This is Barney, our quasi-feral beast who generally hangs out either a) in the basement where he can try to catch mousies or b) outside where he can try to catch moles.
Yes, I know it's better to keep cats inside. Our other cat is an indoor one. But Barney spent the first eight months of his like in a barn, hence the name, and that fending for yourself habit is one we've not been able to break.
Almost four weeks ago, Barney went outside and failed to return. After the first week passed, I figured that either a) he'd found a new batch of suckers to take him in or b) he'd tangled with something larger and not won. By week two, I was pretty sure we'd become a one cat family.
And then on Thursday last week, the cat came back at about 6 a.m. and announced his presence by yowling at my 2nd story office window, which has long been his favorite entrance to our house.
He was kind of grimy, yes, and had lost a few pounds (which he won't miss, if you get what I'm saying*) but appears otherwise unscathed. It took him all of five minutes to try to bite my hand as I was petting him, which is standard Barney behavior because he's kind of a jackass. He does seem extra cuddle-y lately, though.
It's great that he came back. And it's great that my expectations were upended. His sudden return does make me wonder what he'd been up to but he's not dropping any hints. Jerk.
*which is that he was pretty fat when he left