Maxie came home late last night, hungry and a bit spooked, but uninjured. He's just lucky I was still up and about, having decided late to watch TV for a few minutes to unwind before bedtime. I'm normally in the sack by 9:30 or so because I'm up so early.
Sitting in front of the TV, I can look out at the dark deck but I can't see anything much, just reflections in the glass of the room behind me. But something moved in my field of vision and at first I figured it was one of the other cats, moving around in the dining room. Just to make sure, I turned around and scanned it---no Loosy or Lily was prowling around there. So I decided to get up and check outside, and there he was.
He seems happy to be home and yet I'll bet this happens again. I still don't know how he gets off the deck and back on again. If I figure it out, I may take steps to seal off the opening, but I don't want to take a chance on making it impossible for him to get back on the deck, if his choice of exitway is a flying leap from above.
I may just have to live with this tension and make the best of it.
One nice thing was that the FS called yesterday afternoon to offer condolences, after reading my post about the Missing Member of the Family. So I called him back to let him know that Max had returned.
Thanks to yesterday's commenters for their comfort and concern.