Last Monday night, Luna was acting weird. In the past, she's come onto my bed and loudly demanded attention at bedtime, but it's usually in the winter (and I usually wind up kicking her out so her incessant meowing doesn't wake the baby). But despite it being a warm night, she was all up in my face, demanding attention. The next day, both she and Lily seemed out of sorts. I kept finding them places that I don't normally see them during the day, like they didn't quite know what they should do with themselves. And that's when I put it together that 1) I hadn't seen Sonya all day and 2) I had found the patio door open a bit last night, but didn't have time to go check the yard for escaped cats because I was putting the boys to bed.
Oh no. Not again. Since she disappeared for a month five years ago, we've been so, so careful to keep her inside. But with not only our own children but neighbor children running in and out of the house, it gets hard to be certain that every door is closed as tightly as it should be (particularly since James figured out how to open the patio door and waltz out unsupervised into the backyard. Aiee!). And now she's much older and been getting skinny lately, so she doesn't have that layer of fat to help her survive without food for a while.
Fortunately, the difference between this house and the house she escaped from before is that while that house had a heavily-trafficked alley in back, this house has a nice yard that borders about 7 other unfenced yards, creating a nice large semi-wild area for a cat to explore safely without having to wander further afield. So last night, we turned the porch lights on to try to attract her and hoped for the best. Sure enough, as I was putting Katherine to sleep, I heard meowing and ran outside to the front of the house just in time to see a cat vanish under the car. I looked underneath and lo! There was an unhappy Sonya who was thrilled to come to me and go back inside. She then spent the rest of the evening cuddling with us and remarking her territory, since she had been gone an entire day and therefore had to reestablish herself in the cat hierarchy. She also had to collect a large number of small stuffed animals to leave on the landing of the stairs for some obscure cat reason.
Oh, what a relief. She just turned 13, and I'm becoming acutely aware of the fact that she probably doesn't have too many years left. But I'm not ready to lose our Sonya yet.