Much drama with Theo the other day. The teenager was out walking him, and something startled Theo- a motorbike backfiring, I think. He darted away, and in doing so pulled the harness leash out of the lad's hand in the process. The lad yelped (I heard the yelp from inside) and made a grab for the leash, which of course frightened Theo and so he took off down the street.
I'd heard the yelp, and I looked out of the window to see the lad and about four other neighbourhood children charging up the path. Odd, thought I, he must have brought Theo in already. But then I saw Theo, sprinting back the other way, with the kids in hot pursuit. Argh!
So anyway I bellowed out the window 'STOP CHASING HIM YOU ARE SCARING HIM AND MAKING IT WORSE!!!!!!' and dashed into the kitchen to grab the cat treats intending to coax Theo out of wherever he had gone for, but no sooner had I opened the fridge than I heard a clattering at the door. He'd run home :)
Poor Theo spent the next hour under the sofa, which is also where he went the next day when I got out the harness for his walk! He was thoroughly scared by the whole incident- not just the motorcycle backfiring (which was what alarmed him in the first place) but then by having a bajillion children charging after him! Not the best way to coax a cat, as I pointed out to the teenager later on... thing is he knows this, I reckon he just got caught up in the moment.
Theo's fine now though, and I'm very happy that when he was scared, his instinct was to came home