between Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
Max's new mama sent me a note yesterday morning telling me that Maxie had gone walkabout, had been missing for over 24 hours, and they were scared. He'd apparently figured out how to get out the doggie door in the middle of the night and disappeared into the woods. She and her husband had been agonizing over telling me this and were feeling horrible.
I tried to be philosophical---he might just come back on his own, he might show up here, he had made an "adult choice" (he is an adult cat, after all, and must have decided he could handle whatever was beyond the doggie door) to go outside, and he was a barn cat at heart, who would always be at risk because of his need to be outside. But I cried anyhow, feeling sad for them, scared for Max, and wondering what the outcome would be.
I worried, wondering if he'd become too attached to me to be a successful adoptee, wishing I could take him with me to Astoria, and knowing that would just continue the tension around his needs for another spell of time.
I prayed and I cried. And I found some peace, slept all right despite waking in the night to think about him again. I remembered the dream I'd had two nights earlier, that he was scratching at the window and asking to come in. I wondered if it had any significance.
And Thursday morning, I got another note from his new mama saying that Max had sashayed in at 4 a.m., meowing and asking to be petted (and fed, no doubt). What a relief! On walkabout for 48 hours, home again safe at his new digs, and no doubt self-satisfied at having checked out the lovely woods around their home, negotiated with any predators who might have been interested in him, evaded the friendly dogs who are now his roommates, and having set a few of his expectations in place for his new family.