Clearly, the cat decided that one of us should get out more. So, off she went in the middle of the night.
Now, this isn't unusual - I'm accustomed to waking up at 5am to feed the fucker, realise she's got lost and potter around the estate in slippers shaking cat biscuits while she screams at me.
But this was different. I slept through till 7, by which time, she'd gone. And if there's one thing stupider than running around before dawn in pyjamas shouting "Florence", well, it'll be doing the same thing in daylight. Not a sign of her.
This was, naturally, a terrible thing. When you lose a Brazilian, there's always the hope that he'll call. But this was bad. I printed out a couple of lost cat posters, and tidied up the cat toys, thinking "well, at least I'll get my evenings back". The second stage of grieving was to think "Perhaps a nice ginger tom next." But mostly, I just felt a bit sad.
Six hours later she was posted back through the cat flap and darted under the bed. I opened the door, and standing sheepishly outside was a young boy. The child looked quietly miserable, even when I gave him £20 (is that okay these days, or somehow grooming?).
He explained that he'd heard her shouting outside his window and let her in. She'd spent the last six hours watching cartoons, stalking his pet bird, and hiding from his puppy. "I told Dad that I would like a cat too," he said proudly, "But he told me to bring her back." He then looked at me sadly, and I thought "would she be happier with a kid, a puppy and a doomed bird? Probably."
He smiled, "I have fed her. She really can eat, you know."
"I know," I said.