I opened up the garage door, my normal routine, to greet the little ones' school buses in the afternoon. I intended to keep an eye on the cat, who now has access to the garage via this cute little pet door that John already installed.
Then the phone rang. It was my friend Stephanie calling from Germany. It was a bad connection so she had to call back. I got distracted. Then Sean-Peter got off the bus and rightfully asked, "Where's duh cat?" Um, good question. Ooh, I know! he's just gone on a "Long Explore"! I'm sure he'll be back soon.
But he wasn't, and no one was much in the mood for Winnie the Pooh. Conner asked where the cat was the minute he walked in the door. "Why did you let the cat out?!" I was seriously wondering the same thing myself.
So we were all bummed, though Olivia told me she forgave me. I asked Conner if he totally hated me, and he said, "Well, I'm not really liking you right now as much as I usually do."
At least he said he usually likes me.
John and Conner rode around the neighborhood for at least an hour, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. They made signs that Conner and his friend Mitch distributed to some neighbors and posted up around the neighborhood, in the nearby park. They talked to people who happened to be out. No luck.
The thing is, John and I had just been remarking the night before about how at home the cat totally was with us, a mere 24 hours into his stay.I mean, really. Have you ever seen the like? He either really likes us, or he is really laid-back and could make himself just as at home anywhere. We were betting on the latter.
Really, it's been too soon for The Huckster to know his home, and I was sure I had lost our brand-new cat. I was sure he had sauntered into someone else's garage and made friends with whoever happened to be there, this cat so ready to chill and hang out with whoever's around.
Then, just as it was getting dark, with a little mew to hearken his arrival, in he saunters to our still-open garage, just like that. The little rascal was probably napping in the bushes the whole time.
Needless to say, I was relieved. Olivia's face lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw him, and Sean-Peter just tilted his head back and started laughing. And laughing and laughing. And maybe Conner likes me as much as he usually does?
I simply exclaimed, "He does know that we are his new home!" I was genuinely surprised. And did I mention relieved? Olivia's grin just beamed brighter. And Sean-Peter leaned back and chortled some more.
This morning he starting mewing plaintively, desperate to join me outside where I was hanging clothes out to dry. I wish I could say I was hang-drying clothes to be eco-friendly, or to save money. But really it's just because our dryer is out of commission so I didn't have a choice.
And I didn't let the cat out, either. Never mind that it's a beautiful day. The next time this guy gets let outside it won't be by my hand.