A few weeks ago, Beau learned how to open the back sliding screen doors with his paw. Or more accurately, with his toenails, which flash forward to today, has resulted in the screens looking like so:
Awesome. He's such a smart dog!! Also SO MANY STINKBUGS INSIDE NOW.
Before the damage got this bad, however, the main problem with Beau's new skill was that he'd let himself outside and then come back inside before I realized that he'd even done it, leaving the screen door wide open for God knows how long while I tapped merrily away on my laptop in a room far, far away.
So that's how Rey got out of the house a few days ago. (Not to be confused with falling out of the house.) I realized the door was open, and then Finn started howling his alarms that he couldn't find her/Dumb Baby Did a Dumb Thing Again, Human Person. I crept outside the basement door and sure enough, there was a small black lump on the far, far side of our yard, and two bright yellow-green eyes peering at me. Inscrutable as ever, I had no idea if she was terrified or basically baiting me towards her so she could be a compete catbitch and go bolting off in the opposite direction.
(My only calming thought [besides her collar and microchip] is that I was 100% sure her butt is too fat to fit through the fence, and 99% sure her brain is too simple to fathom jumping over it.)
I took two steps towards her and sure enough, she jumped up and did that weird sideways, puffed-up Halloween cat run, but towards the side of the house. She then quickly course-corrected and dashed past me back inside.
She then proceeded to alternatively snuggle and yowl at me for the next 15 minutes, like WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG I COULD HAVE STARVED OUT THERE OR DIED FROM LACK OF BELLY RUBS.
(I could have pointed out that the very door she'd exited from remained open and available for her entire adventure, but obviously I didn't. Because she's a cat. And I am not [that] insane.)
I locked the screen doors after that. Which turned out to be not the best solution, as Beau kept trying and trying to open them, causing more and more damage to the screens. Annoying, but keeping the storm doors closed (especially in the kitchen, while cooking), makes the back of the house unbearably hot. Eventually Beau would give up, and at least new screen doors aren't that big of an expense. Pets! You adorable assholes.
But the fact that the doors were locked made it all the more confusing the other night when a random cat showed up at the FRONT door while we were eating dinner just inside.
"Whose cat is that?" I asked, before it slowly dawned on me.
Oh. It was our cat.
It was Finn, mewing plaintively to be let back inside. Unlike Rey, whose OH SHIT I'M OUTSIDE coping mechanism was to just lay there like a terrified slug, Finn managed to make it down the deck, around the side of the house (easily slipping his svelte silver fox frame through the fence slats), and figured out how to find the front door so he could be let back inside. Back inside where the food is, because he's no dummy.
As for how HE got out? Allow Simple Cat to demonstrate:
Site design note to self: Change the THESE TWO cat shenanigans category name to *INTERNAL SCREAMING*