When I came back and opened the door, there was Tabs right at the door.
Now, I do NOT remember letting Tabs out, but then again, Tabs sneaks out all the time, so did she sneak out without me noticing just now?
Maybe she did...
Then, in the next second, I saw Tiger in the living room.
Now, there is no way Tiger could have sneaked out without me noticing because Tiger does not do the Tabs-Dash.
Oh no, oh no, oh no.....!!!
There is only one explanation for this. I must have not latched the grille properly when I left the room before going out.
Who else has escaped???
All 7 of them?
In those few split seconds, horror raced through my mind: Indy must have escaped and is now at the playground, Pole must already be on somebody's roof, Cleo must be lost and Cow & Bunny??
Oh no!! Have Cow & Bunny harmed any of the Patiocats???
I took a few steps into the house and horrors of horrors, I saw COW (yes, COW!) at the partition in the living room.
No, no, no, no, no, no.....!!
Without even bothering to think, I quickly scooped him up and put him back into the room.
And yes, the grille was ajar.
Oh gosh, how could I have been so careless in not latching the grille properly?
I quickly made a head count of the cats inside the room.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Phew!! Cow, Bunny, Cleo, Pole and Indy were all inside the room. Tiger and Tabs were still outside in the living room.
Indy was fast asleep outside in the sun...I thanked my lucky stars!! He probably didn't even know that the grille was ajar.
No doubt I had been away for only 5 minutes, still, in 5 minutes, Cow could have harmed a cat (or several cats), Indy could have happily gone to the playground and goodness knows what else could have happened!
But on hindsight now, Cow was looking very relaxed at the partition. He wasn't huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf as he would be if he had attacked anyone.
I had to check on all the Patiocats. Timmy, Daffodil, Ginger and Rosie were all in the dining room, and none of them looked frightened. There was no tufts of fur on the floor. None in the porch too.
Conclusion: Probably no fight happened.
Where is Vincent? I called for Vincent and went out to the patio, garden and porch to look for him.
Oh no! Where is Vincent?
Vincent came running down from upstairs. He must have gone upstairs to hide when he saw Cow coming out.
Okay, Vincent is accounted for. Now where is Heidi?
I called for Heidi and went out to search for her. Heidi was nowhere to be found.
I wasn't so worried about Heidi as I know she is a diva and can protect herself. I doubt Cow would even dare bully her.
Soon, I found Heidi...
Here you are! Under the sofa.
The thing with cats it that they normally couldn't be bothered to "answer" you when you call them.
It's almost like, "You want to find me, YOU look for me..." and "if you find me, good for you, but don't expect ME to come out and celebrate the occasion".
That's one big difference between cats and dogs.
So, the outside headcount is complete. I checked Vincent, Ginger and Timmy for wounds. There were none.
In any case, no tufts of fur probably means no fight occurred during my 5-minute absence.
I thanked the Universe.
Now, inside.... By then, there was thunder already.
Helloooo....there is thunder, Indy!!
Eating for comfort before going into hiding.
Already hiding in the "rain shelter".