Friday, November 02, 2012

It's a Great Big World Out There


We brought Luna home from the animal shelter about three years ago and she's lived her life happily as an indoor kitty ever since.

Then, Celine passed away unexpectedly and she was abruptly without feline company, however grumpy it may have been. We began to notice that she would sit on the windowsills of our basement suite, watching Willow play and frolic outside with us, and cry.  I broke our hearts.

Before long, in an incredible demonstration of her physical strength and mental will, she began to routinely pry open the sliding window screens and escape.  This, in spite of the fact that we used strong packing tape to secure them shut.

The Frenchman and I deliberated on the ramifications of giving her more freedom out of doors and determined that, if she was to remain safe, it wasn't an option while we were living in Itty Bitty Ville, for many of the same reasons we opted out of raising chickens there - too many free ranging dogs in the area, too many feral cats and coyotes, and the close proximity of a road with fast moving traffic.

We also felt that she couldn't afford to get lost so close to our impending move, in the event that she couldn't or wouldn't return home before we turned our backs on the place for good.

Nevertheless, we did feel that, in all fairness, she should be given the option to roam as she so clearly desired, knowing full well that indoor kitties have a better survival rate than outdoor kitties.  She would simply not listen to reason, so we made sure she received all her vaccinations before we moved and prepared her for her change of lifestyle.  Once she was familiar with her new environs inside, we enlarged her territory and let her explore further afield during daylight hours.

Fortunately, the very wind that I abhor also seems to serve as something of a force field keeping her close to the house, for now.



She makes short forays across the gravel drive to the scrappy grass, a delicacy for her when it's sweet and green and, no doubt, a huge disappointment for her in its present state.

Here she is bravely placing herself between Willow, who is out of the frame, and The Ball.  This cat has guts, I tell you.



She's no more impressed with the wind than I am and can be seen here giving it her best glare - the cat version of "the finger" - while it ruffles her fur.



Overall, Luna has been noticably happier, more affectionate, and content in her new home and with her increased independence.  As long as she remains unharmed, we're happy, too.

15 comments:

the7msn said...

Luna has certainly made her preferences for the outdoors clear. Smart girl! If you have an opportunity, read the cat chapter in Temple Grandin's "Animals Make Us Human." It will provide all the validation you might need that you are doing the right thing.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Thanks for the reference, Linda. I'll check it out. I watched the Temple Grandin movie the other night for the first time. Very interesting. The woman is tenacious!

Betty said...

Beautiful Kitty you have. They sure do love the outdoors. I live in the country too and certainly understand your concern in letting them venture out in the big wide world.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Betty: I'm less concerned here, than I was in the city. That said, I think I found an active fox hole near the house...

Rain Trueax said...

We let our cats be outside but only during the day. I think most dangers to them are at night-- not the least of which can be killed by a passing vehicle. When we got the third one, Pepper, it bothered me more that I would find her body out on that road one day; so we put the effort into creating an outdoor fenced yard and it was the compromise. I still get them all in before it's dark.

C-ingspots said...

Sounds like a good decision...after all, if given the choice, I'd bet that more animals than not would prefer quality over quantity. As would I.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Rain: She's only permitted day passes and seems okay with that.

C-ingspots: It seems to be working out fine, so far.

June said...

I have lived with a good many cats, and not a one of them preferred living a life of what people consider pure safety. I believe that animals can identify threats of harm far more effectively than I can. Cats are smart and get smarter when they can live full Cat Lives.
Ramble on, Luna!

Catherine said...

I'm glad Luna is enjoying her new home! Well....except the wind and cold of course. ;)
Happy November!
xo Catherine

Carolynn Anctil said...

June: Luna is bold and brave. There's some old farm machinery not far from the house that's become something of a kitty jungle gym for her.

Catherine: She's so happy here and I'm amazed that she even wants to go outside in the sub-zero weather.

Heather said...

Hi there... Jen sent me your way... reading your profile you sound an awful lot like me! Have been perusing your blog, love it. Oh, and BTW, Jen says hi... Cheers.

Christina said...

It seems to be the night that poses the most danger anyway. Luna looks beautiful

Carolynn Anctil said...

Welcome Heather!

Christina: I agree. She has enough to keep her occupied exploring inside, with a 100 year old basement and crawlspace to noodle around in.

Sharon said...

Luna blends right in. My daughter has a cat that would love your outdoors because she's an indoor cat who is just sure there's something great out there.

Farmer Jen said...

Luna is beautiful! May she live a long and happy life with you.

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