Thursday, January 24, 2008

Kitten's Adventures In the Big Outdoors

Window Watching

We've let Antje run free in the big wide world.  From the time she was just this little fur ball she's been begging to enter that big beautiful world.  We've held off as long as we can so she'll be big enough to defend herself from all those other territorial cats in the neighborhood.  Even our neighbors have let us know that their cat will gladly shred any other feline to pieces if it steps in their yard.  I figured once she learned how to hop on the counters she was headed out the door.  You know, let her burn off her energy out there instead of digging through the remnants of dinner in the kitchen sink while we put the kids to bed.  As it turns out this new freedom seems to have loosened her previously held beliefs regarding our cat rules.  She runs in from outside and instantly goes for the table or the counters.   All it takes is one wrong look from "mom" and she's finding a hiding spot, but she still seems to think nothing of the rules each time she comes back home. 

It began the other day after I'd come home from jogging in the park with Lilly I opened the backdoor to start unloading some groceries I'd picked up along the way and Antje timidly came outside to greet us.  I knew we were going to be putting her outdoors and this beautiful blue day was one which called to all species so I let her roam the back garden while I unpacked and put everything away.  She didn't wander far and eventually begged to come back inside.  But after picking up the girls from school we opened the door once again she bolted past each of us and out the still open back gate.  Amara, not knowing Antje had already had an experience in the big world, began screaming and crying out after her.  She chased the loosed animal down the back alleyway and around the corner with tears streaming down her eyes and a look of terror that her precious` kitten would never return home.  By the time I had caught up to them the kitten was being chased to and fro between two gates and another bewildered cat.  Who should that cat have been but our little friend who started this whole fiasco.  He's a big fat cat now and full of mischief.  We've watched him walk along the second story eves and pop through the open windows of the houses.  In one window out another and who knows what he's knocked over or eaten while he visited.  Hopefully Antje will stay out of his presence and remain a good girl while she's out. 

As it is she's already met with resistance.  After the girls learned she was free to roam they gladly joined her, but there remained a few places they couldn't follow.  Like under the gates of our neighbors.  They came home reporting that one woman, upon spotting our small cat in her garden began throwing things out the door at her and yelling at her.  So, my ever so spicy girls, took it upon themselves to defend their kitten and began yelling back.  They entered the back yard and shooed their kitten out of the offended persons yard and into another.

I know that if you read anything on the internet about how/when to let your cat outside their is always some cat fanatic telling you that cats should never be let outside.  Yes, they'll run into dogs with big teeth, cats with bad tempers, and crazy housewives that will throw things at them, but that's just part of a cats life.  That and running after mice or climbing trees in pursuit of the birds.  I am not so mean as to keep my cat cooped up inside and miss out on the good life just for fear she won't be able to handle the normal issues in it.  She is equipped with a new collar, a bell (for scaring away those birdies), and a little metal pill containing our number and address.  I haven't owned a pet in the states since I was kid, but I'd never have guesses that these little pills where a place to store the pets information.  If I hadn't been in the market for something of this nature I would never had guessed and probably would have overlooked it on a lost animal.

You're finally free to roam, Antje.  Now behave yourself!


t i m said...

Sounds like Antje is really enjoying the great outdoors. :)

Jorge said...

Nothing like a cat to add another dimension to your life :-)
Be well,