My eyelids and throat are vaguely sore, the echoes of tears. My heart stopped racing hours ago, but I move in fits around our flat, unable to focus on anything for more than a few minutes.
Earlier today, we rushed home from our errands to let in the person doing some work on our flat. I hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch, so the exertion of the brisk walk there and back left me wobbly and sweaty. I opened one of our living-room windows to let in the cool breeze.
Not long after, FunkyPlaid asked me, "Have you seen Zen?"
Distracted with something online, I replied, "I saw her on the couch a few minutes ago."
I heard him call her a few more times, and then I heard him say, "O my god." Right as I was puzzling out: The couch is by the window. The window I opened--
"She's on the ledge," I heard FunkyPlaid say. I ran into the living-room, and as soon as I saw her, I lost it. I've had this nightmare a hundred times, maybe a thousand, since Zen came to live with me. All I could see was the way it ended in my nightmares.
We called and called her. She had made it almost all the way around to the corner window pictured. Occasionally she meowed back and turned around in a confused circle, then sat back down. FunkyPlaid ran outside to see which of our neighbours' windows she was nearest, and I kept calling her.
FunkyPlaid ran back inside and to our neighbours' front door. Zen was just about to take off around the corner when the window opened and I saw FunkyPlaid scoop her inside.
FunkyPlaid and I admonished Zen gently, but she is just a cat. She had no idea what sort of danger she was approaching; she saw an open window and sunshine beyond, and launched herself at it.
I'm not going to make up any cute metaphors for following your dreams or dancing like nobody's watching. I'm just grateful that FunkyPlaid is a quick and calm problem-solver, and that we're getting screens for the windows this summer.