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Brief escape bruises cats’ egos

I have three cats. All indoor, all spoiled and all helpless.
Arwen, Itty Bitty Kitty and Leia spend their days lying in the sun, their minds occupied by thoughts of their next meal.
I live with my parents, and they are definitely not cat people. The story of why our family now has three indoor cats is a long one. When my sister and I were kids, we each had an outdoor cat. Her cat disappeared and presumably became a midnight snack for a hungry coyote. The poor cat did not live past age three. My cat lasted a little while longer. She made it to age 6, and then was inevitably met with the same fate as the first cat.
I acquired Itty two years later, when I was living in Fort Worth for college. Arwen and Leia came two months later, from a litter of kittens Itty had given birth to soon after I got her. (That story would take up another column entirely, but just to let you know, I did get Itty spayed after the incident).
Anyway, when the cats and I moved into my parents’ house, a condition of mine was that they remain indoor cats. I just couldn’t lose another cat to the coyotes. However, my parents informed me that in order to conform to my wishes, they had a stipulation of their own: have the cats declawed. I knew it would be a painful procedure for my precious pets, but I also knew it meant that my parents could never kick them out on the street. I agreed.
Indoor cats and outdoor cats have very different dispositions. Indoor cats tend to be happy-go-lucky and a little bit lazy. Outdoor cats are much more hardy and fearless.
Every once in awhile, a carefree and curious indoor kitty will decide that it wants to be brave and investigate the great outdoors. While Arwen and Leia are content to merely look out the window, Itty will bolt for the door anytime it is opened. She doesn’t realize that she wouldn’t stand a chance against the many outside dangers that threaten a defenseless cat’s nine lives.
So when our backdoor was mysteriously wide open Saturday morning, I panicked. Was Itty out there? Did the others decide to take a chance, too? The great outdoors might as well be outer space as far as the declawed cats are concerned.
Sure enough, two out of the three were outside. They were crawling along the outside wall of the house, trying to get away from Mollie, my dog. Mollie wasn’t interested in the cats. Arwen and Itty looked so frightened, yet they didn’t go back inside even though the door was still wide open. I had to go outside and get them before they would come in.
The cats pretty much rule the house, but when it comes to the outdoors, they are absolutely clueless. I hope it was an adventure they will remember and not repeat again. Curiosity didn’t kill the cats, but it did bruise their little egos.

Liz Crawford is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at liz@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Feb 20 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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