Monday, 7 February 2011

On kitty-related topics

Willow thinks newspapers are overrated - for me to read, that is. There are mornings when she couldn't care less, and then there are mornings, like today, when it's all about preventing me from reading the paper with my cup of tea. She walks around the kitchen nervously, cooing quietly, then tries my lap but can't get comfortable. Then she jumps on the table, and plops herself in the middle of the paper. I move her, maybe to a cushion by the window. Two minutes later she's back on the table. I put her on my lap, but she climbs back on the newspaper. I put her on the cushion again, and try to barricade the kitchen table so that she can't jump on it. She finds her way in somehow, because only the paper will do. We go back and forth for about twenty minutes, until I give up. I guess I'll just finish the paper later.

I don't think you guys have seen a picture of Lyric (Willow and Audrey's sister) before. She is the most timid of our six kitties. It has taken her a year and a half to get used to me, and even now she only comes to me in the evenings. This morning she poked her head in from the basement doorway. Usually she doesn't do this before, say, 6 pm.

More on kitty-related topics, this post on Passive-aggressive notes left me, once again, wondering about the debate that is "indoor vs outdoor" cats. Out of our kitties, after Cassie passed away, it is only Blue who gets to go out to our fenced-in backyard. She is older, and there is no danger of her trying to climb up a tree or the fence. The three sisters are curious about the outdoors, and we have tried taking them out on a leash, but they just freak out. Masa and Illusia, our Finnish kitties, are legally banned from being outdoors (unless harnessed, and that is just not going to happen). The animal shelter paperwork I signed when I took them in has a specific clause about not allowing the cats roam free.

Even if it wasn't for the promise I made to the shelter, I wouldn't let our cats out. I am too afraid that something would happen to them. Not too long ago, while waiting for our turn at the vet, a lady walked in with a cat whose cries were the most desperate I have ever heard. The poor kitty had been hit by a car. Last fall someone in our town found a cat with an arrow shot through its body. A local animal shelter tried to save the cat, but they did not succeed.

I know that there are plenty of kitty owners who believe in the cats' right to stay outdoors if they so wish. In Finland it is, I think, a countryside thing, at least for the most part. In the US, even many city dwellers let their cats out frequently. Personally, I don't get it. I don't think the same people would let their horses, dogs, rabbits, parrots, guinea-pigs or snakes out without supervision, and I don't think there is anything about cats in particular that should make them an exception. Or maybe there is, I don't know. Still, I am one of those who would take a street-roaming kitty to a shelter in a heartbeat. And I wouldn't care if I got a passive-aggressive note in return.

Shirt: men's Gap
Hoodie: men's Urban Outfitters
Jeans: Weekday
Boots: Merrell

Earrings: Christmas present from Chris


Holly said...

My mum has a house with a nice garden for her cat to roam around in, but she literally has to be forced out! She would be a permanent house-cat if she had any say in the matter!

jesse.anne.o said...

Wow, what a cute cat!

I am the same way you are - I've been doing rescue work too long and have had to spend thousands of bucks on cats that aren't even mine to clean up:

- pelvic fracture
- hairline jaw fracture
- abscessed and infected eyes
- enucleation
- dislocated tails
- toes being ripped off from fan belts
- puncture wounds
- blunt trauma

Not to mention the ones I'm not personally associated with but donate too - chemical burns in both eye socks and down the fur, degloved (which means skin ripped off) by fan belts almost whole body, set on fire, used as dog fight bait, etc. Oh, dragged into the woods crying by a coyote while the owner watched helpless (CA) or feral cat eaten so his caretaker could find only his paws (NJ).

And then there's the people who leave their windows open with no screens -- my friend's a sitter and had to deal with a couple who she bought temporary screens for, which they'd never use and their cat fell out the window and broke his back and they were...surprised.

Oh, and the neighbor who had a friendly black cat who lived by our cemetery, where people drag race. I talked to them about letting him out there several times and they insisted they were seasoned pet owners and "he's been outside since he was an 8 week old kitten" (awesome, not like we have hawks or anything!) -- when he was hit by a car, who was the one who found him dead in the road and had to ring their doorbell? Me. And she was...again, surprised.

Plus all the ones who are dead already due to car traffic, where I just put them to the side of the road and call sanitation.

There are so so so SO many reasons my cats will be indoor. If I had a fenced in yard (@ least 3 sides), fine. But otherwise - NO.

greatbleuheron said...

My dear departed kitty used to sit on the newspaper too--or on a throw rug, or on a magazine, or on any available small-to-midsize rectangle. I finally decided it was a cat geometry thing.


Eyeliah said...

I read that on P/A notes too. When your cat is out roaming free how is one supposed to know? I see them ALL the time in Vancouver, now I'll pay attention to if they have collars or not.