Friday, May 08, 2009

Chats du jour: Cast off your chains

Last week, SH and I took the cats out of the house. It had been a hard fight. SH is of the cats should never go outdoors school and I am of the litter boxes are of Satan school. SH claims that if you let a cat out, he will be hit by a car. My friend and college roommate Anita points out that you could say the same thing about children and children are far less fungible than cats. But SH refused to agree to get cats until I agreed to the inside-only rule so there we were.

Laverne watches Shirley from the bedroom window. Shirley is sitting under the trash can. She likes the dirty places, as you can see from the photo below, where she is sitting in the middle of the turned-up dirt.

We compromised when I suggested taking them out with harness and leash. Last week was the first time. All went well for a while. Shirley sat around and did nothing, which is what she does in the house when we are watching. (She saves breaking and entering into the laundry room for when we are sleeping.) Laverne ate grass and tugged at her leash, flipping herself over in the process, which was almost as fun to watch as putting scotch tape on their paws.

It wasn't until I started to mow the lawn that Laverne freaked out. She cried and cried and pulled as far away as she could get. Shirley, who likes the vacuum cleaner, sat and watched. I had to kick her out of the way to mow under her.

Did I mention I was using a reel lawnmower? You know -- the old-fashioned kind without a motor?

Did I mention Laverne is a big baby?

When I tried to take Laverne out again the next day, she cried continuously. After a few minutes, I gave up and took her in again. Then she sat in the window, watched Shirley and cried. Shirley sat out by herself, contemplating the universe for about two hours.

But I didn't quit. I have taken them both out every day. Why, you ask? Because I need rabbit-killing machines. Two days ago, Shirley saw her first squirrel up close and got in touch with her inner hunter. Unfortunately, her inner hunter took her into the neighbor's woodpile, across their fence and into their yard, tangling her line in the process, but we are getting somewhere.

And I have figured out what is going on with Laverne. Yesterday, she stood by the door as I was going out. I held the door open, thinking it was a big fat waste of time but what did I have to do anyhow?

She walked out.

By herself.

So I followed her.

She walked over to the neighbor's house. Into her driveway. Into her back yard. I picked her up and brought her back to our house. Then she walked into our back yard. Way into the back. Behind the garage. To the shortcut to B and K's because there is no fence. So I grabbed her again, took her inside, harnessed and leashed her and took her back out.

Which was when she started crying again.

Because her real issue is not that she doesn't like to be outside.

It's that she doesn't like The Man keeping her down.

1 comment:

AKJ said...

My cats come and go - inside and out. One lived to age 23 and our current cat is 13. Neither have been hit by a car. I am also proud to say that neither of my two kids have been hit by a car.