Don’t worry, he’s back now, but Cobb was gone for about 21 hours today.

It all started last night when Harvey came barreling downstairs to go outside to pee.  I let him out, and Cobb ran out with him.  Bruce came to go outside a few minutes later, and Cobb was by the door then, but I couldn’t remember if he actually came in or stayed out.  A few minutes later Bruce and Harvey came back in.  Usually Cobb comes in with them, but sometimes he likes to just hang out a little longer.  So I gave it a few minutes then went outside to our fenced-in backyard to look for him using the light on my iPhone.

I couldn’t find him, so I figured he must be inside.

I got to the bedroom and didn’t see him, and I was tired so I almost went to sleep, but then I thought I really should make sure he’s inside, so I looked all around the house.  I still couldn’t find him, so I made another round in the backyard.  Nothing.  Since it was 2:00 I figured he had to be somewhere in the house and I was retiring for the nonce.

I woke up and he still wasn’t around.  I got Milly dressed and we started to walk around the neighborhood to look for him.  I called Amanda to make sure she hadn’t seen him this morning, and she hadn’t.  So that kind of ruined her day.  Milly was walking very slowly, so I decided we’d drive around.  We canvassed the neighborhood a couple times, went down the bigger road bordering our neighborhood hoping not to see anything I didn’t want to see, checked a nearby trailer park (I’d never been in it, but the place is really big) and looked at the store up the road just for the heck of it.

Milly had a scheduled playdate with Maggie, so we went into the store for a couple minutes then I dropped her off, rode through the neighborhood one more time then went inside.

Now, I wasn’t overly worried because Cobb used to be an outside cat, and cats tend to wander sometimes.  I was a little worried because I-40 is on one side of our neighborhood, but I was thinking he’d be back in a day or two.  Despite that, I made up some  flyers and was putting them on road signs in the neighborhood when Amanda pulled up.  I didn’t print as many as I thought I had, so we went back to the house and printed the rest then she went out and spread them around.

Of note, the store up the road, a grocery store chain, told her she couldn’t put signs up, and if she did they’d take them right down.  Amanda was very upset about this.  It’s a store we frequent often enough that a number of employees know Milly by name.  Milly and I walk there from the house on an almost weekly basis just to buy a doughnut and sit outside to eat it.  Amanda took to Facebook and I took to Twitter.  Our big thing was that the store is supposed to be part of the community, and what’s more community than helping someone find a lost pet.

Anyway, Amanda called and talked to the manager and was told she could put the signs up for a day or two.  He (or she, I don’t know) said that if they’d been the person she first talked to they’d have let her do it.  It’s against store policy to let people put signs up, but that she was right, being a part of the community meant making exceptions for things like this.  When Amanda went back there to put up the flyers some employees were in a group and one of them asked Amanda if she was the mom of that little girl, and when Amanda said she was she got a sympathetic, “Aww!”  I don’t know if it was someone who recognized her from having Milly up there or if it was the girl who checked me and Milly out this morning, because this morning when we were waiting in the checkout line the lady in front of us started talking to Milly and Milly told her we were looking for her Cobblekitty, which I then explained.  And the cashier wished us luck in finding out missing kitty.

I got a response from the corporate Twitter account, too.  They apologized and conversed with me.  All in all, I’m upset that it happened, because we always get friendly service and I feel like the people know us, at least to some degree, but I’m glad it was resolved.

I made the mistake of telling Milly, while we were looking for Cobb, that I wanted to make sure he wasn’t hurt, but then I explained that he was probably fine and was hanging out with his kitty friends.  Later when I asked her where Cobb was she matter-of-factly said, “He’s in danger.”  All subsequent answers, though, were, “He’s hanging out with his kitty friends.”

Amanda took several walks today in hopes of finding our lost cat.  There are at least two other orange tabbies that look like Cobb in our end of the neighborhood, and both of them messed with me and Amanda at different times today.  Amanda said there was one at the other end of the neighborhood that she saw that started walking towards her when she started walking towards it.  She determined that it wasn’t our Cobblepott, but it started following her back home anyway.

