Bob Tales: Land of the Woody Warbles is based on a true story. One must ask, how could this story be true? While most of the characters are the creation of my wife's literary imagination, the premise of the story really happened. Let me tell you how.
The garbaggy place she talks about, a solid waste transfer station my company owned, was a haven for stray cats. There was one cat that was loved and cared for by all our employees. Bob, a black Manx cat which has a small stub for a tail, was named for his unique feature. Very docile, never wanting to fight with the other cats, Bob preferred hanging out in the office where he became the company mascot.
One day, I noticed Bob was looking sick and took him to our local vet. After getting him checked out, we decided to bring him home and make him part of the family. We already had two big dogs, which Bob was not a fan of, and several other cats who somehow thought our house was a bed and breakfast.
One weekend later, we needed to leave town. When we came back home, Bob was gone, nowhere to be found. We placed pictures and flyers all over our neighborhood. My wife was devastated, as she had fallen in love with this cat. Three weeks later, she received a text that said, “Are you Bob's mom?” Bob was at a house four miles away, and these nice people had seen our flyer.
We were so happy to have him back! A couple of weeks went by, and he disappeared again. This time, it was only a few days, and we got the call again, from the same house four miles away! Somehow this cat had a navigational beacon to that house. This happened not twice, but five times, all to the same house! We asked the nice people if they wanted a cat, but they did not. Why did he keep leaving? Was it our dogs? It only happened when we left town for the weekend. My best friend jokingly told us to feed him tuna fish, and that did the trick. Bob never left again.
My wife would always wonder, what did he experience during his trip to that house four miles away? He had crossed a highway, walked around a lake, and travelled through the woods. What dangers did he face? He was not a fighter. How could he have done it five times and survived? Did he have any help along the way? It is these thoughts that inspired this story.
Written by Sam Sullivan