About an hour or so ago, I realized that although I've been home all day, except for one 15-minute errand around 10:30, I hadn't seen Betsey since early this morning. Ross was napping in his favorite rocking chair (Honestly, no one else can ever sit in this chair. It should be renamed "Ross's chair."), but I didn't see Betsey.
I started looking in her favorite spots: any of the chairs under the dining room table; the loveseat in the living room; behind a chair in the family room; on my bed; under my bed; in the cushy chair in my bedroom; and under my night table. She wasn't in any of her usual spots.
Next, I explored Ross's spots: on a pile of clean linens in the linen closet; under the bathroom sink (he can actually open the door himself); under the kitchen sink (again, he can unlatch the door with ease); next to the HVAC vents in both the living room and family room; and in front of the sliding glass doors in the living room. Again, nothing.
Walking around my house calling out "Betsey! Betsey Gardner" felt stupid, but I had no choice. I even looked in the litter boxes to see if she'd fallen asleep in one. Still nothing. Betsey is very "talkative," so I was surprised that I wasn't hearing her chatting somewhere.
After about an hour of repeatedly searching in the same spots over and over again (isn't that the definition of insane: repeating the same activity over and over and expecting different results?) and calling her name and carrying around catnip, I was in a cold sweat. I had lost my girl. She was gone. The panic in my voice was palpable. My heart was in my throat. How could I lose Betsey? How could she have gotten out? How would I explain this to Ross? How would I live without her?
Finally, I remembered that very early this morning, I had gone into the guest room to put something away. I was there maybe 15 seconds and the door was closed, so I thought the odds were small. But I walked to the door anyway, took a deep breath, opened the door and there was my girl sitting on the bed! She got up, hopped off the bed without being asked (a first in 12 years) and ran right over to me. And then she wouldn't shut up. If I spoke cat, I'm sure she was yelling at me for locking her in the guest room for hours and even leaving the house to run an errand without noticing she was gone.
Now I have no problem locating Betsey. She's perched herself on my left wrist as I type this confession. She'll be glued to my side for the rest of the day. That's just the way she is and part of why I love her so much.
Note to Self: Always check to make sure cats don't follow me into the guest room before closing the door.