Thursday, December 26, 2013

That darn cat, part 2

Finn is an indoor-outdoor cat. I tried to turn him into a strictly indoor cat when I first got him, and that worked over the winter, but then he began terrorizing the household in his bid to go out. We reached a compromise: I let him out after dark (for the protection of the local bird population) and he comes back in in the morning to sleep all day.

Such was the fair weather schedule. Now that winter is here, he still wants to go out, but once there, he usually does not want to stay. If it is below freezing and/or there is snow on the ground, his enthusiasm for outdoor activities falls precipitously. Now, if he stays out at all, it is for only a few hours in the evening.

The problem is, he repeatedly wants out during my waking (and non-waking) hours. Apparently, he thinks the weather may change between now and the last time he was out. At first, I thought, Dumb cat! It is still cold and will be cold for the next few months. But actually, if you think like a cat, it makes sense that he would need to test the waters periodically. After all, he can't check the weather report or read a thermometer. Even in fair weather, every time he steps out the door, the weather may be a surprise - cooler, hotter, wet, windy, sunny, etc. And if it is at all tolerable, he tolerates it.

Re the non-waking hours, if he stays in at night, he invariably wakes me around 3 or 4 in the morning, wanting out. I was hoping he would be the kind of cat who would sleep on the bed with me, but when he does, it is only to keep an eye on my movements. If I get up in the night, he tries to lead me out of the room to do his bidding. Otherwise, he stands guard at the patio door, watching for night critters, and when one appears, he wants OUT. I finally had to banish him to the West Wing at night.

Sleep on, fair Finn, and, like the rest of us, dream of warmer days.


  1. My dog has a similar perspective on the weather--only being a dog, she naturally assumes that I, the powerful human, control the weather. So when we go out in the morning and it is dry and then three hours later it is raining, she looks at me with the expression on her face that says quite clearly--"so, what are you going to do about this problem?"

  2. We tried to keep our last cat as an indoor-only cat and it was impossible - she was literally mad to get out, and every time you opened the door your were likely to have some major cat drama.