We wanted to sit outside yesterday, and it meant that Miso would be allowed to go out - first time after three months. We didn't want to let her out at Water Street because of traffic. She had been quite wild recently, with new spring smells and sounds, trying to escape. But now, "the time has come". So - we opened the screen door and waited. Within seconds she was out, and I could almost feel her happiness. She walked slowly and cautiously, pausing to smell grass and shrubs. I imagined myself having been locked up for three months and finally being let loose. I followed her as if she were a toddler; she strolled round the house, returning to the patio; I picked her up thinking that was enough for the first time. She scratched me and went off before I could even see in which direction.
The following hour I felt exactly like I did when I many, many years ago sent my then seven-year-old son to the bakery and sat stiff until he came back. Staffan kept telling me that Miso was no fool, that she knew where her bowl was, that cats always find their way home. I just saw in my mind the ad: "Cat missing".
She came back, walking slowly and casually toward us, and went inside without giving us a look.