Cats Will Be Cats

Husband and I have had a cat or two (or three) for most of the 30 years we lived in our current house. Some of the cats were mainly indoor cats who went outside occasionally,  and the current two are strictly indoor cats.  They both have their claws, but we are too worried they would get hurt outside. Millie, the Tortie, would love to go outside. She scratches at the door like a dog  when she hears us outside.  She started out life as a hobby farm kitten, but she is so clumsy and impulsive she would make some pretty bad choices and get into some dangerous situations.  She has to be content with her life indoors.

I worry about cats that I see roaming. There aren’t too many in our neighborhood. The white supremacist across the street lets his small tabby roam at will.  I worry about her, too, but I must credit her predatory ways with an absence  of garden raiding bunnies. On the other hand, I wasn’t too happy with her when I saw her carrying a Swainson’s Thrush  she had poached in our back yard.  Outdoor cats and birds don’t mix well. Cat will be cats, I guess. I can’t expect them to all be like our Albert, who was an enormous tabby with a luxurious double coat who was terrified of birds and hid from them under the gooseberry bushes.

Where do you think cats belong?  Tell some cat stories.

26 thoughts on “Cats Will Be Cats”

  1. Our first cat, Pippin, was strictly an indoor cat except for his two summers living in Brule, Wisconsin.

    After he died, we went catless for years before acquiring an orange tabby, Froshus. When my daughter first clapped eyes on her at the shelter, she said, “That’s one froshus cat!” Froshus insisted on becoming an outdoor cat. I refused, as we lived near Cretin Avenue, a speedy street that had already claimed the life of one of our dogs. I was overruled. Froshus got her wish to roam, and a week later she died on Cretin.

    Furball, our next, would have been an indoors cat except for his twisted disposition. Furball expressed his contempt for my wife and me by peeing indoors, choosing to pee on real estate he knew was precious to us. My wife took a business trip to New York, finding once she was there that Furbie had peed all over the business suits in her suitcase. A day after her return Furbie was shipped out to a farm run by friends, so he ended his days as a barn cat.

    Sweet little Cleo was delighted to be an indoor cat. Which was good. She was so klutzy she wouldn’t have made it long outdoors.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. That depends very much on the individual cat, I’d say, and also on where you live. I’ve had cats that were perfectly content to live inside, and others that were hell bent on going out.

    Our current feline, Martha, is mostly an indoor cat, though she likes to go outside for a few hours after dark if the weather is nice. She has no front claws, so I’m happy that she prefers to lounge around the house most of the time. There are a fair number of cats roaming our neighborhood, some of them feral, and I really don’t like her socializing with them. Luckily Martha is stand-offish enough that she has no interest in other cats. She stays pretty much in her own back yard.

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  3. When we bought our house in Inver Grove Heights thirty five years ago, we inherited an old cat named Screamer. Screamer was a long haired tortie, was missing half an ear, and was strictly an outdoor cat we were told. The half ear that was missing had frozen and broken off during a cold winter.

    On the day we moved in, we propped the front door open and started carrying our belongings in. By the time we had emptied the U-Haul truck, Screamer was comfortably snoozing in my favorite chair in front of the fireplace. She may have been strictly an outdoor cat, but it hadn’t been by her choice. We also had two cats of our own, but Screamer was the undisputed boss right off the bat, though they all got along just fine.

    That house was at the end of a dead end street, and we had an acre of land with lots of trees and tall grasses, a perfect place for cats to roam without getting into trouble. Freuchen, our big orange tabby, was an avid mouser and would routinely announce his latest catch by a characteristic loud, deep meow as he approached the house. Whenever Screamer heard that meow, she would go meet him and relieve him of his bounty. He didn’t seem to mind, I’m guessing because he knew there were plenty more where it came from.

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  4. The white supremacist’s cat has taken the place of Finnian, a cold blooded, orange-striped killer who lived accross the street at the home of daughter’s best friend. He insisted being outside, even in tbe coldest wearher, and would literally climb the walls if he wasn’t let out. He only came inside to sleep. He had only one claw on each front paw, yet he filled a corner of their back yard with a pile dead rodents and rabbits. Once, he came home with an ermine. He wandered far. I saw him sauntering across a busy street about a half mile from home. He was checking out a small creek for pret. He lived to be very old.

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  5. I don’t recall ever having an indoor cat. My siblings say there was 1 or 2 many years ago.
    Course we had barn cats. Some were friendly. But distemper was always a problem and if you didn’t find them as kittens to vaccinate, then you never caught them and they didn’t live long.
    I had one or two that were favorites. Some that would walk along the top of the pipeline in the barn and hop down onto the backs of cows. The cows that they knew would tolerate that. And sometimes the cat would sleep on the cows back.
    The cat had to be smart enough to know not to snuggle against their side because more often than not, a cow would roll over and smush the cat. Haven’t had a resident cat for many years now. And with the chickens and baby chicks that’s OK.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. One of Wasband’s finer points was that he was a pushover for cats. We lived in a one-bedroom apartment bldg. in Brooklyn Heights, and he kept coming home with strays – first the pure white Olga (for the gymnast O. Korbut), then orange tabby Ollie, and finally this tiny black-tan tabby Bambi. The living room ceilings were high enough, and we had little enough floor space, that we stacked one book shelf on top of another. I then staple-gunned a strip of carpet to the open side of this “tree”, and the cats would scale it when s-I-l would visit, with her two high-strung Irish setters, and watch it all from the top shelf. (I have seen other very cleaver indoor gyms for cats, little runways around the perimeters of rooms, etc.)

