Tuesday, November 23, 2004

For the love of Cleo

Our kitty was once feral. Her previous owners found her living outside. They “rescued” what they thought was a boy kitten, and it turned out to be a pregnant female. After the kittens were born, they decided to give away all of the cats. We took the mommy – Cleo. Cleo has been inside since her previous owners adopted her and I want to keep her as an inside cat. She has escaped the house twice, when we had the door propped open to move furniture, but was easily caught. However, that taste of freedom has renewed her interest in “outside” and she has begun meowing to go out.

I researched how to transition a cat from outside to inside and am implementing the suggestions. I have created perches for her to look outside. When the weather is nice, I open a widow so she can sniff the interesting outside smells. When she cries to go out, I distract her with play. I have bought pet greens and a scratching post. Finally, I decided to reinstate a bird feeder, so she could watch the birds from the sunroom.

I bought the last bird feeder at Target. It was so cute – a little wooden gazebo with a copper roof. Unfortunately, it was torn apart by forces unknown, either a raccoon or a steroidal squirrel. While I was spending oodles of money on the cat at Petsmart, I spotted a round, metal, cage-style birdfeeder. It is now filled with seed and dangling from a post in our front yard. I was thrilled to see a bird in it yesterday, but not so overjoyed to see a big fat squirrel below it, cleaning up the spilled seed. However, the feeder has made it through three nights, intact and full of seed, so I think it is rodent proof. Once the cat finally notices the birds, they should keep her entertained and hopefully help her become content with inside life.

Still, I worry that our home is not stimulating enough for a young cat and I wonder if we should get a second animal. Mike and I are seldom home, and when we are, we are busy. Another cat would provide a playmate. However, it would mean double the litter boxes, scratching posts, food, and vet bills. I think we will wait and see how things go with Cleo. We have just begun to get used to each other.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you know I hate to write, and am only (well, maybe not ONLY) adding a comment to avoid writing final reports (which MUST be done straight away!), perhaps in some sick way rationalizing by saying, "See! I'm writing!!"

Anyway, as I had mentioned, and firmly believe (as it has now happened a few times with cats of mine) that the best, if not the only, way to convert an outdoor, or even indoor/outdoor, cat into an indoor cat is to give it to another person, or persons, preferrably elderly. The move to a new place, plus the more sedate lifestyle, seems to cure any desire for the cat to be outside.

Aside from that - GOOD LUCK!


8:09 AM  

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