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As a mystery writer, I’ve got to say that I always love a mystery. One of the biggest mysteries my family ever experienced was where our cat Garfield disappeared to every so often.

Garfield usually spent his days in his favorite perch by the front window but every so often, however, Garfield would simply vanish, often for up to a week at a time. We tried to find out where he went but attempting to follow him was like attempting to follow a snowflake and see where it landed. We tried to keep him indoors but that was an impossible task. Garfield dashed between legs, snuck out window cracks and darted through the smallest of gaps in open doors. He loved the outdoors because Garfield loved people.

Garfield enjoyed nothing more than being surrounded by admirers and although our family definitely admired him, apparently we weren’t enough. He needed to be out and about getting pats on the head, strokes along his extra long orange and white tail and rubs on his neck from neighbors, the mailman and anyone else in his orbit. Garfield never met a stranger and he seemed to be blessed with an abundance of good luck.

Until his luck ran out.

The details are still sketchy but I’ll never forget when our neighbor came over to tell me that an orange cat had been hit by a car and she thought it might be Garfield. With a heavy heart, my husband went over to investigate. Sadly, it was Garfield and he was gone. Our adventurer, people-pleasing, Mr. Popular cat was gone forever.

We buried Garfield in the backyard and planted a tiger lily on top of his grave. Although that was three years ago, we still miss our people-pleasing cat and I suspect we always will. We never solved the mystery of where Garfield wandered when he wasn't home but it no longer matters. What mattered was that he always came back until the one last time when he couldn't.

Marlo Hollinger
NORTH MANKATO, MN

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