello and presented him the drink, which had no label on it since it was homemade. To my surprise, he didn’t even make a move to take it from my hands. Instead his assistant, who was dressed in a black turtleneck, took it from me, and as we made the exchange, they both eyed the bottle suspiciously like it was poison. When she had it in her claws, they both did a fake grin, said thank you, and then she put it somewhere in the darkness under the desk where missing cats and wives were… I then passed him my copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle to sign, and then afterwards my friend took our picture together- actually, she took three... Strangely, Mr. Haruki Murakami was completely blurred and unrecognizable in all of them.


  1. the darkness of wells. the first time i visited japan in 2005, all i could think about was wandering cats named toru that were lost or missing.

    ps did you see norwegian wood?

  2. you are not supposed to read it when it says "Post in Construction", sean. haha.
    i haven't seen it yet... but i want to.

  3. hahahahaha. i never do what i'm told!

  4. I have not read it but is it not implied that the woman took the cat and ran away?

  5. I recommend the book.
    actually i think that is the natural reaction to that predicament but the writer implies something else since he believes in the fantastic... the cat's disappearance is the symbol of his wife's disappearance. or something like that.

  6. the cat comes back. i'm pretty sure. near the end. like nothing ever happened.

    seems like willy will probably do the same. I guess it's 10 days later in real life so you already know the answer. (hopefully)

  7. when i first read the book... i was so absorbed into it i powered through staying up till 6am at times. when i was done, it felt like a great weight was lifted off my shoulder at the same time i felt depressed.

    i read it again last year. still so good. my favorite of his followed by hardboiled wonderland.

  8. i've been told that cats go away when they're about to die. where to? i wouldn't know..
    how do they feel their own death is beyond me, not having that superpower depresses me.