Go ahead and watch it because it'll make the rest of this little story funnier, and I know you like the comedy.
I'll wait right here.
Ever since we've been letting our cat Doug outside, our night time routine more or less looks like this:
- Go to bed with all animals in house.
- Fall asleep.
- Get woken up at some point during the night by Doug meowing and/or jumping on me.
- Let Doug out the back door while blind (no glasses) and mostly asleep.
- Go back to sleep (hopefully).
A few nights ago, I heard the familiar meowing and felt a small mammal-ish creature hop on to the bed. Zombie-like, I arose, picked up the cat, and shuffled to the back door in the pitch black dark. I opened the door, and plopped the cat outside on to the deck, shut and locked the door, and headed back to bed. I'd guesstimate that I was about 15% awake during the entire event, so I was almost instantly asleep again when my head hit the pillow.
Fast forward a couple of hours.
I'm lying there snoozing like a champ, when GALOOMPH Doug jumps right on my chest and squeaks his disturbingly-weenieish-for-a-cat-his-size meow right in my face. And immediately, I sat straight up in bed (throwing Doug to the ground in the process) and said in an alarmingly loud voice, "Wrong cat!! I put the wrong cat outside!!"
I bolted to the back door and opened it. "Diane!! Diane!! Here kitty kitty!!" Nothing.
Went to the front door and out on to the sidewalk. "Diane!! Here baby! Here kitty kitty!!" Again, nothing.
You see, Diane doesn't go outside. She's never shown any interest in the great outdoors other than viewing it from a windowsill, and that's just fine with me. It's stressful enough having one feline roaming around the neighborhood, collecting fleas and random injuries, much less two. And she's tiny--a total runt. And we live near a very busy street. You see where I'm going with this, right? I was freakingthefuck out and thinking to myself, "I swear, if anything happens to Diane, I'll never forgive myself."
So I went back and forth and back and forth, back yard to front, calling for my kittykittykitty. At one point when I was calling out front, a cat came running toward me from across the street. Yay!
But, no. It wasn't Diane. It was a neighbor cat who I've named Big Ellen, and she came gallumphing up and flopped at my feet on the sidewalk, purring loudly. I literally said, "Not NOW, Big Ellen!" and headed back inside.
I finally kind of gave up and went an got back in the bed. BH said to me, "She's a cat. She's only been out a couple of hours. She'll be fine."
After about 30 minutes of tossing and turning and tossing some more, I thought, "Well, I'll go look one more time, and then I'll go to sleep." I went out to the back deck and flipped on the porch light and, BINGO, there she was, wide-eyed and sort of freaked out with a huge puffed-out tail, hunched down behind the chimnea. I said, "Diane?" And I heard a tiny "mew" in return. She bolted back into the house and almost immediately hunkered down on the bed next to me, both of us relieved as Hell that she was home.
A few hours later, our dog Shiloh came and shook her head near my side of the bed--her gentle, quiet way of telling me, "Hey Mom, I need to pee." I got up to let her out, and BH said from the bedroom, "Are you sure that's not The Geej you're putting outside?" That BH--he's a real comedian.
I'm pretty sure she's forgiven me. But now the regular joke around our house is, "Hey, remember that time you put the wrong cat out?"
Trust me, it'll never happen again.