Some people have asked me whatever happened with that cat that looked like mine that belonged to my friend’s friend, who lives a few blocks from me. Well, the cat turned out not to be Bustopher Jones. His owner said she’d had him for many years, that she had gotten him in Sacramento and had lived with him all over California When I saw the cat again, I could see the differences—that cat was fluffier and had a slightly different facial structure than Bustopher Jones. I figured I’d never see Bustopher again.
Then this morning I’m sitting on the couch and hear this cat meowing outside our front window. I ignored him at first, but he continued, so I went outside to see if he was lost or needed help. He looked an awful lot like Bustopher Jones. I opened my front door and he walked in the house. I picked him up and he crawled up on my shoulder. I took him in the bedroom to protect him from Evil Ben, who chased him away to begin with, fed him and gave him water. He curled up on the bed like he belonged there. I got out my laptop and looked up all my old pictures of Bustopher Jones. Martin and I compared every facial marking, every paw, the length of his fur, his coloring, his tail. Same cat. I’ve seen so many brown tabbies during my search for Bustopher that I almost don’t trust my judgment anymore, but even Martin, the ultimate skeptic, said, “Yeah, that’s him.” So he’s back, curled up at my feet on the bed like he used to be, and here are the photos to prove it. The first one was taken three years ago, before he ran away on Sept. 11, 2004. The second was taken today. He seems a little thinner to me, but he was very hungry and a little dirty when I found him, so he’s probably lost some weight. My guess is that someone else has been taking care of his these past two years and that somehow he got out and found his way back here. Welcome home, Bustopher Jones.