Simon (the big one in the picture) doesn't usually ask to be let outside. He likes to sit in windows and smell the air, he likes to greet us at the back door when we come in, and he spits at birds and squirrels in some demented effort to act like he is still wild, but he doesn't act like he realizes he could actually be outside. Outside doesn't seem like it's a place to him, it's a picture.
On the other hand, when presented with the opportunity, out he goes, where he likes to pretend like he knows what he is doing. But he doesn't really. 'Cos he's kind of a dumbass.
All of the cats had disappeared on New Year's Eve, what with the people and the dogs and the noise. Around 2:00 the next day, Len decided they had been in hiding for long enough and managed to get Gwen and Judy to come out and play. He could not, however, find Simon, and we finally determined that he must have gotten out; we searched all over the property, up and down the road (the main reason we don't let the cats out is because of the road), where he was not, thank god, lying dead. No where. He was not to be found.
Len was freaking out. While Simon has never been out for very long before, I wasn't as concerned because I have had cats who have disappeared for long periods before, so I knew he would come back. Len was blaming himself, since he invited the friends with the dogs and he thought they had chased Simon out. We had to go to my parents' house for dinner, while there we made Missing Cat posters, even though I fully expected him to be waiting for us when we got home (poor Len was not to be appeased).
And of course he was. As I walked up to the porch, there he was, crying pathetically underneath. I had to drag him out, but he was home, safe and sound.
Gwen yelled at him all that night and most of the next day and Judy...Judy was more enamoured than ever.