On most Friday evenings through the year, a church house group meets in our home. We have a meal together (different people bringing different parts), we chat and socialise and pray around the dining room table, and then we move through to the living room to have an informal Bible study. We chose Friday evening when the group started a few years ago because it's Youth Group night; so Tim is usually out. We start the meal around 6.30 and usually finish the Bible study around 9pm or a little later.
Yesterday there was no Youth Group, so Tim had something to eat with us, then went upstairs to catch up with his email while we had the rest of the meeting. Sophia, our highly scheduled cat, usually appears from wherever she was sleeping as we go through to the living room. The owner of her favourite lap is in the UK at present. After sniffing everyone's legs to ensure he wasn't there, she opted for my lap as second best, and ensured my attention was at least partly on her for the next hour.
By about 9.30pm everyone had left, and Richard then had to pop back to the office to switch something off. As he went out, Sophia asked to go out, too. I assumed she would wait for Richard, and come in when he returned. He got back about half an hour later, but she was sitting on the window ledge by the front door and refused to come in.
We don't mind if our cats are out all night - there's no cat door, and only Cleo has figured out how to get up to the next storey to get in by the small bathroom window - but Sophia is a very vocal cat. If she gets shut out when she doesn't want to be, she mews to let us know. Her mew gets louder and louder, sufficient to wake us up. So, since her current routine is to sleep on my legs at night, we didn't really want her to stay out. But she refused to come in for me, or for Richard.
Inspiration struck. She was evidently waiting for Tim to get back from Youth Group (which can be any time from about 10pm until midnight or even later). She hadn't noticed that he was in the house all evening, since he wasn't with us during the Bible study.
So Richard asked Tim to let Sophia know he was home... and sure enough, as soon as he opened the door and called her, she came straight in, acknowledged his presence, and then came up to sleep on my legs as usual.