Last night, I was taking care of some business before bed in “The Reading Room” (I was also reading), and I thought Tara was getting ready to leave to be at the hospital about 11:00 for her midnight shift, when she started pounding on the door. As she was getting ready to go out the front door, the cat – who moments before had been nowhere to be seen, and has shown no prior interest, shot out the front door.
Tara was able to watch him go into the bushes to the left of the door, but lost track of him while she went to get me. Over the next 30 or so minutes ago, I slowly equipped myself with a shirt, sandals and a flashlight – which needed new batteries – and we kept looking and getting more and more frantic.
Sam is a dark gray cat, and we don’t live in a brightly lit neighborhood (it is North County Inland, so no neighborhood has a lot of street lighting) so it was a bit hard to find.
At one point, I got the dog out of his kennel and put him on his harness and asked him to “Find Sammy” – which often works in the house. But outside, at night, he just wanted to sniff all of the other smells, and leave a few of his own.
About 10:30 one of the teenage daughter’s of our next door neighbor came home with her friend (I’m guessing really boyfriend), so we finally had four of us looking. Shortly the neighbor’s friend spotted him one yard past their yard and Tara and I tried to approach him from two sides, but he slipped past me back in the direction of the house. After a bit more herding, he headed into the house and fortunately not back out through the wide open garage.
In the house I managed to catch him and try to let him know that he wasn’t in trouble (after all, he’d had two of his people practically in tears as we feared we’d lost him). Tara came in and – in addition to being a bit worried that I’d picked up the 17 pound cat less than a week after abdominal surgery – noticed that Sam was dirty and wet. So she got out a towel and we dried him off a bit. She then put the towel on her side of the bed (as much to protect the bed as anything).
It was now nearly an hour after I’d planed on going to bed, and more than that since I probably should have. But, I was keyed up so I watched the news for a while, and was shortly joined by the cat who looked at the towel and acted like it had been put there just for him, and proceeded to sit there and finish cleaning himself – but otherwise acted like nothing bad had happened all night.
I did sleep in this morning, so drove into work rather than taking the bus. I also made sure the cat wasn’t trying to sneak out as I was leaving. Of course having to step over the dog who I’d decided could stay out of his kennel until Tara got home probably helped.