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So, I decided that Audrey’s outdoor privileges were revoked after the skirmish with Kiki, Danielle’s cat. Audrey and I did not see eye to eye on this. She expressed her displeasure with her unjustified imprisonment by clawing madly at the glass on various doors (thankfully, not on the wood of the doors) while squeaking with rage. A frantic Audrey is hard to ignore – well, Audrey in any mood is hard to ignore – but I steeled myself to it and thought that I had won the battle, if not the war.

Silly me. I should have known better. Audrey skulked stealthily under the couch unbeknownst to the Help, and scooted out the door as soon as she saw an opportunity.

Of course the opportunity was right before I was ready to go to bed and the sun was almost there.

My inner worrier kicked in automatically, like those enviable people who have generators that come on as soon as the power goes out. I reminded myself that Audrey is the undisputed winner of Survivor: Hooterville, but I didn’t love knowing that she was out there with the monsters and possibly a revenge-seeking Kiki.

Eventually I went to bed and read In Five Years while wondering what the hell was going on out there. I went to sleep with Clyde cuddled up next to me – he has been cuddlier than ever lately, for some reason – and hoping for the best.

I checked a couple of times during the night, and eventually found her sitting on the front porch, peeking in the door (which is basically a giant piece of glass). I opened the door and she walked in daintily, as if nothing had happened, and went upstairs to have a snack before vanishing somewhere in the house. She is very good at being unseen in the house, so perhaps these skills also stand her in good stead in the wild.

I still had a couple of hours to sleep before I had to get up in the dark and go to work. The dark circles under my eyes went with the general darkness motif of that morning.

As I drank my much-needed coffee out of my starry mug that morning, I noticed that Kiki was peeking through the glass door, to Dodge’s displeasure. He was wagging his tail and making quiet little bird sounds as he stared at her with his big blue eyes. I was glad that she wasn’t there a few hours earlier. I shooed her away, even though she is adorable and clearly needs petting and affection. But I can’t risk her hanging around my house in case of more Houdini-like escapades.

In happier animal news, Stella went to the vet to get her stitches out, and was pronounced cancer free. There is only a 2% chance that the cancer will recur, so that is something to celebrate!

A YEAR AGO: Helping to set up the annual library book sale.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Thinking about cars, past and present. I still miss my Mustang.

TEN YEARS AGO: A trip to town.