They have slowly and surely become indoor cats as the months have gone by. It’s definitely strange and I don’t really believe that cats should be kept primarily indoors, they’re hunters after all, but I can understand how it’s happened. All the cats from my childhood were outdoor cats, they spent all day outside in fact whilst we were at school/work and the litter tray only came in when we went away and neighbours stepped in to feed them. However, given the run of bad luck we had when Mum and I moved to the new house with Mabel first disappearing in to thin air and then Fred disappearing for a few days, this has just left Mum feeling scared about letting them out.
So she decided that she would only let them out when she was around so that the door could be left open for them and if they disappeared out of the garden or hadn’t been seen for a few minutes, I could see the look of panic on her face as she ran for the treats to shake to bring them running back from wherever they were.
And so, as the cold weather has settled in, they’ve gone outside less and less because no one wants the door staying open during autumn and winter. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to go outside, they sit looking out all the time and it makes me feel terrible but I don’t think they are sad cats so I don’t beat Mum up about it. It’s just the way it is now.
When I was at Mum’s at the weekend during Snowpocalypse 2010 I persuaded her to let me open the back door to see what Fred and Lily would do. They’d spent an awful lot of time looking out of the window at the snow and sitting at the back door clearly wondering what was going on and after much badgering, she relented. I knew they wouldn’t do anything, the snow was piled that deep that they could barely see over it, I just wanted to give them a chance to have a smell.
I opened the door and they sat. And they sniffed. And they tried to find somewhere that wasn’t covered in white stuff to place a paw. And then Fred completely freaked out for absolutely no reason and ran away from the door, belly to the floor, and got up on top of the kitchen cabinets. Clearly not a fan of the cold then. Lily carried on sniffing and watching and I think would have eventually tried to go out in it but it was minus whatever and we were chilling our bits off so we shut the door at that point. I think we satisfied their curiosity enough.
I also brought Mum’s Christmas tree down for her from the attic and she decided to put it up on Sunday. Now whenever I phone her our conversations go a bit like this:
Me: Hi, how are you?
Mum: Yeah I’m fine I went to....Stop! Ah! Get AWAY from that tree...the shops to get some milk
Me: Oh right have you spoken to my rubbish brother lately?
Mum: Yeah he phoned...LILY! GET OFF THE TREE!...me up yesterday to have a chat.
They have apparently decided this year that eating the tree is a good game to play. I feel this is marginally better than last year’s habit of “Any bauble near the bottom branches is fair game” but I’m not sure Mum would agree with me.
I bought them some Christmas presents the other day from Pet At Home (other people do that. Right?!) and whilst I was there picked up a red and green jester’s collar with little bells on the end of it. It was only 99p and I bought it because I knew they would freak out if I put it on either one of them, they don’t even wear normal collars, so I knew a jingly jangly number would not go down well. It went down as hilariously as I predicted. And before you call the RSPCA on me, all suffering was soon curtailed (once I’d picked myself up off the floor) and the collar removed. Fred handles it much better than Lily, I think he’s of the mind that if he just remains quiet then eventually I’ll get bored and take it off him. Lily however completely loses it, fortunately I managed to snap this picture of her before she ripped my hand off.
Tell me that isn’t hilarious.
We are feeling slightly guilty at the moment because Fred and Lily won’t be celebrating Christmas with us this year. Mum and I are driving over to my sister’s on Christmas Day so Fred and Lily will be heading into the cattery on Christmas Eve. We feel bad about it. The cattery lady is thrilled because she loves the Fred and Lily ever since they went in there when they were babies and Lily jumped on her back when she bent down to feed them. Fred and Lily...well they’re cats aren’t they, they don’t know the difference. Whatever.