The Great Cat Escape

Posted on January 14, 2009. Filed under: cats |

The two wanderers/Photo by Rhonda Lane

The two adventurers/Photo by Rhonda Lane

This morning, we’re still reeling. Last night, about 11 pm, our two male house cats slipped out of the house to go walkabout.

Ever since we updated the attic insulation, we’ve been a bit warm, especially after exertion. DH Rod sat down at the dining room chair and slid open the patio door.

What he didn’t realize was that our friend who cleans had left the screen open. I hadn’t realized it, either.

I was in another room preparing Sam’s liquid heart meds for his nightly dose. I heard  Rod call in even but tense tones, “Come get Sam and Amber. Now.”

I left the kitchen to pick up Sam, who had a cold wet belly. That could only mean one thing — he’d been outside in the snow.

I carried Sam with his wet, cold belly to our bedroom and put him on the bed. We live on a busy road. Late night, busy road. Bitterly cold winter night at 22 degrees F. And I have heard coyotes out there. I was so glad to see him that I put him — wet belly and all — on the bed. And closed the door.

I managed to hold the panic reflex at bay. Back out in the living room, Amber was in up in the top of the kitty tree. I tried to move her, but she wouldn’t budge.

That’s when my husband came back inside with Max.

Rod’s story came out through tense, breathless sentences. While I had been in the kitchen, he’d been cooling off in front of the open slider door. He happened to look down to see Amber sticking her head out through the gap. Gee, her head sure went out far.

Our good girl Amber/Photo by Rhonda or Rod Lane

Our good girl Amber/Photo by Rhonda or Rod Lane

That’s when he realized that the door was open and then wondered where the other two were.

Out in the darkness, he saw Sam still on the patio but cowering under a table.

Max however, had disappeared into the night. That’s when DH called me to come get Sam and Amber.

Rod went outside and worked hard to stifle the rising panic. He called Max with as cheery a voice as he could muster. He had expected Max to have headed for the woods.

Soon, the orange cat came bounding back to the patio. But instead of from the woods, though, he came from the other side of the house, from behind the garage as if he were on his way to the busy state highway that serves as the town’s commercial strip, about the length of a football field from our hose.

We’re very glad that it had been so cold outside that Max wanted to hurry back inside.

We’re also very glad that Sam cowered under the patio table.

And we’re extra glad that Amber ratted them out and then refused to make her own escape.

We’re very thankful.


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5 Responses to “The Great Cat Escape”

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I’m glad your cats are safe at home. That’s scary, esp. when you know there are coyotes on the prowl outside.

Yikes! We lost a cat to coyotes a few years ago. You were very lucky.

Yeah, thank goodness the boys weren’t out for long. We live near a field and trees, so there’s no telling what ambles through our yard after dark. We’ve had racoons, possums, skunks, a pheasant. I hadn’t heard the coyotes for a long time, but that was the first thing I thought of.

How terrifying!!! I’m not sure I could have kept the panic reflex at bay the way you did. Though, I suppose when in the moment, I might have forced myself to focus on getting them in safely… then fallen apart. Wow. I’m so happy they’re all safe and warm at home now. Your DH did a great job putting that cheerful tone into his voice to call Max. Whew. What relief.


DH was as intent on preventing my panic as he was on catching the cats. I’m high-strung. I’ve panicked before with loose cats and made the situation worse. (The cat in question then was soon recovered.) But they hear me freak and then they hide because — in their logic — if I’m upset, it must be awful. We didn’t want that.

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