Author Topic: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat  (Read 7266 times)

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BeagleMommy

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2013, 12:19:05 PM »
Miss Bitsycat, my late kitty, was an indoor cat.  She would move from window to window and just gaze out at the world.  She used to sit so still a neighbor asked why I moved the white cat statue to a different window all the time.

She was found, abandoned, behind a dumpster in Baltimore.  Once she became part of the family she had no desire to return to the outside world.  Anyone who tried to tell me she wanted out because she was sitting in a window would have gotten "Try opening a door.  She'll run the other way."

Melle

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2013, 12:26:42 PM »
I'm incredibly lucky:
The small garden of the apartment I moved into already had been secured for cats. There's a tall wall at the end of the garden and high fences, bent inward at the top, on both sides. Which is a blessing because my cat loves the outdoors, but gets really stressed out by other cats (and sometimes people) and likes to remain close by. Sometimes she even ushers me outside so she'll feel safer :)

This new situation is pure bliss and I can only recommend it to any cat owner.

magicdomino

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2013, 01:04:40 PM »
Nani would be happy to go outside.  She has gotten out accidently a couple of times, and has been known to hang around an open door.  However, Nani is a happy, easy-going cat in general, and perfectly content to stay inside.  It may help that the cats have access to a screened porch for their fresh air needs.

RooRoo

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2013, 04:34:50 PM »
When I lived in New England, I rescued a fully mature feral tomcat. He became interested in me because I never chased him, but would talk to him - and through his "conversing" with my indoor cat through the window.

It took a long time until he trusted me, but eventually he would let me pet him. I debated with myself about adopting him; if I did, he would be an indoor only cat, and I was thinking like your SIL. Then one early spring day, I saw him lying in the sunshine and went to pet him. He was gurgling when he breathed, and I knew that upper respiratory infections in cats can be deadly. So I said, "Your days of freedom are over, buster;" picked him up, carried him inside, and took him to the Vet's.

He settled in just fine, and hardly fussed at pills being shoved down his throat and having his ear mites treated. But he was one happy cat. He would look out the windows, but never tried to beat me out the door. I knew his time was short - he carried the feline leukemia virus.

A year or so later, in the middle of winter, he asked to go out. I picked him up and carried him onto the porch. I was not about to let him go; I was prepared for a fight, if necessary.

It wasn't. He looked calmly around at the 1/12 feet of snow, then looked up at my face and tucked his head into my chest. "OK, I've seen enough. Take me back in!" The leukemia virus attacked the next summer, and he died in my arms.

RIP Gentleman Jackson, well-beloved survivor of the streets. Thank you for blessing my life.

And, if a former free-roaming, free-breeding tomcat had no further yearning for the great outdoors...

Your SIL is wrong!
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Nora

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2013, 05:29:03 PM »
We have a Norwegian Forest cat. A stray kitten Bob ended up keeping because...big eyes. I keep thinking; we're in Norway, there is the friggin forest! I love her, I do, but she talks a lot. Preferably while humans are extremely otherwise occupied, and she does not get the concept "In a minute, Kitty".

Anywho, so yeah. There the forest lies, just a few hundred yards! Does she stare at it all day? Yes. Does she follow you around kvetching about all this potential she is wasting on you at home, while she could be out getting the most out of her hysterectomy? Of course she does. Does she paw pathetically at the door until you open it? Fo shizzle my nizzle. What does she do when you finally, FINALLY open the door???

...


Anyone who guessed "huffs at slave insultedly and flounces off to hide under heavy furniture" can come pick up waffles at my house.
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Bottlecaps

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2013, 07:05:50 PM »
To those of you who have lost your beloved kitties, you have my deepest sympathies. :(

All of these stories remind me of how we got Petey. Mr. Bottlecaps, not long after we first started dating, were walking home one night. It was pretty cold and rainy, and out of someone's yard came a small, black kitten, about six to eight weeks old. He had a flea collar on that was too tight (signaling, to me anyway, that he had been out and about on his own for at least long enough for the collar to become too tight). I had seen him before from a distance but I thought he belonged to someone in that neighborhood. Apparently he didn't though, because I thought, "Who on Earth would let a small kitten stay outside on a night like this?"

I picked him up and pet him, then set him back down. I felt so guilty, but I thought about the fact that I could be risking taking someone's pet (even though it was pretty obvious by the collar being too tight and his size that he probably wasn't being well-cared for, not to mention the fact he was stuck outside on a cold, rainy night).

