I've been gone for a week, with neighbors and cat sitters coming in to feed the cats breakfast and dinner. This led me to wonder if the tabbies would forget about their annoying habit of waking me up at 5 a.m. for breakfast and an early outing.
When I feed the three cats, I still look out the back door to the foot of the stairs where Garibaldi, the tough orange tabby, used to wait for his handouts. He disappeared early in the summer, and I assumed he'd either fallen victim to a coyote or had been captured, neutered, and put up for adoption by a neighbor.
Last night, when I got in from the trip, there was a beautiful orange tabby waiting in Garibaldi's spot at the bottom of the stairs. This cat behaved exactly like Garibaldi, but was so much sleeker and cleaner I can't believe it was the same cat. He got his handout, gobbled it down, and vanished into the night.