Oliver Joins the CIA


The day after Easter, I was still sick, even though I was basically out of commission for the entire weekend.  But, because when it rains, it really pours, fate wasn’t done with me yet.

I went to work Monday, not realizing that at some point in my misery over the weekend or Monday morning, I had gone out the back door and apparently not locked it when I came back in.  I don’t use that door very frequently, and I actually have no recollection of when I had even gone outside.  Because, well, sick…  Blame the illness.  Or the cold medicine…

At any rate, when I got home after work, still feeling miserable and just wanting to crawl back into bed, only two cats greeted me for dinner.  There was a big, orange tabby who was nowhere to be found.  I realized what had happened as soon as I saw the back door, which was not quite all the way closed.  Oliver had joined the CIA and was now out on a secret mission.  Ugh…

He looks like he wouldn’t be any trouble at all.

I live in a neighborhood that is quite woody.  I have my own animal kingdom just steps from the back door.  Deer nap in my yard, and raccoons hang out with regularity.  Even worse, I have seen coyotes in my yard, and I live half a block from the beginning of a park which has infrequent cougar sightings.

A trip around the house shaking the food bag was to no avail.  Oliver was gone.  He had gone deep undercover.  He has snuck out a few times before but I had always managed to see him leave, and once he got out, it was always enough to just reprimand him and he would come quickly slinking back to the open door.  But I had no idea where he had gotten to!

I hoped he would come back that evening, but no dice. I even locked the other two away and left the back door open so he could come back in the way he left.  Nope.  Whatever his secret mission was, it was taking awhile.  So imagine me, still sick, and now worried sick, wandering around the neighborhood in the middle of the night looking for eye shine and quietly shaking the food bag.  Oy.  I got very little sleep that night.  My Fitbit says I lay still for about 4 hours, but I am quite positive I was awake for most of that.  In fact, the only reason that I knew I slept at all was because I had a couple of nightmares.

The next day the search was equally fruitless.  I worked from home, working on emails and phone calls and roaming the neighborhood periodically to find my jerk of a cat.  My mom came over during the day to help look, and my girlfriend helped in the evening.  I talked to a lot of my neighbors.  But no sign of Oliver.  The only good news was that I hadn’t found any piles of orange cat fur and bones…  I was exhausted…

I finally lay down at 10 that night, planning for another middle of the night neighborhood walk.  I had scoured all the internet advice for lost indoor cats.  His litter was outside.  Smelly, heated up tuna was trying to tempt him home.  And, one site had recommended leaving the garage door open six inches, in case my little renegade tried that avenue…  I was pretty pessimistic, I admit.

About 11:30 that night, I heard some rustling around in the garage.  I wasn’t sure what had come in.  A cat, or one of the many raccoons?  I got up and opened the door to the garage, and saw a streak run towards me!  I had just enough time to figure out that the streak was orange before he was upon me like a bolt of lightning into the house.  Apparently he had enough of his secret outdoor mission.

He was dirty, and had sticky sap all over his paws, but was otherwise none the worse for the wear.  After washing him off and pulling off half of his paw fur in the process of trying to get the sap off (he did not like that ONE BIT but it serves him right!), I was finally able to get some sleep…

Who could resist that face?

Hopefully Oliver has had enough of these outdoor excursions, and won’t try to escape again soon.  I don’t think my poor body could take it…

 

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