She's been hovering around the door when it's open, gazing out in great interest, but not making much movement past the sill. It helps that the stairs have been demolished, so it's a bit of a leap to the wobbly stump we're climbing into the house on.
But last night, with a burst of courage, she leapt out of the door while Jake and I were admiring our pretty new house and bounded off towards the woods.
With cries of "No, Velcro!" and "Bad cat!" we tried to corral her, and Norway thought this looked like entirely too much fun.
Now, normally, a 100 lb dog who decides to join a game of chase-the-cat is Bad News. It was with sinking heart that I watched him leap into motion - I was sure that poor Velcro was going to be chased right out into the woods to hide for a week. (Or until she got hungry. Or eaten by a fox, like my last cat.)
But a) that dog can corner the way a 100 lb dog should not be able to corner. And b) He is a herder at heart.
He knew exactly where the cat ought to be (inside) and he knew exactly how to get her there.
Velcro dodges! Norway corners! Velcro switches directions to dash to the back of the house! Norway gets ahead of her! (Best game in the whole world!) Velcro runs! Norway angles to cut her off! He never once went after her, only went where she shouldn't be going and made sure she didn't.
Before I could even panic, the cat was leaping back into the house to hide in shame and Norway was looking entirely satisfied and pleased with himself. We could not heap enough praise upon him.