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The Best Laid Plans

September 21st, 2012

Yesterday, we were all packed up and ready to go and we had one BIG problem – there was no sign of our cat Dexter. We’ve been keeping him inside during the night just so this wouldn’t happen. Yesterday, he spent part of the day inside and then wanted out in the afternoon. He usually doesn’t wander far, so I let him out – BIG mistake. We had dinner with some friends and when we got home he was nowhere to be found.

A friend said she stopped by at 9:15 and he was on the front porch in his kennel sleeping. When we got home at 9:45 we couldn’t find him. Then I started getting nervous that we wouldn’t be able to find him the next morning.

Usually, he’s waiting at the front door with the feral cat when we get up in the morning. He wasn’t there. We waited around for a bit and finally it was decided that Mr Chiots would hit the road in the truck and I’d catch up later if/when Dexter showed up.

My neighbor and I decided that we’d wait until 2 and if he hadn’t showed up by then we’d spend the night here and plan on leaving in the morning. He was a no-show by 2.

So there I sat, in an empty house, with a few other cats in the house, the feral cat yowling while locked in a bedroom, and no sign of Dexter. There has been one other time that Dexter didn’t show up one day, the next day he appears limping from an injury. I’m fully aware of the fact that outdoor cats lead generally short lives and can meet their end. It’s a dangerous world out there, but they also experience life in a way that an indoor cat couldn’t.

We love our Dexter so much, to the point that we tried to make him an exclusively indoor cat for a while and he would have none of it. Dexter was super laid back about everything but spending too much time indoors.

All the neighbors were on lookout, some of them offering to keep him until we could get back to get him (don’t you just love great neighbors?). I went to bed on Wed night with a knot in the pit of my stomach. The feral cat woke me up at 4 am yowling in her room. When I looked outside, there was Dexter on the front porch, just like every other day. Guess he got his dates mixed up and his going away party with his friends went a little long! So my neighbor and I hit the road on Thursday morning, hoping to meet up with Mr Chiots at the new place in Maine. I’m so relieved I have all four cats in tow, guess all the howling won’t be so bad…

21 Comments to “The Best Laid Plans”
  1. Marina C on September 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Dexter is lovely!
    I would wait for my cat too… Are all your cats outdoor cats?
    We had a wonderful cat who was hit by a car, and since, all our cats have been indoor cats. I agree, they miss out on many things, but they live a long time…
    Are we being selfish?
    We lived on 160 acres in Vermont, and lost our cat to a fisher car. Now we have 2acres in town, but cars are the problem…
    I hope that you had a good and not too yowly trip!

    Reply to Marina C's comment

    • Susy on September 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

      We have one cat that is exclusively outdoor, she came to us as a feral kitten. Then we have one cat that is half indoor outdoor who also showed up on our doorstep. We have two exclusively indoor cats.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Heidi on September 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

    He must have had his own going away party to attend. I imagine it was some party :).

    Reply to Heidi's comment

    • Susy on September 22, 2012 at 5:24 am

      Yes, we joked that he had quite a hangover after his killer party with his buddies.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. angie h on September 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I am so so glad he came home! I was nervous when he came up missing-that would have been really hard leaving without him and starting your new adventure that way! I’m a believer that things happen for a reason, so that delay may have been a blessing in disguise! I am excited to hear more about Maine :)

    Reply to angie h's comment

  4. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on September 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Oh I’m so glad he turned up!

    Hope the journey is going/has gone well and they all like their new home. :)

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

  5. Canned Quilter on September 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Just think of all the new adventures Dexter will have on the farm. Have a safe journey.

    Reply to Canned Quilter's comment

  6. Peggy on September 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I am so glad that Dexter made his way back home… I must admit I was more than a little concerned when I started reading this post! Dexter is simply stunning and does make me ache to have a cat again but until the allergies are under control it will have to wait. Currently we do have a feral cat around the property which we are working to make her more comfortable around us. Good luck in your travels!

    Reply to Peggy's comment

  7. Mich on September 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

    So pleased to hear that Dexter had turned up, cats do have their own agenda thats for sure.
    Mine are outdoor only farm cats and at times I worry esp at harvest… If one goes missing at a meal time, I get worried and then usually find him locked up in the workshop…rather cross and very hungry! :)

    Reply to Mich's comment

  8. Songbirdtiff on September 21, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I’m so glad you found him and I hope everyone slept well last night!

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  9. amber jackson on September 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Dexter is so pretty, my kitty has done that a few times in the middle of moving although not cross country moving. I am so happy you found him. He would have been so upset if you had to leave him.

    Reply to amber jackson's comment

  10. Donna B. on September 21, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I was really hoping that this story wouldn’t have ended up sad. I’m happy it turned at the end! Oh Dexter! Don’t make your humans worry so much!!!
    It’s great to learn that you’re taking The Sweets with you!!! She’ll be happy in her new wilderness. :D

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  11. melissa on September 21, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I’m so glad he showed up. I was so worried!

    Reply to melissa's comment

  12. Andrea G in Morgan Hill CA on September 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Sweet Dexter kitty. I’m glad he made it back home in time. If you have a cat named Dexter, do you also have one named Sinister?

    Reply to Andrea G in Morgan Hill CA's comment

    • Susy on September 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

      That would be a good name!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Liz J on September 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Wow ~ I am so happy that Dexter showed up! I could only imagine how you felt, all set to go, but unable to without him. I couldn’t have lft one of my pets behind. Can’t wait to see some Maine pictures!!!

    Reply to Liz J's comment

  14. tj on September 21, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    …I’m so happy he came home, good boy Dex’! But btw, don’t ever do that again, ‘kay? I was so stinkin’ worried, thinking what a way to start off this new journey in your life by having a pet missing. I’m just glad it all ended well. :o)

    …We have two cats who are both indoor/outdoor. The one, who reminds me of your Dexter, is the master hunter and he loves being outdoors. He keeps our mouse population under control around here. Love the photos of Dexter, he’s such a handsome boy!

    …Have a lovely evening!

    …Blessings :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

  15. Mrs. H on September 22, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Awww. Sweet cuddly Dexter. I’d wait for my pet also!

    Reply to Mrs. H's comment

  16. Andrea Duke on September 22, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I read this post to Jackson and he said “How do cats know to not be around when you need them for something?”
    Our cat has done this when it comes to having to go to the vet :)

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

  17. KimH on September 22, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Im so glad he showed up.. Its a terrible thing to think you may have to leave a part of your heart behind.
    We had an indoor/outdoor cat live to 22 years when my mom finally had him put down. He wasnt able to walk anymore & she took care of him for a long time… but he spent several years on his own in a mobile home that was used for weekend use after she moved from the area for a couple years. She came home to him every weekend and I popped in weekly to check on him. He was a pretty resourceful fella.. She eventually moved back & gave him a life of luxury after that. :D

    Reply to KimH's comment

  18. sharon on September 22, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    he’s a beauty…thank goodness he is safe…this has happened a time or 2 to me…Good luck..and you sure show us that peopel that dont have “time for blogs or cats and thing are full of s***…theres always time for what you love and care about!

    Reply to sharon's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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