Then he started to follow us. :) We got to the bridge just a little ways down the street, and I said, "Mr. Bottlecaps, we can't just leave him out in the cold like this." So I picked him up, wrapped him into my coat against my chest, and carried him home. We put a post on Facebook (it's a very small town) with his picture asking if anyone knew him or his owner. I secretly didn't want to find his owners though, since as I said before, I don't think he was being well cared for. But I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, thinking that maybe he had run off on them (although there were no posters or anything for him, either). Luckily though, no takers. A few people said they'd seen him around that area though for a good couple of weeks, so my suspicion was right. He had been on his own all that time. :( Originally Mr. Bottlecaps didn't want to keep a cat, so we rehomed him to some good friends of ours, then a month later they found out they couldn't keep him so we took him back, and he's been with us ever since. :)

I think he still remembers that experience being out in the cold. Every once in a great while he'll express a desire to go outside, but that's only if he sees another cat invading on his turf. Other than that, he's perfectly content inside where he's well fed and gets plenty of love. :)

I think the next time she brings it up, I'm just going to firmly but politely say, "Eh, letting him look outside is easier than teaching him to use the computer for entertainment. And besides, his safety comes above all else. I want him with me for a long, long time."
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Bluenomi

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2013, 09:21:43 PM »
Isis has always been an indoor cat and but still loves windows. She knows where the property boundaries are and get cranky if anyone comes into HER yard. Plus she's a cat, they have to know everything that's going on so of course she's going to watch the outside world.

She does change windows though based on the sun, morning it's the back of the house, afternoon it's the front. I quite often come home to find her sitting in the front window.

Minmom3

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2013, 09:47:19 PM »
When I lived in New England, I rescued a fully mature feral tomcat. He became interested in me because I never chased him, but would talk to him - and through his "conversing" with my indoor cat through the window.

It took a long time until he trusted me, but eventually he would let me pet him. I debated with myself about adopting him; if I did, he would be an indoor only cat, and I was thinking like your SIL. Then one early spring day, I saw him lying in the sunshine and went to pet him. He was gurgling when he breathed, and I knew that upper respiratory infections in cats can be deadly. So I said, "Your days of freedom are over, buster;" picked him up, carried him inside, and took him to the Vet's.

He settled in just fine, and hardly fussed at pills being shoved down his throat and having his ear mites treated. But he was one happy cat. He would look out the windows, but never tried to beat me out the door. I knew his time was short - he carried the feline leukemia virus.

A year or so later, in the middle of winter, he asked to go out. I picked him up and carried him onto the porch. I was not about to let him go; I was prepared for a fight, if necessary.

It wasn't. He looked calmly around at the 1/12 feet of snow, then looked up at my face and tucked his head into my chest. "OK, I've seen enough. Take me back in!" The leukemia virus attacked the next summer, and he died in my arms.

RIP Gentleman Jackson, well-beloved survivor of the streets. Thank you for blessing my life.

And, if a former free-roaming, free-breeding tomcat had no further yearning for the great outdoors...


Your SIL is wrong!

The all time best cats I've had and my IL's had were funny enough, two nearly identical black and white tuxedo boys, both in their early teens when they decided to move in with me (and them), both short hairs with deep raspy voices who had to be neutered at that late age.  Both THRILLED to have a HOME that fed them and brushed them and let them sleep on beds.  Mine found us in Los Angeles in the 1970's, MIL's found her up in San Jose in the early 1980's.  Wonderful, wonderful cats.  Gobs of personality.  Everybody cried when those cats got sick and old and had to be put down.  Both were indoor/outdoor until they died, but they knew exactly where they lived and never strayed far once they found us.
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Minmom3

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2013, 09:58:51 PM »
We have a Norwegian Forest cat. A stray kitten Bob ended up keeping because...big eyes. I keep thinking; we're in Norway, there is the friggin forest! I love her, I do, but she talks a lot. Preferably while humans are extremely otherwise occupied, and she does not get the concept "In a minute, Kitty".

Anywho, so yeah. There the forest lies, just a few hundred yards! Does she stare at it all day? Yes. Does she follow you around kvetching about all this potential she is wasting on you at home, while she could be out getting the most out of her hysterectomy? Of course she does. Does she paw pathetically at the door until you open it? Fo shizzle my nizzle. What does she do when you finally, FINALLY open the door???

...


Anyone who guessed "huffs at slave insultedly and flounces off to hide under heavy furniture" can come pick up waffles at my house.

And on the other end of the spectrum, you have my daughters ex cat Marty.  Marty was brought home at 6 weeks, straight from his mom's owners house.  Marty moved in with #2 and her 2 roomies to an apartment with a pitiful patio, upstairs.  Marty spent his first 9 months trying desperately to GET OUT and (go visit Napoleon downstairs) and being brought right back up inside.  Once he moved in with us (9 months old, got him neutered) since we were rural, he got to go out whenever he wanted.  He LOVED being out and Fierce and Bad Donkey!  He HUNTED (never caught a thing other than a moth or two) FIERCELY.  He walked #2 to the bus stop a block away.  And then, after a few years, we left rural and moved back to the city, in another upstairs apartment.  He HATED it.  Knocked potted plants (fairly heavy ones too!) down from the window sill.  Yowled.  Tried to jump out the 2nd story window (unscreened, darn it) and nearly defenestrated himself.  Figured out that he could jump up on the roof from our porch, and from there he could get down on the ground.  He didn't come home for a week...

Marty adored living in the apartment complex, and decided he now belonged to EVERYBODY.  He went to the club house to hang out during the monthly ukelele meetings.  He went to the quarterly HOA meetings.  He went to a Thanksgiving dinner party and had a bath in the front window until they called me and asked me to keep him IN the house until their party was over.  When a bicycling group met up before going out on a ride, and everybody was out on the grass fiddling with their bikes, Marty was being social and greeting everybody and talking and rubbing against everybody.  When we moved out, I gave all his medical info to the lady at whose apartment he spent most of his time.   
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

Nora

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2013, 07:29:31 AM »
Good for Marty! That settles it, I'm getting our next cat from the rescue group. If he likes the outside he will have access now that we've moved, but if he does not feel like roaming free and fierce like Marty I won't let anyone convince me he "needs" something he shows no interest in.

Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

That Anime Chick

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2013, 11:13:09 AM »
Our cats are perfectly happy looking out the windows and actually get excited when we open the windows. I've had people say how cute our cats are looking out, but never had anyone tell us that we shouldn't keep them indoors. Our neighborhood has dogs, so if either of them were to wander into their yards, one would run as fast as she could back home when the dog starts barking while the other would sit and look at the dog as if to say 'Yeah, you bark, so what?' (she has no fear).

We even built a small set of stairs for our older cat since she's getting older and sometimes jumping is hard for her.
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NyaChan

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2013, 08:14:51 PM »
My sister's cat LOVES windows and sliding glass doors.  If you are the first person awake in the morning, watch out, cuz she will not leave you alone until you open something up for her to look out of.  Open the front door and she'll sniff around outside and enjoy it - but she always wants back inside.

TootsNYC

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2013, 11:55:01 PM »
OP, remember that you can choose the conversation topic just as much as SIL can.

So when she brings it up, change the topic. Change it to how often she makes that comment, and how repetitive it is, and even say that you feel it's disrespectful for her to keep making that comment when she knows that your decision about indoors-only was to keep Petey safe.

And then leave the room.

And after that, then just do the Ronald Reagan thing, "There you go again!"

Or alternately (now that I'd read your update about him), "Eh, you know, he really doesn't want to go out. He likes looking, but he doesn't want to go out. Maybe you're just projecting your own reaction onto him, or thinking in stereotypes. But Petey's happy how he is."

lurkerwisp

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2013, 02:29:34 PM »
Our cat, Willow, loves to sit at the window and watch birds.  We have a fenced in patio and she's pretty clumsy so I thought I could take her outside back there to give her outside playtimes.  She freaked out.  Willow did not want to be outside, not one bit.  She climbed over my shoulder (quite a feat since she'd been declawed by her first owner) and right back in the door to stand in the kitchen and meow at me with big sad eyes of "how dare you!"

Willow is a rescue, who was abandoned in an apartment closet when her first owner was sent to prison.  Apparently she had some kind of brain damage from being left without food or water for who knows how long, and new things like the different food, different litter, and rearranging furniture stress her out too much for her to handle.  Turns out that the great outdoors, even just about 10x18 feet of it, is also definitely on that list too.

So saying something along the lines of, "Petey feels safer inside, it's much less stressful for him." and then giving some evidence such as, "See how relaxed he looks?" (And he's a cat, so that's probably true most of the time) could help.  If it doesn't, then just repeat the same things over and over again until she stops asking because she'll know the exact wording of your answer.  :)

Twik

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Re: Assumptions about the happiness of my cat
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2013, 04:56:01 PM »
Just a side note that no, not all cats are happy outside.

The Sabre-Toothed Siamese (mother's cat) is an indoor cat, all his life. And he does stare pensively out the window quite often. However, one day, I didn't close the front door properly while Mom was out, and realized it 15 minutes later. Searched the house - no cat. Ran out the door, prepared to scour the neighbourhood calling his name...

... Only to nearly step on a ball of grey fluff two feet from the door. Every hair was on end, so he really did look like a ball, with two wide, dilated blue eyes in the middle, which seemed to be saying, "Help me ... please...."

He was too frightened to even walk the two feet back inside. I had to pick him up (feeling his little heart thumping) and carry him, and he didn't relax until I'd closed the door.

He still sits at the window and acts deprived, though, the little stinker.
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