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Escape artist

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I unwittingly created a habit when we first got the new feline. In trying to get him comfortable with the formidable Nick Furry – well, actually, the other way around – I gave Loki and Nick treats one morning. They were both very pleased, of course.

And the next morning? They both came running down the stairs to sit at my feet. My confused feet. What? What do you want? And then the sleep-hazed lightbulb finally came on. Ah! They want treats, don’t they?

So my still-sleepy hand reached into the bag and gave them some.

And my fate was sealed.

Loki practically trips me as I walk downstairs. (In fact, if I have to get up to use the bathroom anytime after 3 a.m., he assumes I’m getting up to give him treats and meows plaintively at me.) Nick lies in wait on the stairs themselves and quickly positions himself by the cupboard. Their new morning routine.

Except for Saturday morning. Nick came bounding into the kitchen, a beat or two behind his normal pace. Loki, though, was nowhere.

Uh-oh.

Last time this happened he’d gotten trapped in the garage. So that was the first place I looked. Then I looked in all the closets. I opened every closed door I came across. I even checked in the washer, dryer and, crazy I realize, the refrigerator. I finally opened the outside doors and called out to him.

Nooooooo.

Scott then asks, “Do you need help?” YES, OF COURSE I NEED HELP!!! My cat is gone. He actually had the sense not to use his usual line when something is lost, “It’s somewhere in the house.” No, I knew in my gut that he wasn’t anywhere in the house.

Thus started a day of searching. Posting flyers on telephone polls. Sharing on Facebook. Asking advice of my Crash’s Landing cat people.

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We’d only had him for just over two months. The adorable fluffy mini bobcat stole my heart the very moment I met him. I couldn’t believe that we’d lost him. (To be clear, I’d be this upset if I lost ANY of my animals.) By the afternoon I felt defeated and sad. Even though many people had told me stories of how cats got out and came back just fine days later. I didn’t want to wait days. (Who does, right?) I wanted him back now.

Dev and I did one last circuit of the area in the early evening, shaking treat bags with gusto. Dev called out over and over for Loki. Nothing.

So I grabbed all three of our cat carries, some towels and clothing with our scent on them, and a big ol’ can of tuna and created three shelters for him. One out front. One in the garage. One in the backyard.

Dev was helping me with the carrier out back and asked for duct tape. When I was in the garage looking for it, Dev came running down the stairs, “Mom, I heard a cat meowing!” And then he and I pelted back up them and ran to the fence to check the neighbor’s yard. We called out his name and indeed heard a little meow in response.

Two yards over – run! (Scott will share with anyone who asks how Dev and I kept pushing the gate even though there was a brick on the other side.) I didn’t even put on my shoes. Just ran. When we rounded the corner, we saw him in the backyard. We must have looked like crazy people from his vantage point – and we were heading right for him. So he did what any normal cat would do: he started running away.

We both put on the brakes and he did likewise. Then Dev scooped him up and we walked back home. With peps in our steps. So, so relieved. To have his purring, biscuit-making, sweet little self back in our home.

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