After watching the cats sit on an upstairs window ledge shouting at neighbour cat usurpers and what I think were tits flying very close to the house, we decided it was time to let them have their freedom outside.
P was watching Chocolat on TV so we opened the French windows in the sitting room and let them out.
Smudge, the timid, grey and white one very sensibly went a little way, then ran back, and then back out again a little further, then back, and so on.
Fudge barged out into the garden, and started on the route the other cats take, sniffing things, hiding where the other cats hide, marching down into the rest of the garden, and then vanishing.
Smudge came in and out again.
No sign of Fudge.
Went for a bit of an explore of the garden. No sign of Fudge. Three other cats inhabiting the lower garden, no Fudge.
It’s now dark. Decide to banish Smudge to back of house and leave French doors open.
I come up to computer book ferries for French holiday. A few minutes later, P comes up saying Chocolat has finished, but no sign of Fudge.
A little worried now.
I go down, out onto patio, calling name, banging dish (this doesn’t work indoors, why should it work outdoors). Put on shoes. Go back down the garden. No sign.
Look back at house. Fudge sitting on back step. When I called him, he came from inside the house. How did he get back in? His fur is cold, so he can’t have been in long. Grrr. No going out tomorrow.