I suggest you don't read this if you are just about to eat/have just eaten ....
A friend came to do something in the garden on Monday afternoon and when she had left I found a little string of brown beads on the bathroom floor, firm, dry and about the consistency of plasticine. I assumed it was something from the garden that had got caught on her clothes, but couldn't think what. Yesterday I found another one on the living room floor on my way out to the shops, and thought: "If I didn't know better I would think that was an animal dropping." (I don't keep an animal, and I hadn't seen or heard one coming in with me ... )
Yesterday morning my neighbour's mother called and asked if I had seen their cat. I told her I hadn't but if I did I would let them know. About 8 pm last night I suddenly heard the loudest of noises, not a miaow but one that could be a cat, just outside the front window, and it went on for a time, though it didn't sound like a fight. It was the loudest cat I had ever heard, so I rang the neighbour. Meanwhile the cat noises stopped. Next thing I know, my neighbour is at the door saying please could I come because her cat was my side of the door. So I go to get my keys and see a large black cat by the door!!
Cat and neighbour are now reunited to her great relief. I am a little worried, because if that cat was in here from when he disappeared on Sunday evening he must have left more behind then I have found, most probably a smelly damp patch, which needs disinfectant quick ... but there is not room to move the furniture easily and I cannot, anyway, do it myself. I have checked the most likely place he could have been (on the bed in the spare room - cats like to be comfortable!) and there is nothing there and no smell. I will ask a neighbour to come and check later: someone coming in from outside will be more sensitive to any smells.
I cannot understand how he can have been hidden for so long without making himself seen or heard, especially as I have been cooking since and I would have expected any cat to appear as soon as I started. He must have been both hungry and thirsty. Just where has he been hiding???