My Maine Coon Princess Ashley
(Perris, CA, USA)
I got Ashley from the local shelter when she was about 4 weeks old. I remember how small she looked in that big cage all by herself. She took to me right away. She loved to be held and would often try to nurse from my blouse. She was the first of nine cats we would eventually own. I intended her to be the only cat in our household but my husband said she needed a playmate and brought home 2 other kittens. Then another and so on. I told him to stop but accepted the others also. Ashley didn't always get along with them and i believe she would have been happier with just 1 or 2 others. When she was about 2 months old i let her outside part of the time. She loved going outside and later would scratch at the door or cry to be let out. At first she hung around the house pretty much but as time went on she wondered off some. She was spayed but still wondered. We live near some open fields and though we never saw her go there we believed she did because we found a couple of Kangaroo rats i believe they are called in our back yard recently. She would never be gone more than a couple of days, maybe 3 at the most. So when she was last seen on May 25, 2013 i didn't panic right away. As the days went on i became worried something had happened to her. We searched our neighborhood and the local animal shelters for her. It has now been 9 days since we saw her and i fear greatly this time something really did happen to her. I feel like i really have lost her and grieve greatly. I am depressed now and have trouble paying attention to the other cats. All i can think about is Ashley. I blame myself for letting her outside to begin with but i don't think she would have been happy inside after exploring the outside. I can't stop wondering what happened to her and if she suffered. I am sad and angry now and have trouble controlling my emotions especially when working and can't sleep. She was 3 yrs old.