First Day on the Job
Fletch made it through the mandatory week in his cage to get acclimated to his new home, and on Wednesday we let him out to roam around the workshop. By Thursday afternoon he was ready to see what we were up to in the garden, so he sneaked out the door past Tiegan during one of her frequent visits to the workshop. He was easily lured back with just the promise of some petting. This guy is a love bug — I think part dog, since he comes when he's called and rolls over on his back for belly rubs.
Since we knew he'd be out and about soon, I picked up a collar for him last night (breakaway, in case he gets stuck on anything). After we cut off the loser kitty bell, he was good to go — no complaints about the collar so far.
Last night around midnight I thought I heard some meowing, but it stopped after a minute, so I went to bed.
This morning Jonas woke me up with the (slightly panicked) revelation that Fletch was in the front yard. And that he had flushed a rabbit out of the perennial border.
He came right back when we called him, and he looked very glad to see us. My guess is that he had been out all night, and the meowing was him trying to get back in. When I took a look around, I noticed that one of the screens to the workshop was pushed out at the corner. He must have pushed his way out and jumped down, but there's no way he could've gotten back in that way. He followed me back in pretty willingly (because I fed him breakfast), and I closed the window from the inside.
And then a half hour later Tiegan went to pick up his breakfast leftovers, and he followed behind her in the door from the yard.
We put him back inside and did a perimeter search on the workshop to try to figure out how he got out. We didn't have to wait long: He opened the window with his head, pushed through the screen, and jumped down.
So now the workshop door and the driveway gate are open, so he can get back inside the places he's escaped from. He's officially on duty in the garden now:
Don't let this fool you. In addition to the rabbit he chased out of the flowers, he also stalked down a chipmunk running under the screened in porch and terrified it. Before he could finish it off, the kids distracted him with petting.
But yeah, most of the time he's sunbathing on the bricks or napping under my car. We'll get the cat door ready this weekend so he can come and go in a more civilized fashion (without pitifully meowing to get back in).
Update (not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach)
This afternoon Kirk found Fletch's first kill while he was mowing the lawn. Avert your eyes if you have a soft spot for chipmunks:
Fletch kicks ass.
As for the carcass, Kirk threw it out on the hill behind the fence. 500 years from now, some archeologist is going to be very puzzled by the small rodent graveyard back there...