Visitors to Monkey Valley usually enjoy the spirited character of The Donald. They might hear him galloping down the path to the Medicine Wheel, sounding like a horse, his tail puffed up and fierce. Or he might precede the group softly, with the tip of his upright tail bent at an angle as he walks. He often stops to roll on the ground, presenting his belly for rubs. Kim Ashley took the photos of Donald on this page, when she was up in BC co-guiding Monkey Valley’s first vision fast in August 2008.
He’s also a favourite in our Vancouver neighbourhood, where he is more well known than the author! Donald is an adventurer, and he goes into people’s houses and cars, and goes along for a walk with strangers. He has been photographed by snapawayoungman and has an international following on Flickr!
Recently he went missing for three days and nights. Concerned neighbours and friends helped print and distribute posters, checked the internet for found cat ads, checked under bushes, and generally contributed good wishes for finding him.
Less than an hour after I had put up “Donald is Missing” notices, I received a phone call. He followed a beautiful young woman named Elizabeth home on Sunday night around midnight. She took him in and fed him, and he stayed with her for three days! He was only three blocks away, and she let him go out whenever he wanted. Which implies that he could have come home but chose not to. So my personal belief is that he enjoyed the company of this younger, blonder woman, whose perfume still clings to his fur. And also, she fed him better! He was very unhappy to come home to me, and growled and hissed at me all night.
This was not Donald’s first adventure. He has been missing before, and was found over 15 blocks away and taken to the SPCA. My friends Geoff and Azusa put up a missing cat poster, and someone who had seen him at the SPCA saw the poster and called them! Another time I had a call that he was in someone’s house on First Avenue. He has been shut up for long periods in garages, basements, and the “cold room” at Monkey Valley, because he just goes where his curiosity takes him! And he has been chased by a coyote or two in his day, and lived to continue with his aloof philandering ways…
For those of you who are familiar with object relations theory, you might notice a thing or two about my relationship with my cat!