Early this morning, I was wakened by that awful sound that cats make when their territory is threatened. Little Amelia was looking out the window, yarling at something outside. Simple solution, right? Shut the window. Offer kitty breakfast. But no.

Only Amelia joined me in the kitchen. She sat stock-still by the door, staring at something outside. I’ve seen little cats out there, possums, skunks, mice and chipmunks, so I wasn’t too concerned. Then I turned on the backyard light….

It was Clancy. Looking lost and bewildered, searching for a way back in. Acting calmer than I felt, I went out and spoke soothingly to him; showed him the open door. Perhaps he remembered when he’d gotten out down at the River house, because he came straight back in.

But no Moe. I found him walking around the fenced backyard, trying to get back in through the window I’d shut, over the screen that lay on the ground. I went to get him, but the poor critter, normally so feisty, was totally crazed by fear.

Moe is not an outside cat. None of them are. Clancy and Amelia might be allowed out under supervision to eat the grass they crave, but not Moe. Moe is contrary. Moe has a mind of his own. And so it was this morning.

He wouldn’t come when I called; looked on the verge of bolting. Fighting visions of a kitty escape into the storm drains just outside the fence, I approached calmly, speaking to him. He couldn’t squeeze his tubby self under the fence, so curled up hissing at the house/fence juncture. I let him smell my hand, and at last he let me pick him up. Disaster averted. For now.