This is "the look" Hubby and I have been getting all day today from Thomasina! Why? Well... I'll tell you...

At about 11:30 p.m. last night, Hubby went into his office to shut everything down before we retired for the night. From my studio next door I heard, "Uh-oh... Honey?!?!" I hate those words.

It took a while for me to get Hubby to respond to my nervous "What?" replies. Then he said, "The 'thing' next to the air conditioning unit is pushed aside." I knew what that "thing" was. He was describing the accordion-pleated plastic that closes off the rest of the window opening where the air conditioner is installed.

I also knew that I hadn't seen a couple of the cats for awhile and that could mean only one thing.... JAILBREAK!!!!

As I launched myself into action, I called out to Hubby, "Time to do a kitty cat headcount!"

I ran upstairs to account for any kitties up there. I noted that potentially three cats were missing. And those three are the ones that always have an interest in going outside (escorted or not)--Dexter, Tom Tom, and Thomasina.

Hubby accounted for Dexter immediately. Apparently, Dexter had been laying right by the opening next to the air conditioner that seemed barely big enough for a kitty head to fit through (however, I know better). Dexter had probably witnessed the whole "criminal" act and had decided against it because of his uncertainty as to what he could jump down onto outside the window. Smart cat. There's a bunch of thorny wild lemon shoots growing from a stump we can't kill. Not a great landing spot if you ask me.

My mind was replaying events from the evening as I quickly counted up kitties. I remembered a weird meowing about an hour before outside the living room window and had chalked it up to a neighborhood cat. I also had noted to Hubby that the neighbor's dog had been barking particularly loudly about that same time. It was all adding up!

We both donned footwear and stepped outside into the 40 degree night air to witness Thomasina go shooting past the front porch in wild adrenalin-fueled glee (the little turkey!).

She is NEVER allowed outside because of her lack of common sense, but her semi-feral kittenhood always beckons her out into the wilds of the Rosehaven Cottage gardens whether we like it or not. That's why she wears a bell on her collar, so we can hear her approaching the door inside the house and also so that we can hear her outside in case of escape. The only way to get her back inside is to lure her in with canned food and a cat leash. The leash works better than the food because as soon as she sees it she thinks that I'm going to hook her up and take her for a walk (not a chance Chicky Poo!).

And that's exactly what I did to get her to stop darting around the front garden and come to me so I could scoop up her shivering body and get her into the house. The silly thing has no body fat reserves to speak of and shivers after only a few minutes of being outside in a chill. I wasn't thrilled that she was out tearing around in 40 degree weather.

After depositing Thomasina inside, I went back out to call Tom Tom. His bell came jingling from around the garage side of the house, as he was probably coming to look for his cohort in crime to play some more. As soon as he saw me, he halted in his tracks and started rubbing on the nearest surface, the garbage cans. As an old tomcat of many years, he is more savvy outside and more reticent to come when called if he's not done with his "toot" (that's what we call Tom Tom's escorted walks). It took some coaxing, but I got Tom to come to me for the stinky cat food which he was not allowed to eat until he was inside.

What bratty little jailbirds! Hubby's worst nightmare was realized last night, and he was not happy about it.

This morning, Hubby holed himself up in his office with the tape gun and cardboard. Thomasina cried and cried outside the office door. She could not be cajoled or distracted. She wanted in that office so she could use her "secret" escape hatch again. Once Hubby had the opening secured, he let Thomasina in to see. Thomasina was not happy about the alteration. Neither was Tom Tom who discovered it later in the day.

Very little cat napping was done on the part of the little "black terror" throughout the loooooong day. After an entire day of plaintive meowing and carrying on , Thomasina started resorting to bribery. One-by-one she would go and get one of her prized toys from the kitty toy box and then drag it to us in the living room. She did that three times in succession, hoping that each one was valuable enough to constitute an equitable trade. She's done this before, so we knew what it was all about. We praised her for each prize, and then told her "no deal". Finally, very put out, she ceased and is now quiet for the night! Thank goodness!

