Saturday, March 21, 2009

McLovin's Big Night Out

My cats are all indoor cats. We live on a posted 25 MPH street where traffic goes up to 75 MPH and it is just far too dangerous. Sonny is allowed outside on warm sunny days because he is just far too old to jump the back fence. But the rest are strictly indoor. When it is warm enough to have the windows open they have full access to the front screened in porch via my two living room windows which do not have screens. I open the windows and they can come and go as they please.

The front porch is the favorite place for Phoebe and Mac. Camille likes it but she despises the traffic noise and if she hears something loud coming she scoots back in immediately. But Phoebe and Mac I think would be happy to live out there.

Yesterday was a warm day and the windows were open and the cats were on the porch. About dusk it got chilly enough that I had to close up the house and turn on a little heat. I went on the porch without turning on the light and there were no cats there so I closed up and watched a bit of TV and then turned in early to read. I lasted not too long before I turned out the light and fell asleep.

For some reason at 2 am I woke up. I can count on Mac to always be on the bed with me. He might not be there when I get in but without fail he has always been there if I wake up in the middle of the night. He wasn't there last night. I got up for a glass of water and decided to do a head count. They were all ther but Mac was not. I decided maybe I had missed him on the porch so turned on the porch light and went to check. He wasn't there but one of the screens was completely pushed out and torn away from the frame! I panicked.

I put on my shoes and at 2 am went out in the front yard calling him. This is a cat who has never been outside since he was rescued. This is a cat who loves sleeping on his back in the middle of the bed. This is a cat whose favorite activity is to take his play mousies into the kitchen (because the floor is bare vinyl) and chasing them around for hours. This is a cat who is entirely happy living inside. I knew he did not have the street smarts to be outside on his own and I was scared.

From the front I made my way around to the side yard. Calling him I heard a far away meow. It didn't sound like him but it was a meow in response to my calls so I kept walking toward it. My journey took me back around the house into the gate and into the backyard. I kept following it and calling and walking up into the far backyard and all the way to the back fence. To my dismay the meow I heard was coming from far outside the back fence.

I managed to open the back gate which was only recently cleared of ivy and walked into the trolly track easement, still following the weak meow. I know the voice of each of my cats. They each have a very distinct voice. But this was not a voice I recognized. This was a weak and tiny voice. But I kept calling and shining my flashlight and eventually I heard something moving through the leaves and underbrush. I called and called and finally MAC came out of the woods! I grabbed him which he hates and so he struggled with me as I found my way back to the gate and then into the backyard and down to the house.

I inspected him thoroughly and he had no injuries and not so much as a burr on him. He ate a little bit and while I tried to wind down he got in the middle of the bed and fell asleep.

All day I've reminded him of how lucky he and the others are to have such a good home and such a good Mommy who would get up and look for him in the middle of the night. But I am the one who is lucky.

Today I went to Home Depot and got a huge roll of screen and tomorrow I will fix the damaged area and do regular patrols for anything that needs to be replaced. Until that happens the porch is a restricted area!

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