Funny story. And family, don't repeat these things to the kids. I think they find it weird that the universe knows all about the funny things they say at home.
Last week, the cat (Meatball, a rescue from the shelter we got when Gavin was about 2 1/2, already named) went outside when Grandma Betsy left for the evening. No big deal, he enjoys his time outside and stays close to the house, meowing at the door when he's ready to come in.
Before the boys settled down to bed I asked them to check the front door to see if he was ready to come in. He wasn't there so they checked the back door.
Gavin: "Mommy, I hear a weird sound"
I brushed it off as nothing and told them to come inside and that Meatball would show up when he was ready. Gavin started crying and said "No, Mom, I think it's Meatball....he's making a weird sound."
I stepped outside, and sure enough I heard a low growl coming from under the deck. Even though I'd never heard him make such a sound, I was pretty sure it was our cat. Imagining a rabid raccoon or some other sort of infected animal, I quickly got the kids inside and called Chad up to handle the situation.
He went outside and saw what he thought was a cat take off, spooked, for our hill and the "naughty tree" - a tree covered in thorns that in hindsight we probably should have had removed when we built the house. Oh well. As it was pitch black out, he came in to get a flashlight.
Once out there with the flashlight he realized Meatball was still under the deck. After about 5 minutes, he ventured out and came inside. I told the boys to give him some space as Chad checked him over to make sure he hadn't gotten into a brawl with the other cat (animal?). He was fine and flopped down on the carpet.
Gavin went rushing over to him, and with all the drama of your favorite daytime soap exclaimed:
Meatball! Are you ok? Do you recognize us? Do you know who I am Meatball?
As if Meatball had just woken up from a 2 year coma or something. It was HILARIOUS!
What's not hilarious, on the other hand, is that it looks like my desire to get rid of the cat will not materialize any time soon. Gavin was a crying, concerned mess until Chad brought him in. He flipping LOVES that cat. (sigh)