We made it home. We decided that it was a reasonable risk to try to drive home. Adam had assured us that the state roads were all clear, so we knew that the only questionable stretch began where Coker Creek Village intersects with our road. This is exactly eight tenths of a mile from our right-of-way and one mile from our house. We figured that, since we know both householders on this stretch of our road, we wouldn’t freeze to death, even if we spun out on the road.
My original plan was for me to drive until we got to Coker Creek Welcome Center in Murphy’s Corner, and then give Yankee-bred Richard the wheel. Halfway home I got brave, and decided to drive the distance, with Richard as my ice driving coach. I’m proud to report that, even though our road is still a sheet of ice, I steered us all the way home without a hint of a skid.
Our fear of being petless was assuaged upon coming in sight of our front porch. There lay Gypsy, acting like she’s sunbathing in twenty degree weather. When she realized that yonder came her mistress and master, she immediately charged after non-existent beasties and ghoulies. We like having a dog that has pride in her work, false or otherwise.
After Gypsy’s pretend patrol run, she charged over to Richard as he exited the van. As Richard partook of the mutually satisfactory Gypsy rubbing, I proceeded to the shed to check on our ever-aloof cat Buster. There was no cat in sight, but I did hear the unmistakable mournful cry of a cat in distress. I knew this wasn’t the voice of Buster, but I stayed very still and called Buster’s name in that “Here, Minnie, Minnie” tone.
After a brief while, I saw a set of cat eyes peeking at me from a protected corner of the shed. These eyes were not peeking out of a tabby cat’s face, confirming that it wasn‘t Buster. I froze, and a little blue-gray cat came creeping out. It rubbed up against me, moaning for its mama.
About this time, Richard appeared in the shed. I told him that I couldn’t find Buster, but that this cat had appeared. Richard began trash talking to get rid of the intruder. When I reprimanded him, Richard said, “This isn’t a cat exchange; I want my cat.”
Next thing I knew, Richard was inside, announcing that he had spotted Buster, but that Buster wouldn’t come to him because he was spooked. He then announced that he thought we should put some water out for the visiting cat because it may not know our pet’s protocol of drinking out of the creeks. Richard also pointed out that he had put food out for the stray, but that Gypsy had immediately begun eating it. He also suggested that we should put food out in the outbuilding that Buster likes to hide in, just in case…
All the beasts being cared for, I could then concentrate on contacting all those who were concerned about my two-legged beast.