We left the front and back lights on for Cobb tonight, even though I mentioned to Amanda that I didn’t know if Cobb would know what our front yard looks like.  Amanda was finally going to go upstairs when she leaned over to kiss me while I was sitting on the couch when her face perked up.  I looked out the back door and saw two yellow-orange ears and the top of a furry head.  He came back just in time for Amanda to be relieved of the worry she felt all day long.  I think Milly will be very excited to see him tomorrow morning.  I plan on having the video camera ready when she gets up.

I asked Cobb where he’d been all day, but he has yet to tell me.

In other news, we applied for insurance today.  We discussed it with my guy Jack Wingate at Allchoice Insurance.  He’s a Venuecom client I got to know pretty well, and eve though we didn’t know each other we were both at Northern High School at the same time.  He was a couple classes ahead of me.  Anyway, I talked to him about it a couple days ago then called him at least three times to get help making a final decision then bit the bullet.  Amanda and I are getting an HSA family plan, and we’ll put Milly on it at the beginning of the year when Blue Cross allows for policy changes.  The best thing about it is that our rate (while still not cheap) is going to be lower than the estimated rate by about $40 or $50 a month.  So that’s big news.

I dropped off the Terrain and picked the Escape back up this afternoon.  It reinforces how much I want to get a new stereo, because I really like having my iPhone hooked up as the music source.  Then again, the whole system was nicer in the Terrain, so after I get a new stereo, maybe I’ll need to get some new speakers too.  At some point anyway.

The upholstery was fixed, huzzah, although the people who did it left a little bit of a mess behind.  Whatever though, it’s all fixed, right?  The service people at Jeff Gordon also drove the thing 14 miles to try to hear the knocking sound I sometimes hear when accelerating, but they didn’t hear it so they didn’t have anything to look at on that front.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to get Dave to look at it/hear it and maybe he can give me an idea what’s going on.  Of course, it might just be nothing.

After I picked that up I went by the Frazelles’ to pick up some surf boards for the weekend.  Barry asked if I’d mind taking his board as well, which was fine with me, especially since the Escape has a rack on top of it.  He wasn’t  home yet when I got there, so I waited around and chatted with Kirsten and Anna.  Kirsten was telling stories about people and professors at school, and that girl can be pretty funny.

After Barry and I loaded up the boards I went by Islands to pick up tacos for dinner.  Cyra was coming over to learn how to operate the totality of our home entertainment system, so I got dinner for her too, since she and her peeps will be watching the house.  Amanda texted me the taco order for the two of them and Milly.  I ended up walking out of that place with nine tacos, one brown bag full of chips and three drinks.  Then I went back in because I forgot to get five cups of salsa.

Cyra hung out for a bit.  Milly was all jacked up from lack of nap (for the second straight day, despite being put down for a nap), though that just meant she was hyper.  Of course, after our last walk of the day to look for Cobb the lack of sleep was showing in a different way.

It started when we were at Bonnie and Dave’s and two jets flew overhead.  The jets are super loud and Milly doesn’t like loud noises, so she covered her ears, and when the second one flew by the started down their driveway to head for the house.  Mind you, it was dark outside at this point.  I told her the jets were done and that she could take her hands off her ears, but she insisted that there would be more and she couldn’t take her hands down until the got back into the house.  Anyway, she was fussy from then on until we read The Mixed-up Chameleon.

Amanda and I watched The Soup then half-watched some of the Republican National Convention while sitting on the couch and checking Facebook or whatever until Amanda caught sight of Cobb.

Guess we’ll need to take down the flyers tomorrow.

I reset my Sims game on a whim last night.  Now I don’t feel like rebuilding, so I’ve deleted it entirely.  It was a bit too time-consuming, and I’m too anal retentive to just leave it there and only play it now and then, so I think this stepped sytstem worked for me.

Zach Dotsey