Our Lost Pet Came Bounding
Four days ago, my young daughter was playing with her pet
rat across the street and a few houses down, when it escaped from her
I didn't see the rat escape, but I did hear my daughter come crying into
the house, sobbing as she told me that her pet was lost. Once my daughter
calmed down, she was able to explain,
"One of my best friends,
my rat, ran away under Laura's deck. I don't know why, but she
skidded across the floor and went underneath
I did my best to reassure my daughter, and immediately
started a search party. We put the pet's cage with food, water, and a
nesting box near the place where she was lost... and waited to see if she'd
return to it. We left a spoon with peanut butter (a favorite treat)
nearby, and called her name. We waited and waited for hours... and then
days... but saw no sign of her.
Today, four days after the day the rat was lost, my daughter
and I were standing together in the garage next to her rat cage, when my
daughter and I were amazed to see my daughter's rat looking up at her from
atop a log in the wood pile in our garage.
Pets have expressions which their care givers grow to understand over
time... and I could see the special way my daughter's rat gazed up at my
daughter. That rat was looking for all the world like she was seeing
someone she never thought she'd see again... as if she was wondering to
herself, "Is this just a dream? Or could this possibly be real? Is this
my human standing right here in front of me?"
My daughter looked equally amazed. This was one of the most precious
moments I've ever experienced as I could feel the bond of love between the
two of them for that timeless moment before my daughter scooped up her pet
and hugged her softly to her chest.
As my daughter tells the story,
"My rat looked up
at me as if she was amazed she could be looking up at me at that time. So
I put her in a cage by herself, and she ate and
ate and ate... because she was gone for four days, and that's a long time
for a rat to be away from home."
The rat also drank a lot of water, and curled up for a long
nap after we bathed her (to remove the fleas she'd picked up on her journey
Frankly, I was amazed to see our dear little pet home again;
it felt miraculous to me. That rat had to navigate her way across the
street... which is something like crossing a freeway for such a small
rodent... and then somehow figure out which house was ours, and come back
to a place where we could find her, in our garage.
My daughter told me later that she wasn't surprised at all to see her pet
rat come home today... that she had been expecting it.
"I told her to
come back home, and she did",
was my daughter's explanation to me.
I didn't have the heart to tell my daughter that I'd given up hope of
seeing our pet come home again. There are simply too many dangers to a
small rodent on the loose in our neighborhood. Aside from the risk of
being run over by cars, we have owls, cats, coyotes, raccoons, snakes and
dogs... and the occasional mountain lion... prowling around.
It is reassuring to know that there are times when love comes through
against all odds. Many pets have crossed seemingly impossible distances to
be reunited with their owners; sometimes, they've defied all logic and
viable explanations of how they were able to do so. These stories have
piqued my interest, and led me to wonder if perhaps the bond of love itself
is able to shift reality.
Tonight as I tucked my daughter into bed and gave her a good night
kiss, I was certain that it is.
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Copyright @ 2001 by Cynthia Sue Larson, All