On Christmas Eve, I had to run home briefly to let the dogs outside. My nieces asked to come along, and Lewis was incredibly excited to see them. We all went out to the back yard to give him a chance to run, but since he was so excited to see the girls and they weren't dressed for the snow, we ended up coming back in right away. A few minutes later, we gave the dogs treats to tie them over and went back to the party.
When I came home a little while later, the dogs greeted me at the front door and I think I saw Winter. I took off my coat and boots, and walked towards the back of the house to let the dogs out. That's when I realized the back door was wide open. And, by open, I don't mean unlocked. It was blowing in the breeze and letting anybody that chose to either come or go.
It took a little while for this to register, so I was already out back with the dogs before I clued in to how bad that open door could be. I left the dogs in their pen and came back in. I'd thought I'd seen Winter when I came in -he almost always greets me when I come home- but I needed to confirm that he was still around. Winter has been an indoor cat his entire life, and while he can be trusted not to dash out the doors when they are open briefly, this was pushing my luck. He was still inside... or possibly inside again.
Every year I hear stories of people's homes being broken into over the holidays while they are out celebrating. Honestly, I was so relieved that all three of the pets were safely inside that I didn't even bother checking the house or looking for items that may have been stolen.