Thursday evening, after I got home from work, I prepared to cook pork chops on the grill. At our house, grilling has become such a chore because every time I go through the door Chris is right there trying to get out. Unfortunately, we had the meat since the weekend and it needed to be cooked before it went bad.
Before I even got close to the back door, Chris had suspected I was going outside and “followed” me from the front. I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle and let Chris out. I figured he wouldn’t annoy me about going out if he was out. Once out, he immediately started eating grass while I turned the grill on. I watched for a couple of minutes while Puck and Frankie became very jealous of what was going on. Frankie was standing on the little table near the grill when Puck jumped up alongside him and pushed him over with his body so he could see better what was going on.
I felt bad for the other two cats but, believe it or not, Chris has become the least bad cat when it comes to bringing him back inside. Puck will stay close but sprint away when I try to get him. Frankie, we learned from his first and last time outside, that he is eager to explore beyond our imaginary boundaries (see here). He went through the fence on the neighboring property and I thought I was going to lose him.
I brought Chris inside so Puck and Frankie wouldn’t feel deprived and proceeded to go in and out while I cooked our dinner. When it was just about ready I went inside, grabbed a plate and then went out the door to shut the grill off and bring our dinner inside.
Just then Frankie slipped past me and out the door. I put the plate down and tried to get him but he moved away from me. I didn’t have my phone on me so I had to decide to pursue him or let Rose know what happened so she could help. I didn’t want to burden her, because she stayed home sick with bronchitis that day, but I decided I would need help, so I quickly yelled through the back door and then went back out to try to catch Frankie.
He was still close when I saw him run at full speed for the fence and then walk through it. He then walked back through it and then again, as if he was taunting me. I opened the gate that separates the back yard from the front yard. Fortunately it was unlocked, unlike the last time he did this. It was then a long walk to the end of the fence and then back again on the other side. I found him but he was not letting me get close and wound up back on our side of the fence and I had to make the long walk back around the fence. He then went back through the fence to the other property and I could see he was very interested in the water. I worried he might end up in the water so I quickly went around the fence again.
By the time I got back around he was on top of the fence and jumped back to our yard, this time in the front yard. I went back around again and Frankie went back through the fence and then again to our back yard. At this point I felt like a sheep herder and eventually got him close to our back door. I took that opportunity to shut the grill off and save our dinner.
Frankie then got past me again and crossed over into the other property. Again, back around only to find him on top of the fence again. He jumped back down to the front yard and I went around to catch him before he started wandering the neighborhood. I tried to corner Frankie but he slipped past me to the front yard where he became interested in the bottom of a truck. I tried to coax him out but he just went to the other side. Eventually he came out and ended up close to our front door. I took that opportunity to knock and say “Hey, I need help!”
Frankie then started to head the other way toward the marina. I tried to get around him to keep him on our property. I did not want him to go on the marina property and I especially wanted to keep him away from the busy road just past the marina. Fortunately he turned back just in time. He then headed south again, past our front door as Rose was coming out to help.
He quickly ran to the edge of our property and onto the next. He seemed to be oblivious to us as many small birds grabbed his attention. We tried a couple of times to grab him while he was distracted but came up empty-handed. We might have tried harder but if we missed and scared him there would be no hope.
He ran into the next yard and then across the street. It was starting to get dark and I was afraid we were going to lose him. He crossed the street again and ran into the next yard. He kept getting farther from home. I wondered at that point how far a cat’s territory stretches. I was hoping we were at the edge. He eventually ended up close to a house and I was hoping to corner him there. I tried to get him but he ran the other way, right into Rose’s hands, to end his big adventure.
Fortunately Rose was there to help or I don’t know what would have happened. I do know that Frankie will not be going out again any time soon.