My dear, dear friend Liz is here for a few days, a mid-way stop on her trip from the Bay Area to Seattle and back.
I adore Liz, and I love having her here. Her energy is positive, her wisdom seems boundless, and she has a killer sense of humor. Best of all, she understands the need for alone-time.
Yesterday, after I returned from an amazing session with my hypno-therapist (another story here), I suggested that we make a quick run to New Seasons (a locally-owned and totally righteous supermarket) so I could pick up a journal and a few other odds and ends.
When we came back, Liz made a phone call, and I sat down at the dining room table with the newest Willamette Week and a bowl of watermelon. For some reason, I looked over my shoulder and saw that the sliding door out to the back deck was open - and that the screen door, which should have been closed tight, was also open. "Damn!", I thought. "Sam opened the door and escaped again."
So I went outside, called his name, and was rewarded with a loud 'meow' in response. There he was, crouched down next to the tall grass and the little pond, chowing down on greens. I grabbed a bit of grass and lured him over to me, picked him up (no mean feat, since he weighs about 22 pounds these days) and lugged him up two flights of steps from the lower deck into the house. Then I went out to try and find Caruso. No luck. Liz joined me, and we scoured the back yard, calling his name, did the same in the front yard, tried again the in the back yard, and finally gave up.
It was time for my daily siesta, so I rested for a couple of hours, woke worrying about Caruso (temps were in the mid-80's, he's an elderly kitty who's in the first stages of kidney failure) being outside for so long, and went back out to look for him again. I was in the lower part of the yard, near the raspberries, when I heard a rustling above me. I looked up to see a bird hopping away from something, and realized there was a furry, gray lump crouched nearby, watching the bird intently - Caruso! So I climbed up the stone steps to where he was hiding and grabbed him.
It was easier to carry him back up and into the house, skinny old guy that he is, and I deposited him on the floor in the sunroom with an enormous sigh of relief.
Here's the thing. When we began keeping Sam in the house at night, in an attempt to decrease the number of fight-related injuries he was sustaining on a regular basis, our vet told us that he'd adjust to being an indoor cat in "oh, a month or so". It was to laugh.
We had that conversation in 2004. We are now half-way through 2008, and Sam still bolts whenever he gets the chance. Part of me feels badly that he's on permanent house arrest. But realistically, I know it's better for him (and MUCH better for the birds that come to our feeders) if he stays indoors. I remind him about those issues all the time. For some reason, he ignores me, despite my usually-effective powers of persuasion.
This morning, both guys are inside, having been given their usual morning treats, and settled down for a day of napping. With luck, they'll stay inside.