I don't post the unhappy stories, unless they have a happy ending. Who needs it? So when I figured that Junior had indeed gone out through the cat door and was who knows where, only told a couple of trusted friends. We had relaxed security, thinking that noooo, he couldn't use the Cat Door...though we really knew better. Let our guard down. Others were bummed having the cat door in-only...Mistakes were made, as they say.
I had been watching to see if he re-appeared at his former colony. It has happened. It's just a half-mile from out house. But hadn't seen him there.
So...Imagine my joy, when!!
I was coming home from feeding my colonies, a week after he'd left, and saw a small black cat on the sidewalk on McBryde, a busy street, just below Arlington, another busy street. It was almost dark; five more minutes and I couldn't have seen him. Wheeled around at the corner of A and B streets, and parked where I'd seen him. Got out of the car. No Junior. Called.....and then there he was, at my feet. WHAT WERE THE ODDS?? The timing, the fact that he was out, not hidden, the fact that he came when I called...and that he let me pick him up (on the second try) and get him into a carrier. Million to one, that's what. Never happens. So he's home now...we're still in a happy daze. Little rascal!
But wait there's more. Last night I was relaxing, round about midnight, and saw Da, Jules, from the new family, go to the screen door onto the deck and vanish. I felt the screen and it seemed to be intact. Did not compute. Discovered a break at the other end of it. Had not seen Junior in a while; had let him out of the cage after his first night home.
Felt like a real jerk. got the flashlight; he could still be nearby.
Screens do not provide adequate security. I had a terrified cat bust through a glass window once. Screens can be easily gotten through by a determined or frightened cat..
Went out onto the deck, and saw him on the roof of the big cage below! Just sitting there. YES! Now to get him without spooking him...
Got some canned food and mackerel and went down. There is a tall cat tree just under where he was, and I hoped he'd jump down onto it. The roof of the tree was slanted though, and the food wouldn't sit on it...so into the garage for the ladder. When I came back, he was in the tree house where I'd left the food. Yes!
I then put the food on a lower level of the tree, and he came after it. I had brought a carrier, tho the distance from the tree to the front door was only a few feet. A cat who does not want to be held is not easy to hold.
Got him into the carrier, thence into the house. The gods have been smiling. We are grateful.
Junior Mance is still edgy, but starting to relax more minute to minute.
No more drama for a while I hope. Not sure when I'l start letting him go in and out of doors. My rule is that I need to be able to pick him up if he's out and I need to get him in. I could probably do that now, but....want to get to know him better before he gets total freedom. He's still not sure of things here.