Run Away, See if I Care

Lately I've been wondering if I really love my cat anymore. Before I had Aurora, this animal was the apple of my eye. I lovingly referred to him as my fuzzy child. I picked a new toy up for him as part of my grocery shopping. I would accompany him outside every now and then so he could get a change of scenery, never leaving him to make sure he stayed safe. I made sure he got all the physical, emotional, and intellectual stimulation he needed.
Once my family went on vacation to Disneyland and I cried thinking about him all alone. My poor baby! Sure I noticed his annoying flaws. He is super whiny. He has a weird paw cleaning routine when he uses his cat box. He likes to wake me up by poking me in the head. But my love was unconditional. I saw him as my child.
I started to get suspicious of this "undying devotion" to Cabello when we moved to D.C. Due to our moving circumstances, he had to stay behind at my mom's house until someone could fly him to us. During the month and a half he was not with us I rarely thought about him unless I was talking to my mom.
Since he's come home, he's felt like just one more thing that needs my attention. He is invisible to me a lot of the time. But eventually his presence is brought to my attention as he finds just the wrong time to voice his disapproval to my neglect with a guttural wail of a meow. Usually this time is right after Aurora has settled down for a nap or just as I am getting into bed. My annoyance at him has gotten so bad that a few weeks ago I decided that this "indoor cat" was going outdoors for a bit every day so that we could both get a break from each other.
The first time that I let him out unsupervised I fantasised about him running away. If he did I would be free from the inconvenience he caused me. I wondered how I would feel. Would I be devastated if he never came home or just a little sad? How long would it take me to recover? How much effort would I put in to find him?
Today we left him outside while we drove to the park. We were gone about a half hour and then headed back home. As we pulled up to the house I saw a woman in our yard, crouched down. Cabello was about 2 arms lengths from her. I FELT PANIC! What is this woman trying to do to my cat? Is she planning on taking him? I hurried out of the Jeep and tight-lipped came up behind the lady. Then I saw her camera. She was taking pictures of him. I was relieved, but still feeling protective. She asked if it was my cat to which I firmly said yes. Seeing I wasn't in a friendly mood she smiled and was on her way. I grabbed him up and took him inside.
Once inside, I marveled at the strong emotion I felt when I thought someone might take him from me. I was ready to tackle that lady down if she got any funny ideas. So now I know! I care. I still care A LOT! This cat has a piece of my heart and always will. Sometimes it takes a faux kidnapping attempt to resurface a persons true feelings. Poor Cabello, and poor formerly only child pets everywhere! Let's not forget to love our fuzzy children.