Our hearts started racing when we received a cell phone call at 11:15PM Saturday night. The phone call was from our frantic daughter wanting to know if we had extra flashlights because their house cat ran outside and could not be found. We said that we would be right there because we knew we couldn't consciously go to sleep knowing that our daughter could use some help, no matter how old she was.
When we got there, we just turned on our flashlight and joined in the chorus of " here kitty, kitty" and it didn't really matter if the seven-year-old female tabby cat had a given name. I went through unmowed fields that I wouldn't go through in the daytime and shined my flashlight under parked cars and in people's driveways not realizing that I could get unwanted attention from the neighbors and the police. So much for the neighborhood watch, because we didn't get as much as one porch light being turned on but we did disturb the family dogs. You know those dogs will keep barking several minutes after you've left.
As I was walking, I kept convincing myself that the house cat was probably scared and close to the house, so I followed my instincts and shined my flashlight on the big tree on the side of the house. I immediately got the reflection of those huge green eyes and shouted “I found her."
After summoning my daughter, I told her to walk slowly toward the cat because it was scared, and she took my advice. She thought that she had the situation well in hand but then her scared cat let out a yowl, scratched her and ran for safety but stayed, close to the house. I then decided that we should open the front door, surround her from several feet away and start walking towards her. It worked. The cat ran into the house. I got the big hero's hug (you never get too old for that) for doing something that dads do; we make stuff up and when it works; we shamelessly take credit for it.... :-)
The next morning as I was reading my paper and drinking my coffee, our 13-year-old tabby, jumped up into the recliner causing me to spill a little of my coffee. I thought about scolding her, but she was just seeking warmth, and at least I knew where she was.