Last week, I got up as usual in the morning, started my rounds of feeding and cleaning litter boxes throughout the house. I finished up and realized I had not seen Jolly Rancher. That happens sometimes if a kitty is sleeping in. My usual action is to look around at all the cat nap spots to check and ensure the missing cat is OK. On that day, I was unable to locate Jolly Rancher.

After looking through the house, I checked the fenced in cat yard. No sign of my sweet fellow. I called him. I heard a meow. But, the meow was coming from the woods behind the house. My heart sank. He had escaped the yard. The yard is pretty secure. But, an overlooked  damaged spot in the fence can be found and taken advantage of by a smart cat. It happened a couple of years ago when Jolly Rancher was a young adult.  He found a small area and freed himself to enjoy a stroll on the outside.

Apparently Jolly Rancher never lost his wanderlust. When I called him, he meowed and came through the woods, talking to me all the way. Fortunately, he walked right up to me, I picked him up and returned him to the fenced yard. I began to walk the perimeter of the fence to find the hole. As I am walking, I become aware of something on my right just behind me. Yep, it’s my RagaMuffin, Jolly Rancher. He had wasted no time escaping to follow me around. This time, I lifted him and put him on lock down in the house. I found a spot near the gate and repaired it. It had white hair stuck on the fencing, so I was pretty sure that was the place.

I was lulled into complacency. I let the beast back out and watched him for a significant period of time. He checked out the repair and moved along. I finally relaxed and went in the house to do some chores. After a white, I went back to check on him. I didn’t see him. I called. He meowed back…..from the woods. Ugh. Once again, he came to me, only to be picked up and put in the house without access to the cat yard. I spent an excessive amount of time examining the fence after that so that it could be repaired.

I am happy to report, Jolly Rancher is once again safely contained in the yard when he goes out. I watched carefully. He was NOT happy when he found his escape routes had been repaired and he was unable to successfully flee his confinement. I could try to explain to him that he was lucky he had a house to retreat into and a secure outdoor area that allowed him to play and nap in grass, shrubs and various other plantings in a safe environment. But, I don’t think he cares.