Saturday, June 13, 2009
The Great Escape
It was a typical day around my house. I sent Carol off to work at about 8:30 or so. I had a day off, so I surfed around on the web for awhile, read a few more chapters in the book I was current working though, had a bit of lunch, and took a little nap. When I awoke, I looked around for Quint, just to see what he was up to. I hadn't seen him in awhile, but that was not unusual since he normally sleeps through the middle part of the day. It was well past that time now and I had to meet Carol at 5:00 to pick her up from work so that we could attend a charity showing of a sailing movie made by Roy Disney.
It was very quiet in the house, too quiet, as the line goes. I started looking for Quint. I looked in all the usual places, the shelf behind the couch, the bed, the couch in my office, the chairs in the dining room. He wasn't there. I made a more thorough search, Carol's closet, the linen closet in the hall, under the bed, behind the couch, in the closet in my office, and still no sign of Quint. Okay, I'm starting to panic now. Where could he be? Could he have gotten out of the house? Earlier, I had heard a commotion outside behind the house, a bit of a cat squabble. I didn't think anything of it at the time, since the cats in the back will sometimes argue with each other. Could that have been Quint fighting with the neighbor's cats? It didn't seem likely, but I went out the front door and started looking around the house and yard. I called his name as I searched the perimeter of the property. There were no cats to be found, not even the neighbor's cats who are usually hanging around the yard. Now I'm really getting worried.
I went back into the house and searched everywhere there was room for a cat to hide. It was still very quiet in the house. Quint is quite a talker, as we've discussed, so this was not a good sign. My cat is now officially missing, and I'm officially panicking. It's also getting close to the time I have to leave the house to go pick up Carol in Burbank. What to do? What to do? Okay, I decided to make one last effort to find him outside in the yard. I went back outside and down the driveway. I didn't see him. I still didn't see the other cats, either. I walked to the house in the back of the property where our neighbor and her cats live. I opened her gate and went into her back yard. I still didn't see any cats. I was calling Quint's name the whole time. As I was looking down the narrow path between my neighbor's house and the fence next door, three cats came over the fence and climbed down onto the dark path. Three cats? One of them just had to be Quint. I squeezed into the dark, narrow pathway, tripping over a flower pot and almost falling. I moved up the path toward the front of the house and out into the space between our two houses. There they were!! All three of the cats were together and moving away from me and toward the front yard. As I followed them and reached the corner of my house, they all disappeared. Now what? I headed for the front door with the hope that maybe, just maybe, Quint might have gone there to be let back into the house. He was there!! I opened the screen door and he scampered though and into the house. I started beathing normally again. I picked Quint up and tried to explain to him that he was an indoor cat now and that he didn't need to be wandering around the neighborhood. I checked him over thoroughly, looking for puncture wounds or other damage that he might have incurred in the course of his adventures, but he seemed to be just fine. I let him know how glad I was to see him again and made him promise never to scare me like that again.
I don't think he realizes how dangerous it is out there, and he'll probably go back out again, given the opportunity, so we'll have to be extra vigilant to make sure he doesn't have any more outdoor adventures.