We decided early this morning to go on a day trip - a photography jaunt to the St. Francisville area. The weather is perfect, and everything is blooming. Jerry got everything squared away in the barn while I packed up my camera and the technological gadgets that we can't function without.
We did a last minute walk-through the barn area to be sure everything was secure - gates closed, stall doors bolted, and tack room locked. Everything was done and we were ready to get in the car. There was just one more thing - be sure that Teche, the resident house cat, was on the kitchen side of the french doors where he has access to his litter box.
I went through the usual routine - calling Teche while shaking his bag of treats. That usually brings him ambling into the kitchen. He's too dignified to come racing into the kitchen like he's desperate for treats. But today he didn't come at all. Where was the darn cat? He had been in the bedroom with me a few minutes before.
We did a full-fledged house search, checking all Teche's favorite hiding places - with no success. Jerry remembered that he had seen the back door ajar earlier - this must have been the means of Teche's escape. It's a pity we don't have any children around here to blame things on.
Actually, the fault lies with the small cable that goes through the back door. One end is connected to the rabbit ears on the TV. The other end is connected to something outside - I don't know what. This less-than-satisfactory rigging is so that we can watch the local TV channels when the weather is bad and the satellite signal is not available. The cable's presence means that the door doesn't always close like it should. It needs a good slam, but doesn't always get it.
This whole tale has a deja vu quality about it. Last November Teche made an exit under these same conditions. When we went to bed that night, we noticed that he was not snoozing in his favorite living room chair - but we assumed he was in one of his hideouts - under the upstairs bed or in my sewing closet.
When we got up the next morning and he wasn't waiting for us at the french doors, we knew something was wrong. We searched the house, combed the neighborhood, put out an APB to friends and family. We even posted Teche's mug shot on Facebook.
At about dark that evening when the frantic searching had exhausted us, that rascal of a cat showed up at the same door where he made his exit. He strolled in and looked at us as if to say, "What? Is something wrong?"
Needless to say, we've cancelled the photography jaunt. Neither of us would enjoy it for wondering where Teche is and when he's going to come home. I hope this little adventure of his turns out as happily as the last one did. Jerry has removed the cable so now the door is closing like it should - after the cat's gone.
3 hours later . . .
Teche is stretched out on the floor at my feet. So far I have resisted the urge to commit catacide. It wasn't long after I posted the tale above - in fact, I was still at the computer - when Teche strolled into the room. Is he not the coolest of cats? The rascal had been in the house the entire time that we thought he was outside.
But where exactly was he? We had searched every nook and cranny in the house - or so we thought. Wherever he was, he laid low and ignored our calls. He even ignored the rustling of the treat bag. By seven o'clock he will be on the arm of my recliner, watching TV with us as if this has been an ordinary day at Bywater Farm - as if he didn't derail our photography trip.