It happened to me...it could happen to you!
10pm...“Come on everyone, bedtime,” we call to our clowder of six. We all go to bed and everything is fine. At 5am, “Breakfast!” All the cats show up for their morning rations – all, that is, except LOUIE!! We looked Everywhere in the house (including cabinets, closets and drawers). No Louie! Maybe he is on the screened-in porch. All the cats love laying out there watching the wildlife from a safe place. All our cats are neutered, so there is no reason to roam, and they have always been Indoor-ONLY cats. Again, I find no Louie. What I DID find is a screen Pushed Out!! Our Louie was gone!! Terror ripped through our hearts and lodged in our throats. An immediate locking-off of the porch (we don’t want any other escapees).
We quickly placed a sign with his picture, the words LOST CAT and our cellphone number at the entryway to our subdivision and on many poles/trees. We called the local rescues, police department, SPCA, our Neighborhood Watch (who sent out a Broadcast email to everyone in our 500+ home complex to be on the lookout for Louie), and notified the microchip service. YES, all our cats are microchipped (thank goodness)! I put his bedding and a small litterbox with “used” litter at the front and back doors and placed “used litter clumps & poo” carefully in the gardens around the house so that he could “smell” his way home. Since he has never seen the outside of our house, how was he to know where he lives?? I left the door to the screen porch ajar, just in case he comes home on his own, and both porch lights were turned on.
As dusk fell, so did our hopes. We had been told by our nearest neighbor that a coyote ran through OUR backyard early this morning! We refused to accept That as Louie’s fate. We searched the neighborhood every half hour throughout the day, calling his name and looking in every backyard, under every bush and car, and followed-up every “sighting” that was reported. I called his name from my front and back doors every 10-15 minutes when we were not out looking, hoping he could hear me and come back. (I’m sure my neighbors loved me!) I didn’t expect him to come to my calling his name, but hoped he would know my voice, and understand where home was. It was now between him and God.
It's 10pm, once again, bedtime (like anyone can sleep). We will continue the search tomorrow at first light. I go to call him one last time tonight only to find LOUIE SITTING INSIDE THE SCREENED-PORCH at the slider door, just waiting to come in! I guess he knows that 10pm is bedtime, and he is ready! I open the door and in he walks...just like that. No scratches or bites, no fleas or ticks, no explanations! But Louie is home. I have asked him several times, but he isn’t talking. I hope he has learned his lesson. I Know I have learned Mine...the screens are repaired and VERY Secure and no one is allowed on the porch after dark! Plus, we take a fur-count every night before going to bed so we all sleep well...now.