Sicy, I'm so glad Zoey was returned to you without incident. I know all too well that buzzard convention in the pit of the stomach, when the little one is missing. Here's the tale of Cindy's adventure (when she was about 8 or 9 months old and had not yet been introduced to the outdoors) as written to a friend moments after she was found...
"Cindy didn't come for dinner last night. She didn't come late for dinner, and she didn't come any number of other times she was called, either. We searched the house before bed, on hands and knees and with flashlight. We called, we enlisted (or tried to) the assistance of her sisters, and eventually we went weary to bed, hoping that she would come out from wherever and join us there.
"We knew she had not gotten out, because we each were watchful, as always, when we went out in the morning. We knew she had not gotten out by Dad's door, because he, if anything, is *more* watchful, not wanting to be the one who has let out a cat who's supposed to stay in, and his home care people are careful, too, especially his Friday/weekend one, because she is a cat person.
"Dad mentioned having heard something fall and then a scamper. We began to wonder if whatever fell had fallen *on* her and she had gone off to lick her wounds which turned out to be more serious than she thought.
"Well, morning came after not a great deal of sleep and I got up to deal with breakfast for Suzy and Fawn, calling, not very hopefully, for Cindy. Put breakfast down for S&F, turned to do water, and then realized that Fawn had abruptly walked away from a not-at-all finished dish. Followed her into the living room, where she was doing her best "axe murderer" stare, and creeping toward the chesterfield warily. Asked her what was up. She turned the wide eyes on me and then back again. Pulled an end table away, so I could move the chesterfield out more easily. Pulled it out from the wall, maybe an inch, and saw out of the corner of my eye, a black blur, with a red end, and knew precisely where to look and what I would find.
"Hustled to the spare room, where, cowering under the skirts of the bed, was Miss Cindy, with a small paper shopping bag clinging to her rear end. She allowed Mum to pick her up, release her from the clutches of the nasty bag, and cuddle her quite vehemently and hysterically for many minutes, and to carry her into the bedroom to wake sleeping Daddy for further rejoicing...
"Nibs had a similar adventure once, and we learned that paper shopping bags attack cats and chase them as far as the cat will run, and therefore must be kept where they can't see cats. I haven't a clue where she found this one, because I didn't even know there *was* one of this particular merchant in the house at this time, and I certainly hadn't been aware of it visually.
"I suspect the thud that Dad heard yesterday wasn't the cause of the ruckus, but either Cindy colliding with a wall in her flight, or something moderately harmless falling in her wake.
"Ah, well, my heart rate is gradually returning to normal, and my hands have almost stopped shaking. I was ready to take the house apart from stem to stern. Can't say I'm sorry I don't have to."
Go easy on the fiance, OK. Imagine what a SH*T he would have felt if anything had gone wrong! I'm sure he'll be super-vigilant, and is just as relieved that all is well.
Good suggestions above about getting the furkids accustomed to the hall, and even the patio, and making sure they come when called -- less chance of their finding themselves on the wrong side of a door, or being freaked out if they do.
Hugs for you and for your wonderful furpeople.