"It was a dark and stormy night..." © Snoopy.

Lightning electrified the sky as we drove back to my parents house. My stomach was full of Bonefish's shrimps n' scallops and my senses were drowsy. Drowsy until we reached the top of the driveway, where we found the front door completely wide open. My wife suggested that we alert the police in case of a possible intruder. But my father and I assumed safety in our isolated residence and walk straight in. No foul play...but where's the cat?!

Our hopelessly domesticated cat wouldn't dare go outside on a stormy night right? We check each room and find nothing. Uh-oh. I reassure my wife that he is skilled at hiding. I grab his dinner plate and tap the sides to bring him out of hiding. No luck.

We begin to turn our attention outside. We grab flashlights and survey the vast real estate surrounding the house. Lightning continues to flash above, dropping steady rain as we expand the parameters of our search area. My wife is in denial as we call out his name. After 20 minutes, we head to the backyard. My wife scans the fenced area behind the bedrooms with her flashlight and catches a split second reflection. We realize the sparkled reflection came from the eyes of our long lost cat. He was sitting as still as a statue. We shine the light back on him and he darts off towards the front yard. I give chase and finally corner him near the fence.

As I got closer, he growled and hissed in clear survival mode. His adventures in the wild (if you want to call maryland suburbia "wild") were so frightening that he even saw us as a threat. We called his name and offered our scent but he retreated in fear. I even asked him incredulously, "Don't you remember us?" No clear response except for more growling. Clearly rehashing our relationship wasn't going to work at that moment. Grabbing him wasn't an option either with his claws ready to swipe at us. So I ran into the house and grab his canned food. He showed cautious interest upon sniffing his usual Sophistacat entree. Encouraged, I use the food to slowly lead him back into the house. Once back in the house, he reverts to his soft ways and purrs for a feeding. I was relieved but more so impressed with how his behavior completely transformed once he walked back indoors.


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