I was rather giving up. I made some small signs to hang on our telephone posts and when Julia got off the bus we started hanging them on all the poles close to our house. I planned to go further afield when the first therapist got to our house. Julia and the therapist were planning their afternoon and I was at the dining room table talking to our social worker who was making his annual rectification visit when I saw a woman walking across the street with our cat!!
I was so excited that I dashed out of the house, followed closely by an exuberant Julia, her therapist, and our dog. Out therapist caught and re-housed the dog while I nearly jumped on the woman who turned out to be a neighbor from the top of the block. I thought she was responding to our newly hung signs, but really, she had been in touch with the two guys from the other end of the block who had found Didi in their yard on Saturday, took him in, called the Humane Society, but were keeping him for a week (as per the rules). The woman from the top of the block had offered to take Didi home with her (because one of the two guys was allergic to the cat) and she was hoping to keep the cat if no one claimed him. She was hoping to keep him because her cat had died in November.
So, she was just walking up the street with what she hoped was her new cat when a crazy woman -- that would be me -- and a very happy Julia tumbled out of our house calling to her about "our" cat and taking our Didi immediately from her arms. To say we were a bit over the top would be no exaggeration. It must have seemed absurd to her but we were so happy to have our kitty back.
Putting Julia to bed tonight, she hugged me for a long time and told me she was happy. It makes me feel like we have not been happy for a long time. Even Julia notices.
Since Saturday night, I've felt that gnawing emptiness in the house. It was very heavy on me. Tonight, the cat lays at and on my feet on the couch. And the house is just a bit less empty.