At precisely 12:12 today, a cry went up in the hallway. “It’s 12:12 on 12/12/12!” said the cry.

Instantly, I opened internet explorer and yelled back, “Facebook or tumblr?”

“Both!” the cry instructed me.

But alas, I only had time to post it on tumblr. By the time I got to facebook, it was 12:13.

The aforementioned hallway was in fact the hallway at the house, and the aforementioned cry came from the mouth of one of my sisters. I left college and came to my house yesterday. (I refrain from using the word “home” here merely because I refer to both college and my house as “home”, depending upon the context.) This may not have been the brightest idea in the history of bright ideas, because I still have some final papers to finish. That is, I now have one final paper to finish, because I turned one in this morning. In the end, it turned out to be truly idiotic. But I’m now only about a day away from really being on Christmas break, which is nice, I guess.

One of the first things that happened upon my arrival at the abode of my kin was that my beloved cat Bo decided to sneak outside. He stood at the door waiting for an opportune moment, and then, as I re-entered the house bearing two armfuls of my luggage including my electric keyboard, he squeezed past me and escaped into the great outdoors.

I dropped my loot in the doorway and ran after Bo, who circled around the house once and then ran into the open space under the neighbor’s shed. Not long ago, he got out of the house, was lost for a whole day, and stayed under that shed until my parents and siblings found him and brought him back home. The incident entailed much distress and many tears, and his safe return was an occasion of much joy. Apparently, he wanted to reenact that scene for me, because he would not come out, despite the bribes of cat treats and turkey we offered him.

“Bo,” said I unto the cat, as I pushed my face against the wooden planks enclosing the space, “you can’t stay there. You have to come back. You know you’re going to get lonely out here.”

He rubbed his face against the planks from the inside with an expression of both affection and smugness in his eyes. “Why would I get lonely?” his face said. “You’re right here with me.”

He had a point there. We obviously weren’t going to leave him alone out there; we’d be too worried about his safety.

“But Bo,” I said, “You can’t stay there. You’re going to get hungry.”

“No, I won’t,” he said, “I’ve got grass down here. Look, yummy grass! Ooh, and look at all the dirt! Yummy dirt!”

“Ew, Bo, gross,” I said to him, “stop eating the dirt.”

He purred, because there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop him from eating the dirt.

“Bo Kitty,” I said, holding out a hand with a couple cat treats in it. “Come! You know you want them! All this and more can be yours! Come back to us!”

Bo cleverly calculated the speed at which he could snitch the treats out of my hand and moved into position to execute the feat. But I took a step backwards to thwart his plans. “If you want them, you have to let me take you back inside,” I informed him. “I’m not going to be that easy to trick.”

“Then I’m not going to be that easy to trick, either,” said Bo, curling up on a cinder block and taking a bite of dirt. He let his mouth hang strangely open so that I would worry that he’d already caught some fearsome disease.

“Bo,” said I, “How about if we stop trying to trick each other and you just come back to me?”

“Don’t be silly,” said Bo, “Why would I come back to you now when I can have attention, fresh air, and all the grass I want just by sitting here, and I know that you’ll be right there to bring me back home when I do decide to come back?”

I had to admit he had a point there.

To make a long story short, we eventually got him back inside. He was thoroughly covered in mud and highly offended by our annoyance with him, especially when one of my sisters and the other cat both scolded him for making them cry again. But then this morning, he suddenly remembered how long it’s been since he saw me and how much he likes me, and he rejoiced greatly. And I pointed out to him that he didn’t really want to go live out under the neighbor’s shed. He likes our food better than dirt and grass, anyway.