So there I was, deflated and disappointed, driving off down the road with some stranger's lost cat howling in the kennel my car (in between bites of the treats I'd brought for Ralph), tearfully breaking the sad news to my mom. On the way to the shelter, where I was taking not-Ralph, because what else was I going to do? (Note: I wouldn't have been able to do the shelter drop-off had I not already visited the shelter earlier in the day in search of Ralph and been informed that they pretty much never euthanize, unless the cat is a beast who eats someone's face or something. And like my mom said, not-Ralph's mommy is probably out there looking for him, and that's where he'll have the best chance of a happy reunion.) So anyway. Boo hoo.
And for the record, yes, I did think about whether the old man was luring me to his house to beat me over the head and lock me in his garage where I'd die a slow painful death. As I drove there, I was totally thinking of who could play me in the Criminal Minds episode, because I was trying to keep my mind occupied on something other than Ralph because I knew I was getting my hopes up way too high. Anyway, I called J as I pulled up to the old man's house, and he called me three minutes later to make sure I wasn't beaten/locked up/dead. If I didn't answer, he was calling the cops. Just FYI, so you know I'm not a dummy.
I do have to say, if you ever lose your pet, try FindToto.com. Though the 500+ calls they made for us have yet to reunite us with Ralph, it's a genius service and has brought us some promising leads. And I read once in UsWeekly that it helped Sandra Bullock and Jesse James find their dog, which, not going to lie, was totally what made me call. Because if UsWeekly says it, it's the WORD.