Lately I've been feeling a little guilty keeping our cats indoors all the time. Our cats, Lefty and Gigi, frequently try to sneak out the back door, curious to explore more terrain and nooks and crannies, but we (as good cat owners) always frustrate their plans. I think what really spurred my guilt over this was having heard Bill Maher in one of his standup routines , ridiculing the indoor cat as one that lives longer but with no fun and adventure in life. Thinking of Maher's comments, I have reconsidered getting Lefty and Gigi used to the cat leash and taking them for a walk (they can't stand the lease harness), but it would be a controlled walk, with our presence, which couldn't be the cat's idea of freedom.
Well, the other day, Lefty successfully sneaked out the door in the late evening, into a lit area near the garage, and it took us a few seconds to realize that he was outside sniffing around. After grabbing him and hurrying him inside, just a few minutes later, we heard an owl hooting very close by in one of the trees surrounding our house. Strange, mysterious noise, the owl hoot. It hooted for a good half hour. Was it hooting because it got a glimpse of Lefty near the garage? The next day I did a search on the Internet and learned that Great Horned Owls do eat small-to-medium cats and dogs! Of course we dont' know if the owl was a Great Horned. But I have to say that I disagree with Bill Maher; for the cat, a little bit of outdoor freedom is definitely outweighed by a concern for safety. The cat just doesn't know what is in its interest, and would agree with me if it did. After all, they are instinctively cautious animals.
6 months ago