Where is Domino?

My Lulu & Domino

My cat is missing.

We’ve had Domino since my husband found him abandoned in a dorm on Swarthmore’s campus 14 years ago, and he’s been a great cat for our family. He’s declawed but loves the outdoors so much, we never had the heart to keep him indoors. Luckily he’s big enough to take care of himself — black and white (hence the not-so-creative name) and ridiculously friendly. When we have cocktail parties at the house, Domino will stroll in the front door, stand in the middle of a circle of talking adults, and systematically work his way around 360 degrees, rubbing his head against every person’s shoes in an ecstasy of contentment.

Domino has a habit of lying in the driveway, waiting for us to come home – and the minute we drive up, he’ll stand up, stretch languidly, then dramatically fall on his side and wait to be petted. I’m not exactly an animal person, but that’s one trick it’s impossible not to fall for. There is no way he would wander off, away from the food and love source, so all I can think is that a coyote got him, he went away to die, or that something awful happened.

But I didn’t hear a sound the night he disappeared. I’ve got a mother’s ridiculous aural acuity, and anytime I’d hear the yowls and hissing of a nocturnal cat fight, I’d fly down the stairs in the dark, half-naked, and go running to his rescue, chasing off the other cat with ferocious swears. But there was no noise this time.

On the road back to college...

Now I’m on my way up to New York, driving Lulu back to college, and I’m heartbroken to think he’s gone. Lulu grew up with Domino and loves him to pieces, so I can barely bring myself to tell her he’s missing.

Sleeping through the quake.

I hate these changes. It’s so sad to see your children grow up and fly away; it’s a hole in your heart to lose a sweet pet; and as my husband’s dad loses his grip at age 93, it’s yet another loss to be shouldered and borne. Today it feels awfully heavy.

On the happier side – we drove right through northern Virginia yesterday as the quake hit…and felt nothing! And Young World Inventors (see last post) made their Kickstarter goal and will get all their funding!

And it’s beautiful, sunny and cool in Philadelphia… so life goes on.

It’s the Domino effect.

22 thoughts on “Where is Domino?

  1. It’s obvious by the way Lulu is holding him, by how comfortable he looks in her arms, and of course, by your words, that Domino is a member of the family. I join your other readers in hoping he shows up soon, with or without an explanation. Please wish Lulu a great year for me, and I hope your father-in-law is doing better, too.

    • No sign of Domino yet — just made my way home from NYC and it’s so sad that he’s not here in the driveway to greet me. I hate the look of his empty food bowl staring at me — that surely is the saddest thing ever! But thanks so much for your positive vibe!!!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that your beloved and adorable Domino is missing. Pets have so much love and they share it so openly with us humans. It is so hard to lose them. I hope you have a wonderful surprise and he returns to you. Sorry to hear that this happened while Larry’s father is so ill and Lulu goes back to school. Know many friends are thinking of you! Your Lulu is beautiful…just like her mother!

      • I saw you this morning on Martha Stewart. I’m pretty sure it was a repeat but new to me. Your message rang a bell in my heart. I plan to go through your archives and be even more inspired to find a group I can help.

        My heart aches when I hear someone has lost a beloved pet. Many of us are privileged to know the special magical inter-species connection we make with them. So sad, sorry for you and your family’s loss.

  3. At heavy times our pets can help lighten our load; so sorry Domino’s missing. I do hope he comes back. Also hope you got out of my neck of the woods before the weather came!

  4. Please come home Domino. Maybe someone picked him up and took him inside their home. But he must have ID tags, so that’s dumb. Jim and I are crushed for you, Lulu is obviously fine and following her own path, just as you taught her, Betty. Think about yourself at that age. Did you want to stay home with your mother?

    Jim is a cat lover of the highest order, as I have become also. We don’t let them outdoors. They look outside.

    • I keep hoping that he’s around somewhere but I can’t imagine him ever wondering off. He’s such a homebody — funny in this household of gadabouts, but somebody had to hold down the fort! I really miss him … thanks for your sweet thoughts, Sandra!

    • Thanks so much and knowing how YOU love your pets, I feel comforted by your concern. And I totally agree — my Lulu is so pretty, inside and out. Which is the best blessing of all.
      I’ll let you know about Domino!

  5. Just heard a great talk today on the importance of sitting with your feelings and allowing yourself to feel the emotions. Embrace the sadness, cry till you can’t cry any more. Hugs.
    L

    • Thanks Louise — I sometimes think if I couldn’t write about how I’m feeling, I wouldn’t have any way to cope. It’s only when I can get it down on paper that I start to have an understanding of what I’m feeling and why. Thanks so much for reading!

  6. Very nice, but sad too. I hope Domino returns to you. Years ago, our old dog Sarge was gone for two weeks. We looked and looked, and then figured he went off to die with dignity. But two weeks later, he was at the door… with no dignity but with a heartfelt apology.

  7. Oh Betty, I am so sorry to hear about Domino. However, he may just turn up, as our cat Donatello once went missing for over a month, showing up thinner but healthy late one evening. Maybe after saying goodbye to Lulu once again as you drop her at college, you’ll be greeted by a friendly leg nuzzle from Domino when you arrive back in Atlanta. xoxoxo

    • I’m praying for a Donatello moment for Domino … these pets just become part of your daily life in such a quiet, sweet way! I really loved waking up and looking out my window to see Domino stretched out on the driveway looking so relaxed… then I’d tap on the window and he’d look up so intently. He’s such a GOOD cat!! Oh, btw… Jhoos hijacked my Twitter, too — EVIL program!

  8. We have a cat named Gatita that we’ve had for 15 years that we rescued in Mexico. She too is declawed and loves the our dorrs like Domino. I laughed when read about you running outside half naked. I so the same thing if I hear a cat and Gatita is out. Our Gatita is getting rail thin and we are concerned for her too. I hope Domino shows up.

    • Oh Magi — I know the feeling! Domino got so thin last year, we were really worried — but I started feeding him more and making sure he ate, and he fattened right back up. I know that 14+ is old for a cat, but I was hoping that he’d live til 20. We just never know about things like that… enjoy your Gatita!

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