Having cleaned the bathroom, Dad went out into the garden to hang out the towels. Tigger followed, and managed to get outside as well. Dad went inside for a moment, then back out, then back into the living-room.
“Have you seen Tigger?” he asks.
“No,” I say. “He was so busy clamouring to get into the garden, he wouldn’t suddenly come back inside and go upstairs.” I checked anyway, to be sure. Dinah was there, yes. No Tigger.
We trundle back outside. Tigger’s not in the garden. There’s a hole in the fence at the back, and Tigger’s been pawing at it for a while now. I have a horrible feeling as I sink down onto one knee in front of the hole, sticking my arm through it and making enticing tut-sounds. Sure enough, I hear meowing, and then I see a fuzzy, red-white cat.
BLEEDING TIGGER HAS GONE THROUGH THE HOLE INTO ANOTHER GARDEN. And refuses to come close enough for me to grab him. Dad tries to lure him closer, while I go over to the other street, and ring the bell of the house whose garden it is. Turns out to be the wrong house, and the right house has no one home. *sighs*
I go back, feed our stragglers*, and see if Dad’s succeeded. No.
But what’s that? It’s Binky**! One of Tigger’s mortal enemies, Binky’s a big red outdoors-cat. And now they’re eye-to-eye again, without a screen-door between them. Lots of hissing, as both Dad and Binky’s owner try to get their respective cats back. Dad eventually pulls out his ladder, since Tigger’s jumped up onto the roof. Binky goes home.
Dad tries to get Tigger closer by using his favourite cat-treats. They still don’t manage to overcome the lure of being outside, unfettered and free! Tigger does come close enough that Dad can grab him by the scruff of the neck, and get him back inside. Tigger wasn’t happy, but we don’t care. He’s almost 13, and has been an indoors-cat all of his life. We’re not giving him the opportunity to adapt to an outdoors-life.
* You start by petting the cat that follows you home. Then, he gets a bit to eat, a handful of kibble, that kind of thing. Before you know it, you get ambushed by Spok, for that’s his name, as you go outside. Or he’ll jump into the window-sill, and wait for you to come outside with food. Then, he brings along a friend/sister….
Spok has a home. He has a collar and everything. He just doesn’t go back there very often, near as we can tell.
Whether the other cat’s his sister, we’re not sure. She looks like him, and he knows her. He lets her push him away from his food.
** No, really. That is his name.