When I first met Mac and Barry, they greeted Chaz and me at his front door, their little noses sniffing at the outdoors. When they moved here with Chaz, we had discussed letting them be outdoor cats, and quickly decided against it. Mac disagreed with this choice. He would try to get outside, and on occasion succeeded, but he usually ran for the closest clump of grass and starting eating. I got him a harness, and about once a week I take him outside for a few minutes and let him explore the back yard. He seemed to enjoy this.
I went to visit my mother at the beginning of October, and when I came back home Mac had managed to lose his collar. It was no big deal, since he's an indoor cat. We finally found where it had ended up (on the floor in Chaz's study, mixed in with some other stuff), and its safety feature had worked but it was no unusable. Oh, well, we though, he's an indoor cat.
A week ago on Thursday, when we had our regular group of friends over for dinner, I didn't see Mac inside right after the gang had moved over to the clubhouse. No problem, I thought. He'd been by himself in the bedroom, so he was probably just in one of his nooks. Nope. When I went back to the house to feed the boys, there was only Barry. I called in the house, but no Mac. Chaz went out the front door and called, but I went out the back door and called. A little gray furry shape raced out of the darkness to me, and I picked him up and brought him inside. Crisis averted, I thought.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and again no Mac once everyone (only about six of us) had gone over to the clubhouse. No one saw him go out, just like last week. Still, it was soon obvious he had gone out, and he wasn't in the back yard (or at least he wasn't coming when called). We had dinner (which was astounding delicious. Chaz really has figured out American Thanksgiving dinner.), and I worried, since we were eating at 6:00 and the boys' dinnertime is 8:50. At about 7:00, though, I went outside to check, and mentioned loudly that it was treat time (Mac's cue that it's time for our outdoor time to end), and once again a gray furry shape raced out of the darkness. I picked him up, and he leaped out of my arms to get inside and have his treat.
I'm pleased that he's coming back, and that he seems to be having fun, but I really don't want him to go outside on his own. He's a smart cat, and still very agile, but he's also ten years old. We'll have a new collar soon, so his tags will jingle, and dinner guests need to wait until I've put Mac in our bedroom before they head across to the clubhouse. I want Mac to enjoy his life, but I really don't want him outside. He's been less purry to me today, and is sleeping very deeply, so I think he had an exciting time yesterday. I hope he treasures the memories, because I really don't want him to do it again. (Mac disagrees.)