Last year I had a big think about the many worries of letting your cat go outside at a time when we weren’t sure if we were going to be moving. I got a bit carried away in the doom and gloom but then had to put everything on hold until our teeny tiny little kitten, Boop, grew big enough to look after himself. We adopted him last year from Carole at Animal Krackers – a brilliant lady completely dedicated to rescuing cats in Sunderland. Awww… look at his little face!
Springtime finally arrived and Richy admitted that he did really want both our cats to be able to enjoy the garden and sunshine… so we took stock. Boop is biiiiiiiiiiig! He’s neutered, up to date on injections, microchipped and full of energy. We live in a really quiet cul-de-sac, well away from a main road with a mostly enclosed garden and I’m popping in and out of the house all the time. We’ve also found it near impossible to exercise stubborn Lyla and had reduced her food to a heartbreakingly small portion – and she still wasn’t losing any weight. Boop has become such a huge part of our lives that even huffy Lyla only hisses at him once or twice a day now… Okay, once or twice on a good day! But she’s a very huffy cat! We just couldn’t do without him which is why it was such a big decision for us. They’d both enjoy a potter around on their cat leads – but Lyla having been a stray for much of her younger life wasn’t really happy with that. And if Lyla’s not happy about something, she’ll definitely let you know!
Boop’s not the brightest of buttons bless him and we wanted to be sure that he wouldn’t run off and get into trouble. But they already wear snazzy breakaway safety cat collars (made by yours truly, they were used to the garden on leads and we didn’t feed them so they’d be sure to come back quick enough! We opened the back door and Lyla happily hurtled out and… well, we needn’t have worried about our boy. Boop sat on the threshold – looking out, looking in, squeaking up at me, wondering where his breakfast could be – then ran upstairs to sleep next to the radiator. In fact it took a few more weeks before he would venture out without needing encouragement – and a few more after that before he’d go out without me. I have to admit, I was a little touched; nice to feel needed!
Over the next few months, they convinced me of their outdoor happiness and aptitude, and they’ve even got a cat flap set up for them. Though my heart still thumps every time I can’t see him in the garden, we needn’t have worried about Lyla. She’s taken on a new lease of life and she honestly seems years younger than before. It’s great to see her climbing the fence and tottering along over to the shed to bask in the sun. She really doesn’t go much further than that. And! Up until Sunday… Boop had never climbed anything! But whilst having a bit of a lunchbreak, I saw the little tyke climb up our wooden trellis. Step by step, like a ladder… get to the top and SQUEEEEEAK!!!
He had a lovely roll around on top of the gazebo, gazing around in awe at how high up he was! Exciting! Amazing! He even had a sleep and he never manages to relax at ground level. So that was great – but very silly… then. Oh. How do I get down? Squeak? Eep? SQUEAK! EEEP! Oh. I’m down. That was okay. Silly Boop. Still, he looked so peaceful and I’m proud that he’s slowly becoming more catlike…
So aside from Lyla getting an allergic reaction to something (trip to the vets) and Boop getting his tail caught stuck/trapped/cut on something (another trip to the vets) within the first three weeks of their adventures, it’s been great. We’re really happy. It’s amazing to watch them rolling around in the sunlight, chasing insects around, meeting us at the front door, ‘helping’ with the gardening – and coming indoors each and every tea time to watch telly with us in the evening. As a final positive, on our last visit to the lovely King’s Road Vets, we found out that Lyla is a happy, healthy weight again : )
(The Cat Whiskerer)