At about 10 p.m., Laura and I were chatting in the living room with the sliding door open to try to cool down the house.
Lola, our smartest cat, opened the screen door while we weren't looking and all three cats escaped.
I grabbed Lola first because she was sitting on the doorstep. She always stays close to home and she's not very fast.
I was most worried about Big Papi because she's a runner and gets scared easily. Plus, she's black and hard to see in the dark. Fortunately, she was still in our yard so I corralled her under the patio table.
Then Laura and I went to look for Mango and she had disappeared.
At first I wasn't worried. Aside from visiting our neighbour's house, Mango has never strayed far. As well, when I lived in Gatineau, Que., someone broke into my condo when I was at work. Even though they smashed the door down and left it wide open, Mango stayed inside.
But then I checked our yard, our neighbour's yard and the area behind the townhouse complex and I couldn't find her.
For the next 30 minutes, Laura and I hunted all over for Mango. I even searched down the corridor between the two hedges that separate the townhouse complexes where I'm usually too scared to walk alone in the dark at night. I thought I saw her in our neighbour's front yard, but it turned out to be a grey tabby. I also saw two other cats on patrol.
I was distraught. I called Peter and started to cry on the phone.
Then, when I was talking to him, I saw a flash of orange. I hung up and confirmed that it was, in fact, Mango. She was about a block from our house hiding in a hedge in another townhouse unit.
She was understandably terrified and wouldn't let me pick her up so I tried to herd her back to our house. She ran ahead of me and went back into our yard. I scooped her up, carried her inside and called Peter to tell him the good news.
I am so relieved. And we are never leaving our sliding door open again.
Here is a photo of Mango for you to enjoy: