Etiquette School is in session! > "What an interesting assumption."

Assumptions about the happiness of my cat

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Bottlecaps:
BG: I have a cat. He's a vibrant, active, one-and-a-half year old black cat named Petey.

I also have neighbors, one in particular. For all intents and purposes, we'll call her SIL. (She's Mr. Bottlecaps' brother's girlfriend. Even though Mr. Bottlecaps and I are not married, for simplicity's sake, I sometimes call his brother my BIL.)

We lived with them for a short period of time after moving to Alabama. BIL has cat allergies, so Petey was outside most of the time - pretty much from the time we got up until we went to bed. That way, BIL didn't have much exposure to the dander. He did seem to enjoy the outdoors, and I didn't mind him being outside per say, but I was always hyper-vigilant of him being outside because Mr. Bottlecaps' first chihuahua got hit by a car and killed right in front of our houses not long after moving down here. Once we moved into the place next door, where we are now, I decided Petey would be indoors-only once again. There was no reason he had to go outside anymore, and it didn't seem to bother him that he wasn't going outside anymore.

End BG.

We have a gap between the floor and our front door. It's not a huge gap, but big enough to where Petey likes to sit by the door and look outside through it. He also enjoys looking outside through the windows. Basically, he enjoys looking outside period.

Every time SIL comes over, if he's looking out the door or out a window, she makes comments like, "He wants to go outside so bad," "He seems so sad since he can't go outside anymore," and "Why don't you let him outside? He really liked it out there."

I don't know how to respond to shut the comments down. It honestly makes me feel bad, I feel like I'm being accused of being cruel to him simply because I don't let him outside for his own safety and for my own peace of mind. I know it's really not cruel, as I'm just looking out for his safety and he still gets plenty of activity indoors, either by Mr. Bottlecaps and I playing with him or by him and the chihuahua we have now playing (or, as the case may be, Petey trying to play with her while she ignores him, LOL), but the constant comments still bother me. Any suggestions on how to shut her down? I'm especially worried because I'm going back to West Virginia in a little over a week, with Mr. Bottlecaps following after everything is in order up there, and he'll have Petey for that time down here. Mr. Bottlecaps is pretty blunt, and I want to try and shut the comments down before then so she doesn't say something to him that makes him snap at her about it.

Or am I just overreacting to all of this?

Black Delphinium:
"Eh, he's cool. Letting him look out the windows is way easier than teaching him how to work the remote."

Bottlecaps:

--- Quote from: Black Delphinium on April 20, 2013, 11:12:13 AM ---"Eh, he's cool. Letting him look out the windows is way easier than teaching him how to work the remote."

--- End quote ---

LOL! Love it! :)

Black Delphinium:

--- Quote from: Bottlecaps on April 20, 2013, 12:32:34 PM ---
--- Quote from: Black Delphinium on April 20, 2013, 11:12:13 AM ---"Eh, he's cool. Letting him look out the windows is way easier than teaching him how to work the remote."

--- End quote ---

LOL! Love it! :)

--- End quote ---
A bit of humor usually works for me. And cats love windows.

Figgie:
I actually just had a discussion with our vet about this very topic.  Dear friends of ours moved from a rural area to a very urban area and brought their indoor/outdoor cat with them.  They were very concerned that Pearl would miss the great outdoors and found that what she likes to do is look outside, but has shown NO interest in actually going outside.  :)  In fact she is more relaxed and more playful than she was at the other house.

Considering that she had spent the good part of the day outside for almost 10 years on their previous property, I asked the vet why she now seemed to prefer watching the busy street (one window) and the bushes in the backyard (other window) to going outside.

The vet told me that being outside is stressful for cats.  That every day Pearl had to go and re-mark her territory and chase intruders off.  So, rather than being outside having fun, she was outside working because that is how cats brains are wired.  Now that she is inside, she can enjoy the activity of outside without the responsibility of defending/marking her territory.

Pearl has only done one naughty thing and my friend said it was totally her fault.  When my friend forgot to scoop the litter box for three days, Pearl walked up to her, squatted and pooped on the kitchen linoleum.  Since then my friend has scooped the box daily and there hasn't been a repeat. :)

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