    Liked by 4 people

  7. My Uncle Wayne had a Persian cat named Kitty who just adored him. Wayne adored her, too. Wayne was a very fussy, particular man. He was a mechanic who was thorough but who took so long to finish car repair jobs he didn’t make that much money. I never think about Wayne without thinking about his cat. Kitty went outside sometimes bit usually stayed inside . My poor aunt was a meticulous housekeeper, but put up with scads of Kitty hair.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Our cats were all indoor cats due to the issue of hunting birds. One named Felini, was nicknamed “Tinsel-Butt.” He had a desire to eat the tinsel from the Christmas tree, which then, naturally had to come out the other end. We had a joke that it made Christmas and the litter box extra festive. We did try to keep him from doing this with limited success.

    One day heard him kind of meowing, then prolonged yowling at the base of the steps outside the room we kept his litter box. There on the wall was some poo containing tinsel. Apparently the yowling was him trying to shake it off, so to speak. I looked under his tail to find a dangling clot of tinsel. I put my hand in a plastic bag and yanked on the befowled tinsel. That produced a loud yowlish screech, and who could blame him. It solved the problem.

    I sterilized my hand under the bag and the wall after that.

    Cats.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. I had a little grey tabby who lived to be over 20. I called her my 3/4 sized cat as at her heaviest she barely broke 9 lbs. Like Shakespeare’s Hermia, though she be but little, she was fierce. She was a mighty mouser (who learned quickly that I was a lousy cat who had no interest in sharing her prey, so she could feast on her catch without showing it off) who also thoroughly dominated Husband’s male tabby twice her size when we blended the fur family. We all miss her – especially Daughter who doted on our little geriatric queen.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Out Tortie is obsessed with eggs, especially the shells. Whenever she hears an egg being cracked she races into the kitchen and fishes the shells out of the sink. She carries them off and licks them out and then bats them all over the floor.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nimue would bathe in milk, I think. As soon as she hears me take the milk carton out, she is right up on the counter begging. I don’t usually go e her any, since she is on the tubby side, but maybe once a week I succumb and pour out a teaspoon or so for her.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Indoor. Zorro it’s never been even remotely interested in the outdoors. Nimue started her life as a stray kitty found in a woodpile and she often uses any confusion at the back door (with the dogs coming in or going out) as an a reason to escape, but once she’s out she never does anything so she’s easy to scoop up and bring back inside.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Like Steve, my main reason for keeping the cats indoors is because we live on Lyndale, a very busy street, especially this summer. But I also worry about songbirds so even without Lyndale I would keep the cats inside I think.

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  12. Growing up in the Fifties, I didn’t even know that some people kept cats or dogs confined. Our cat and golden retriever were free range pets. We took that for granted.

    I once befriended a bunch of bluebird lovers, using their expertise to write a book about bluebird recovery. I was shocked to discover how passionately some bluebird fans hated cats. The head figure in bluebird recovery in Minnesota was proud of having killed many feral cats, and I suspected he would not hesitate to eliminate cats that had owners who permitted them to roam.

    While I could never kill a cat, my reading convinces me that some cats are skillful at catching and killing birds. Societal norms have changed greatly on this. I no longer could be comfortable letting a pet cat run free, but I have friends who take the other side.

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  13. My cats stay indoors, unless I can be there to supervise an outdoor foray. I see the posters all over the place for missing pets. I wouldn’t want one of those posters to be mine.

    My sister and brother-in-law used to have an orange tabby who had started life as a barn cat, and had lost an eye, probably after tangling with a wild animal. He never wanted to go out again once he had been taken into his new home. He just reveled in being an indoor cat.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Aww!! Millie is absolutely adorable! 😻 Our Dizzy can relate entirely to being clumsy. She is indoor/outdoor though. Mostly indoor. We’d love for her to be fully indoors but she bits when she doesn’t get her way 😛 A ‘catio’ might be in order some day so that we can keep her contained while still enjoying outdoor air.

    Cats definitely have widely varying personalities. No doubt about it! My Shug wouldn’t have hurt a fly. Whereas Dizzy is quite skilled at hunting. (sigh) The abandoned strays we semi-adopted outdoors are brilliant at hunting and it drives us absolutely crazy. Being wildlife lovers in general, it breaks our hearts.

    I enjoyed reading about your kiddos.

    Like

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