I managed to leave the back door unlatched when I went downstairs to the garbage bin this morning, and coming back I discovered two cats on the back stairs - looking very sheepish, I might add, as they both know they're not allowed past the threshhold - and the other two upstairs cats were nowhere to be seen. Much panicked searching ensued. I tracked Princess Fatty Kitten down quite quickly; she was crouched under the umbrella tree. Having won her freedom she had no idea what to do with it and I think she was glad to be rescued. She was certainly quite vocal as I took her back upstairs, telling me about the indignity of getting sticks and grass in her coat, and getting her little toes wet from the dew on the grass.
Chicken however (Hippie Chick) was a different matter. She is a skittish little thing, and led me on a merry dance. She kept diving under the car in the carport, then streaking out the other side when I got close to her. Eventually I had the bright idea of bringing her a drink of Carnation milk and baby cereal; I put the plate down on the side nearest to her then kneeled alongside it. Sure enough, she couldn't resist the temptation and within minutes was captured and once more safely inside the house.
Bloody cats. Like I needed the exercise this morning.