Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's 4 a.m…. do you know where your pets are?

I thought Casey was ready to stay loose in the house by himself. Unsupervised. All night. Sure, it’s only been five days since he came here. But for those five days he has been given incrementally more freedom each day and he hasn’t had any problems. So last night I left his crate door open when I went to bed. And then I was woken up at 4 a.m. by a lick to the face, and when I opened my eyes, I saw him looking something like this.



I was worried at first, but I quickly figured out he was just waking me up because he wanted to go outside.  Nothing was destroyed, and he didn't do anything wrong.  Whew.  However, the events that transpired after I let him outside at 4 a.m. have made me regret not crating him last night.

I let Casey outside, so Noelle and Remi also wanted outside. Then in my sleep-deprived state, while I was trying to get Remi to go outside without my foster cat Rudy getting out, Merlin came out of nowhere (it’s his best trick) and darted out the door. So there I was, standing in the doorway, with three dogs and a cat in the backyard. I tried to decide if I would be able to run out and grab Merlin without anyone seeing me. After all, it was 4 a.m. But there was a full moon, and it was very bright. And Merlin was about 10 feet off of the patio, right in the middle of a big mud puddle. So since I wasn’t really wearing enough clothing, not to mention any shoes, I elected to go back in and find some sweatpants and shoes, hoping all the while that Merlin remained in the middle of the mud puddle until I returned. Of course he didn’t. When I got back, Merlin was long gone, and Remi and Casey were barking at something on the other side of the fence (possibly the rogue Merlin). I got the three dogs back inside and went out looking for Merlin – no luck. So by this time Ziggy has woken up and also wants to go out. I figure maybe he’ll help me find Merlin, so I take him out too. Instead, after taking care of doggie business, he proceeds to “help” by continually jumping up and trying to get me to play bitey face. By this time I was very ready to “bitey-face” him! But I restrained myself, and put him back inside to continue the search for the missing cat.

We never let our cats or foster cats outside. It’s just too dangerous. In addition to the obvious risks like traffic, there are predators like coyotes, foxes and birds of prey, risks of poisoning by pesticides, and risks from dogs or feral cats. The average life span for indoor cats is 15 to 18 years, compared to only 3 years for free-roaming cats. So as much as Merlin loves to be outside, I just don’t like to take the risk. That is why I was walking around my backyard at 4 a.m., whispering “Merrrlinnnnn” and feeling rather foolish. And by the way, even with moonlight that makes the whole landscape bright, it’s still too dark to avoid stepping in any dog piles. So my whispering actually went something more like “Merrrlinnn….. where are you?.... ewww, what’s that smell?....oh no…. darnit!”. If Merlin was still within hearing by that time, he probably figured he’d be safer not answering me! Eventually I called off the search and decided to wait for daylight. But even once daylight came and I resumed my search, there was no sign of Merlin. So I went inside and fed the dogs.

Noelle is a food guarder. She doesn’t guard it from people, but she does like to make sure no other dogs or cats get too close to her food bowl. So after I fed her, I was standing in the kitchen and I saw Noelle go running across the room, barking at the front door, then running back to her food bowl to eat. That was her typical guarding behavior, but there were no dogs or cats by the front door. My hopes rose and I ran to the front door and looked out the window, and there he was. Merlin. Just sitting there patiently waiting for me to open the door. So I did, and he came in.  He didn’t apologize; didn’t say thank you; just pretended that running away from home and then showing up at the front door the next morning was an everyday occurrence for him. Cats these days.  They just have no idea what they put their parents through. 

15 comments:

Mango said...

What an exciting and most invigorating way to start the day. Who needs to go to the gym when you have all those dogs and cats to get your heart racing? Not to mention the quick reflexes involved in recoiling from poo piles.

Glad it had a happy ending.

Slobbers,
Mango

Frankie Furter said...

I am not even going to aPAWlagize for laughing like crazy about this situation. I am glad it ended well,of course. However it was just tooo funny to visualize.

Stella, Gunther and Betty said...

LOL! I swear I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you. Really!

Shannon and the Gang

hero said...

BOL... thanks for the laughs... errr I meant we really felt sorry for what those furkids put you through... *giggles*

Licks, hero

mayziegal said...

Ohmidogness! Your life is just one Most Exciting adventure after another! What would you do without those doggies and kittehs to keep you entertained? You would be SO bored! Good thing you have them around to save you from such an unseemly fate.

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Erika said...

That sounds like a crazy nighttime adventure for sure. I certainly don't envy that!

ps. Thanks for commenting on my blog, I love reading all of your crazy animal stories

Remington said...

What an adventure! You certainly keep busy!

JackDaddy said...

There's a 4AM? Like in the morning? Before the sun? Well, you learn something new everyday! :)

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Ok, see that is when I am kind of glad that we only have cats right now - if they need to go at 4 am they have their litter box. I am so glad that Merlin came home though.

kissa-bull said...

what a rebel those teenage years are tought they just think they are grown and can live out on their own
hmp!
pibble sugars and wee wags
the pittie pack

Life With Dogs said...

I think they love watching us clutch our chests. ;)

Nubbin' Tails said...

I'm so glad that Merlin returned home. Mom has had those backyard trips at 4 am with. See in the last few months I decided the trash was my new buffet. I make enough noise that I wake mom up and she comes down. Well of course I know I'm not supposed to be in the trash so I go running out the dog door. Yep we have our very own door! And then I start to bark. My name real name is very fitting. So then mom is trying to get me back inside before the neighbors all hate us.

Hopefully you had a quieter night last night!

Wags!

Mr. Nubbin'

Kari in WeHo said...

sadly, I have heard and lived that story before

Leila said...

Worse is 3am, your poochie uncharacteristically demanding that you let him out and instead of taking care of the supposed urgent business I had imagined...

He let himself into my neighbors house where his beloved girlfriend lives to steal the latest toy of contention. Yes, my dog opens doors, the neighbors forgot to lock their back door for the last time, and I looked really funny as I stomped through both back yards barefoot in my jammies muttering dire things about dogs, the universe and ...

So I feel the pain. Yes, the neighbors are still my friends.

Sue said...

I love it. Until we recently changed the locks, Samba locked me out of the house several times, often at night, sometimes in the rain and barefoot. What comedians those animals can be.