We discovered right away that Chris was not going to be content as an indoor cat. Not long after we brought him home, I opened the front door to come in and he raced onto the third floor breezeway. I wasn’t concerned at first because I assumed he was unfamiliar with stairs and his hesitation to go down confirmed that…or so I thought.
As soon as I tried to pick him up, he shot down the stairs, barely pausing on the second floor before racing to the ground. I set the groceries I was carrying in front of the door and gave chase. When I got to him investigating what was in the bushes, he saw me and ran off to the side of the building.
I was eventually able to catch him and struggled to carry him back upstairs. He was fine until I got halfway up the stairs and then he was determined to jump free.
We had a small patio that I had rigged with screening so the cats would not be able to jump down. It was a fairly long way down and I did not want any of them to get hurt. I also did not want to lose any of them. Shortly after Chris’s first foray outside, he was on the patio one morning while Rose and I were getting ready for work. Rose heard a cat crying outside in the distance and thought a cat was in distress. It was too far away to be any of our cats so I went outside to have a look.
When I got downstairs I saw a gold cat crying to get inside the apartment two floors below. There was a bowl of water next to him so obviously this cat belonged there, but I was amazed at how much he looked like Chris. As I got closer, I realized that it was Chris. How did he get outside and why was he desperate to get into the wrong apartment?
Later that day Rose talked to the woman who lived on the first floor and the pieces of the puzzle started to come together. I can only think of one way he could have escaped the patio. He must have squeezed his body, like a cockroach, through the impossibly small opening under the railing and then jumped to the ground. I only know this was possible because I saw him squeeze under our dresser the first day we got him. We had to pull a drawer out to get him out.
Once on the ground, and probably after a thorough investigation of the area, he must have assumed his home was on the first floor so he cried to come in. The women living there opened the door and Chris ran in like he owned the place. She said he ran around the living room in apparent distress. He was probably wondering how we changed the furniture so quick.
She opened a can of tuna for him, hoping that would calm him down, but he wasn’t interested. Eventually she put him outside with a bowl of water. That is where I found him.
He has since turned out to be a great lover of the outdoors which is a shame because he is an inside only cat. Occasionally he gets out but those are stories for another time.