She who pays the rent and feeds me, was reminiscing, and I, being a cat, was able to read her mind, so I can relate to you, Basil, the story of Skippy, and his two weeks in the country.
Many years ago, before her hair turned gray, she lived with her sister, her parents and their cat Skippy, in a small city east of Toronto. Every August, the family went east for a holiday in a rented cottage, and one year, their father decided that Skippy was not coming with them. Instead, he was going to stay with Great Aunt Nan and Great Uncle Will, who lived in the country west of Toronto.
The day following their return from the cottage, they set off to visit Aunt Nan and Uncle Will, and to fetch the cat. When they arrived, a rather anxious looking Aunt Nan called their mother into the kitchen and closed the door. This was not a good omen. There is no way to gently break the news to two young children that their cat has disappeared. After much weeping and sniffling, (you know how emotionally dependent people can be) she and her father went out in the car to search, stopping at every house and farm for miles around, including a big modern dairy farm a mile or so down the road. Alas, no Skippy.
Dinner was over and it would soon be time to go home, without the cat. There were more floods of tears, which only increased the pangs of guilt that poor Aunt Nan was feeling. Their mother, who was raised on a farm and was very wise, suggested that they should try the dairy farm one more time, so off went the two girls with their father, their hopes rekindled.
When they arrived, the first thing that they saw by the barn door, was a striped tabby cat, contentedly lapping up a dinner of lightly poached fish, covered in a layer of thick, fresh cream. It was Skippy! Not satisfied with the accomodations that his human family had arranged for him, he had wandered off to find his own feline version of paradise.
Contrary to the proverb, sometimes it is pancake week for the cat.