It'll probably be weeks before she forgets about her foray into the "wild", and we're not looking forward to the caterwauling in the meantime. Anybody got any tranquilizers? (just kidding)
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  1. OMW, that's funny :)
    Poor cat, being inside all the time, I'm not surprised he tries to escape.

  2. I am never interested in going outside until after I have been out in my stroller or on my leash. Then I cry, cry, cry, cry, and cry some more to go out again. Thomasina had a fun adventure!

  3. Too funny. Hey, it's your turn!

  4. Clever cat, that Thomasina. It's certain that was a grand adventure for her.

    She's going to be watching you for any moment of distraction. That clever cat has probably already staked out another "unknown" escape hatch.

    Clever trick ... the bell.

    Now, if I could just get my fat cat off the bed. Adventure is not in her DNA.

  5. awww poor kitty, I'm glad you got her out. My cat Cougar use to get stuck in other peoples garages and he'd go missing for a few days then he'd come back dusty and hungry lol

  6. That's very clever of her to try bribes.

    Since I've been home from the hospital, Jolie has been following me around like a shadow. If I so much as sht the door to use the bathroom, she'll meow outside the door and push her little paws under the door until I open it again. When I go outside to get the mail, she's at my hals like a little striped dog.

  7. Cindy, your account of your cats' escapades brings them to life for us! And you handle them with such a sense of humor! :-)

  8. This is priceless. It also proves that cats are so smart--and that they DO have facial expressions. Boy, are you being told by Ms. Naughty Girl! I've seen that look on Mungus's face when he has been captured and brought back in. Great story--and I'm glad that the naughty escapees are all safe.

  9. Been there, done that! LOLOL!!! What a great story! Those naughty cats, but can you blame them? They see us come and go as we please, they just want to have the same privileges.
    Love that picture!!

  10. I think Dexter was acting as the lookout.........LOL. How cute...I have 3 kitties and they all have funny little personalities too.

  11. Oh Cindy you have inspired me again with this sweet jailbreak story! Your kitties are very clever...please drop by for some tea today and read the story I have posted....I think you will enjoy:)
    Soft, almost wintery purrrrs, Miss Peach

  12. So funny! I can just imagine her dashing about! My dog Maxie does that on that rare occassion when he makes a "break" for it and then wildly runs from yard to yard. I'm sure in his head he's shouting "I'm free, I'm free!" Silly animals.


  13. What a sweet looking kitty. She doesn't look mischievious at all! I know that look though.

  14. Sometimes they stop at nothing - they really are pretty clever! Glad everyone is safe and sound!

  15. It sounds as if your cats had their adventure and are no worse for the wear. I know how frustrating it can be to try to ignore cats who are trying to get you to do something. They can be pretty determined.

    It sounds like the bells were a good idea.

  16. Oh My! I am laughing so hard, tears are runny down my face! I can just see those "innocent" kitties making a break for it!!!

  17. Well, all's well that ends well - I loved the bribery story. And would those tranquilizers be for YOU or for the bad kitties???
    LOL T.

  18. What a funny story, you had me laughing! Michelle

  19. That was cute.Chasing black cat in the dark!!I'm a black cat too,heehee
    Yup,it will be a while before Thomasina is content to be indoors .Those jailbreaks are just too fun :)


  20. This post sure brought back memories. Instead of jailbreak we call it AWOL (absent without leave). I remember walking around late at night with a flashlight calling for cats! How is it they never go missing unless it is bedtime, you are really tired, and it is cold outside? Cats! So sorry to hear about your cold. Get well soon!

  21. I'm just laughing over how your cat tried to bribe you. Who says animals are dumb?

  22. I'm still giggling... but I'm also sympathetic at the caterawauling. ugh. Just what you want to deal with when you've got a bad cold, no?

    (By the way, my Mom always called me Chicky Poo when I little. I had forgotten about that until I read your post. Cute.)


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