Yesterday evening I stapled 25 feet of chickenwire to the outside rails of our deck, to create an outdoor area for our cats. I inadvertently left a basement door open as I put away the ladder and tools, a fact i discovered as I prepared for bed a few hours later. One of our cats, an eleven-year old male who survived the transition from outdoor alpha male to indoor pillow critter after a full year of hiding in a closet, made his escape.

I slept in the living room on the couch last night so I could hear noises by the doors more clearly, and at 2 am, I was awakened by our other cat, Chloe, puking by the door. Suspecting that this was some sort of cat communication, I rose and looked out the door to the deck, where Simon sat patiently.

This afternoon, as I vacuumed the basement, Viv came downstairs to tell me she’d found the porch gate knocked askew and no sign of Simon. I’m considering a leash for the beast.