At 3:30 this morning, shortly after I decided to call it quits for the night, I heard a very loud screaming cat fight in our backyard. Charlie is a big cat but he's also getting old, and it really sounded like he was one of the cats involved. Other possibilities raced through my mind as I ran outside, especially considering what we found on Sunday.
Nothing in our yard, nothing in either neighbor's yard and nothing over the back wall. But also no Charlie. He wasn't in the bedroom either, but he's a mostly black cat and so easy to miss in the dark. I got the mag lite and went looking again, and he turned up outside the cat door in the backyard as if nothing had happened. Apparently he was not involved and was just coming out to look.
He went back in through the cat door and I went back to bed after cleaning off a lot of wet grass residue.