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Sheryl Prentice / The Journal Gazette
Squeak rests in her favorite spot on top of the piano after her overnight camping trip under the back deck. She's become an expert at sneaking out of the house.

Squeak's walkabout

Squeak has become a conniving adolescent. The 9-month-old cat demonstrated one recent Saturday night just how good she is at sneaking out of the house.

We got home late after spending time with friends. I took Peanut outside for his walk, made sure the pets' water tank was full and then went to bed. I barely flipped the lights off when Sadie and Shelby, the Australian blue heelers, started barking in their outdoor kennel.

Probably the deer moving across the hayfield, I thought. But the heelers kept barking, so my husband Lowell went to see what their problem was. He opened the front door, stuck his head outside – and didn't see or hear anything.

However, Squeak saw her chance. She scooted between his feet and out the door, unseen because he didn't turn the porch light on. He closed the door, unaware of her escape.

I rushed around Sunday morning to get ready for church and didn't pay attention to whether I'd seen the cats. Pip and Peanut greeted me at the door when I got home after church, but Squeak was nowhere to be seen.

I opened every door in the house – cupboards, bathrooms, bedrooms.

No Squeak.

I looked under the furniture.

Still no Squeak.

Drat! She must be outside.

Probably knocked up.

I spent the better part of an hour looking in the sheds and walking around the yard calling her name. And then – there she was, warily peeking out from under the back deck. I brought her dish filled with cat food and finally coaxed her out from under the deck.

She apparently didn't make any friends. Back up and claws out, she hissed at any of the curious barn cats who ventured close enough to look at her.

I opened the back door and she darted inside.

And like most of us after a long trip, she had to pee. She headed straight for the litter box.

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