Tonight I stopped by a house where a friend of mine is housesitting for a friend of hers – just a few blocks from where I live. “This is Curly” my friend said as her friend’s cat came running up to the door. I looked at Curly, followed Curly, touched Curly, picked up Curly. “What?” my friend said, wondering why I was so obsessed with Curly. “My cat,” I said. “He ran away. This looks like my cat. I think this is my cat. He’s exactly like my cat.” I was totally freaked out. I examined Curly for white fur – none, just like Bustopher. I examined the length of Curly’s fur, the size of Curly’s paws, the markings on Curly’s face – exactly like Bustopher in every way. Curly is a little fatter than Bustopher, but I’m a little fatter than I was a few years ago, too. I asked my friend how long her friend had had Curly, but she didn’t know, and her friend is in Africa right now. I explained to her that I had Bustopher since the day he was born, that he grew up in my apartment in LA, then I moved to the Bay Area and he frolicked in the Oakland Hills, hunting rodents and birds … “Curly’s not a hunter” she said. Okay, okay, I get it. You don’t want your friend to come home from Africa to find someone has claimed her cat as their own. I’m not going to take the cat. My husband’s cats hated him and it would never work and now he’s found a very happy home and he’s close enough that I cam come visit him. I just want to know – is it him? How can I tell? I guess the only way to tell is to ask my friend’s friend when she got him. But if she knows that I think it’s my cat, will she tell me the truth? She’ll be the adopted mother and I’ll be the biological mother who could, at any time, change her mind and decide she wants her baby back. But I was so in love with Bustopher, and I spent months looking for him and … wait, if he IS Bustopher (and there’s a chance he’s not because Bustopher was a hard-core hunter and Curly apparently isn’t … on the other hand, we were living in the hills, with woods on all sides where there were rats and birds to hunt when Bustopher used to leave me presents), but if he IS Bustopher and she found him on the street, then why didn’t she call or visit the shelter, where she would have found my lost cat ad? And why didn’t she respond to the fliers I posted for three months on Solano Ave.? NO ONE in the area could have missed those fliers! And Bustopher had a collar with a tag on it with his name and my cell phone number. But Bustopher often got his collars off. He hated collars. Okay, I’m rambling. But whether Curly is Bustopher or not, it totally freaked me out to find a cat who looked EXACTLY like him in every way. It was like he had risen from the dead.