Don Bauder 7:30 a.m., April 23
- Community Blog
South Park Cat Tales: A Note To Mica About the Great Indoors (#9)
February 28, 2010 A.D.C.
What a fine treat to hear from fellow feline bloggers! Mica, it is a joy to make your cat-quaintance. Two Legs read me your introduction and story of the short-lived escape attempt. However, I must point out that while curiosity may get the best of us, being outdoors really isn't all it's cracked up to be. Let me regale you with a tale of my escape that lasted a day but felt like a year.
Before Two Legs and I moved to South Park, we lived in an area with much less moving boxes on wheels and much more plant life.
(Poster's Note: We lived in Poway.)
We also lived with a few other Uprighters who, by the way, treated me very well. However, sometimes they forgot that curiosity is half the definition of a cat. I cannot tell you the other half because I fear if I do, our secret will be out and the Uprighters will simply think they know us and can control us better. We can't have that, can we? It's bad enough we have no thumbs but when they mentally think we're less than them, well, all holy cat-hell will break out upon us. Besides, it's more fun to let them think they can control us, isn't it? Anycat.
One of the Uprighters we lived with once took too long to close the door and seeing my opportunity, I pounced on it. And this particular living space didn't have any hallway to run into. No, this opened directly to the world you mentioned they disappear into for many agonizing hours at a time. Immediately my mind became somewhat blank, which I assume is a higher power of instinct, and I ran for the hills. I ran past a few bushes and past metal boxes on wheels and across a hard, dark surface with yellow lines and directly into brush. It was here where I hunkered down. Yes, I will admit I was afraid and I have no qualms about admitting that. And here's why.
Living indoors allows us the chance for warmth, a good meal whenever we please, and peace of mind. Furthermore, as much as we may fight against it sometimes, I do thoroughly enjoy the attention fair and good Uprighters give me, and I think you would agree. Sure, there are some Uprighters that deserve the wrath of claws and guttural hisses emanating from our throats but some of them really are worthy of my attention and respect. But it's our job to mete out those that don't and allow those that do to bathe in our glory.
So when I found myself in a harsh, cold world that I had no idea how to live in, yes, I was afraid.
(Poster's Note: Little does Stella know how much fear I had while she was gone. It really was heartbreaking knowing I had no idea where she was.)
There were times where I heard Two Legs and some other familiar Uprighter voices calling for me but I was too afraid to scream out, "Here I am!" Maybe part of that was not wanting to show my momentary lapse of weakness but, well, there it is. Soon night fell and I found myself cold, scared and unsure of what to do.
(Poster's Note: I walked around the neighborhood all night, didn't sleep a wink, looking for her. I came across a neighbor who told me she once found her indoor cat that escaped mauled by a mountain lion. I have no problem admitting to crying that night for fear that I would find Stella in the same condition. She is the closest thing I have right now to my own child. Her safety is very important to me.)
When the sun finally came out, I had still not moved an inch from the spot I ran to when I escaped, a mere 500 cat paws from our living quarters. Then I heard Two Legs come near where I was calling out my name. My voice was weak from fear but his voice was an amazingly soothing sound. I mewed a time or two to let him know he was close.
(Poster's Note: At this time I had no idea where she was. I simply sat down next to the brush some neighborhood kids said they saw her run into the day before and sadly called out for her. I tried calling out for her in this same area the day before but with no luck. However, this particular time where I sat down just randomly- or not- happened to be where she was.)
When Two Legs sat down, I could smell him and was reminded and assured that it really was Two Legs and I was saved. So I mewed a little louder and crept towards him. He reached out his hand and I saw a tear fall from his eye. I knew then how much I meant to him and I ran directly to him. He scooped me up, showered me with affection, and took me inside. I immediately went for the litter box because I realized in both my fear and unfamiliar area I was in, I had not relieved myself since before my escape.
Unfortunately after I had napped some and cleaned myself, because the outdoors is a nasty cesspool of dirt, I was put in a small cage and taken to the Man in the White Coat-
(Poster's Note: That would be the vet. I wanted to get her checked out and have a microchip placed in her, which would be the second best investment I've ever gotten her. The first was pet-insurance.)
-who stuck me with a needle and investigated every single inch of me. I was given a clean bill of health and sent home.
So you see, Mica, you're better off indoors where you receive love, attention, a clean litter box, and hopefully some treats because, well, let's admit it, like me you're a cat and simply deserve them for that reason alone. I do understand how much the outdoors appears appealing but the lesson I'm passing on to you is it's not all that wonderful. Sure, there may be a sense of freedom but trust me, with all the dangers out there it goes away.
I did some research into why the outdoors appears so appealing and it simply dates back to our feline ancestors and their animal instinct to roam the wild. Don't get me wrong, I have an immense amount of cat-spect for our ancestors. However, I prefer the safety of the indoors and will leave the outdoors to the imagination. Since Two Legs and I moved to the living quarters we're in now, I have made an escape attempt or two. I realize once I am captured and brought back inside that I was not thinking clearly and my animal instinct, once again, got the best of me. But hey, we're only animal.
I do want to say to you, Mica, and any other feline reader, that curiosity is not a bad thing at all. Again, it is half of our make-up. Just all in moderation. And on that note....
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly." ~~Arnold Edinborough