Because I work from home, I'm pretty used to having Betsey and Ross interrupt my day in various ways. They're usually pretty active cats, but sometimes they sleep a lot. Today was a pretty quiet day and about 4:00 I realized it had been hours since I'd seen either cat.
Betsey was asleep on the foot of my bed, but Ross wasn't. I checked all his usual spots: the heating vent in front of sliding glass door in the living room, the linen closet, underneath the bathroom vanity, inside any of the kitchen cabinets, under my bed, under the dining table, and in the rocking chair. He was no where to be found. Then I remembered I'd been in and out of both guest rooms a number of times, so I searched both rooms and the closets in them. Again, no Ross. Next I realized I'd tossed a bunch of recycling into the garage, but when I checked, Ross wasn't there either.
Panic started to set in. "Ross! Ross Gardner!" I yelled as I rechecked every location. Still no Ross.
I grabbed the container of catnip and started shaking it. Hearing it from the back of the house, Betsey came running and, fully believing she deserved a treat for her prompt response, begged until I gave her some. But no Ross.
I walked all through the house sprinkling catnip all over my freshly vacuumed floors, but Ross still didn't appear.
Finally, I remembered that about 1:30, I'd opened the front door to get the mail. Ross must have slipped out! And he wasn't wearing his collar (don't lecture me about this). I grabbed my jacket and Nike's and out the door I went still with the catnip in hand.
Before I headed out, I text messaged a friend "Amber Alert! Ross is missing! HELP!"
"Ross! Ross Gardner!" I continued to scream in a high-pitched panic as I walked all around my house and headed down the street.
I could hear the yappy dogs barking next week and fully prepared myself to find Ross's lifeless body firmly in the grips of their jaws. My eyes filled with tears at the thought of this. Again, however, no Ross.
Finally, I walked back in the house wondering how I was going to tell Betsey that her best friend was missing. And how would I sleep tonight without him? I tossed my jacket on my bed and started my search of the house again calling his name as I hurriedly searched each room.
By this point, Betsey was asleep in her favorite chair, completely unfazed or maybe simply unaware that Ross had apparently been kidnapped by aliens or run away. Me, on the other hand, I was in full hyperventilation mode and wondering if I had either enough Valium or vodka to get through the night knowing that Ross was lost out in the frigid
Remembering that my cell phone was still in my jacket pocket, I headed back into my room to retrieve it. As I walked around the side of my bed, I noticed something wrong with the sleeping pillows directly behind the decorative pillows on my bed. And then I saw that the pillows were moving. They were moving because Ross was adjusting his position on top of them!
Yep, the entire time, Ross had been snuggled up in his new spot on my sleeping pillows. He'd heard my hour long panicked search for him. He'd heard me shaking the catnip. He'd smelled the catnip on the floor of the bedroom. And the bottom line was he didn't care. He was cozy all snuggled up in my pillows.
Ross hadn't run away or been abducted by aliens. He was taking a nap in a new hiding spot. I guess I'll add that to the list from now on.