Our four cats have spent a month confined to two pens after we moved to our new house. We had been advised to keep them inside for up to two months, and Leah’s cousin had given the encouraging opinion that once they were let out, they would disappear forever. But we couldn’t keep all four cats plus five litter boxes inside, and we couldn’t keep them confined to eight-by-eight pens forever. So on Wednesday morning, Leah let Chloe and Dusty out of their pens. And then we went into town to have our usual Wednesday huevos rancheros. We had done a test release Tuesday, and that went well enough. They stayed around, and Leah managed to catch them after a while and put them back into their pen.
On Wednesday, however, they were both gone when Leah got home from lunch. She called and called, but they didn’t show up. She went outside every half hour to check whether they had returned. Just before dark we got a text from the people who bought our old house, along with a photo of Dusty standing on the deck looking through the sliding glass door into their living room. A few minutes later she texted that she had seen Chloe, too.
We rounded up the carriers and some food and drove back to our old house. Chloe met us in the driveway and soon after Dusty came down, too.
Leah put out some food for Dusty and was able to grab him and put him into one of the carriers. Chloe played hard to get. Once she came close enough for Leah to touch her, but before Leah could put down the food tray she was holding, Chloe ran away. Chloe played tag until it was too dark to see, so we had to go back home with only one cat.
Leah was devastated, and, to tell the truth, I was worried. I thought it was the worst thing that could happen, short of having one of them run over. They had found their way back to what they thought of as their home, so why would they come back to the new house? We went to bed thinking we would try to get Chloe Thursday morning, but I was afraid that even if we did, she would go back to the old house, and keep on going back.
So, we woke up Thursday morning – or at least I woke up. Leah was already awake, having spent most of the night worrying. She went into the garage on the way to feed the other cats, and there was Chloe in the driveway, hungry and thirsty.
Chloe and Dusty have been outside all day. It’s getting dark as I write this, and Leah is outside feeding them again.
I think maybe both of them finally figured out what we hoped they would, that the new house is home. Leah hopes they don’t start going back and forth because there’s too much traffic.
Next up, Smokey and Sylvester get their turns.