When we stopped at the clinic, he stood up and checked out his new surroundings. Worried he might bolt because he wasn’t in a carrier, I scuffed him to take him in. Many cats are somewhat insulted by scruffing, but he didn’t move a muscle. Upon his introduction to the clinic and staff, he maintained his self-assured dignity and graciously greeted each staff member. Immediately aware that this was not her cat, the Doctor was also in awe of his cool, collected demeanor. He quickly took over the offices and made himself at home. Twice he stood on his hind legs in an effort to look out the window of the door we had come in through. Jumping up into a window sill, he looked out a window, apparently getting his bearings. He then jumped down and went to sit, dog-like, in front of the door and asked to be let out. Of course, we couldn’t, but I had promised him that if he did not have a microchip and he did not belong to the Doctor, I would take him back to where I had found him. I reminded him of our conversation and went about my duties, leaving him in the office area with the Doctors and staff. He alternately meandered about, jumped up to look out the windows, sat in chairs, and sprawled on the floor kneading his paws. They provided him with a litter box and a deluxe meal, which he ate with relish.
When five o’clock arrived, I carried him back out to the car for the return trip. No tour this time; he immediately assumed the position of a seasoned traveler by plopping on top of a cushion in the back seat. I drove back to where I found him and the only sound he made was when I took a right hand turn a little fast and the cushion slid across the seat. He rode the cushion across the seat like a surfer and gave one reproachful yet quiet “meow”; looking up at me as if to say, “Hey! Watch it, would ya?”
When we arrived at our destination and stopped, he climbed into my lap and looked out the window. I told him that I hoped I was doing the right thing and that I was going to trust that he knew where he was and opened the door expecting him to bolt for freedom. He did not. He jumped out of the car, walked about four feet and stopped looking over his shoulder at me. He meowed once and walked over to a landscaping tie and hopped up onto it. He stood there gazing at me. I said “Goodbye”, closed the door and drove away, glancing into the rear view mirror occasionally to watch him as I left. He stood in one spot and watched me until I began to turn onto the highway. As I pulled onto the highway and glanced back one last time, he sat down and began to clean the remains of his meal from his face. My heart was touched by a cat today.