Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mickey is So Grounded!

Hi everyone…Warden Julia here. My oldest “son” Mickey was a bad, bad boy – and I have the gray hairs to prove it!

Mickey is one of those cats that just will not accept being indoors 24/7, at least not in the summer. In the winter, he still really *wants* to go out but he’s not fond of the cold and snow. (Well, who can blame him?).  All winter long he lounges on the back of the couch staring wistfully out the window. Come spring, he’s clawing at the door like a madman.

It stresses me out because I’m torn between wanting to keep him indoors where he’s safe, and allowing him to go out where I know he’s happiest. No matter which I choose, it seems like a no win. I can have an indoor cat who is miserable but safe, or an indoor/outdoor cat who is happy but at a greater risk of bad things happening.

I have tried making him stay in, and he comes unglued. He cries and paces nonstop, he scratches at the door and rips off the weather stripping. He just will not take no for an answer. So I compromise with him. He gets to go out during the day, where he mostly stays right on the deck, sleeping and enjoying the sun. I work from home, so I check on him many times during the day. He’s never allowed to roam at night, so when the sun is setting, I call him in. If he’s not there on the deck, he is within earshot because he comes right away. Always.

Except last night, when he didn’t. It got dark, and still no Mickey despite calling and calling him. I even shook the treat tub, which is my no-fail way to produce all cats within earshot. He still didn’t come. By 11:30, I start to worry. This is just not like him. I get my flashlight and proceed to walk around the yard, in the alley and in the neighbor’s yard. I look in the street, praying not to see a dead cat. I can’t find him anywhere.

Another hour goes by. I call him every 10 minutes, despite the possibility of waking up all my neighbors. I am dead tired, but won’t go to bed and leave him out all night long. So I wait. And call. And wait some more.

Finally, at one in the morning (!!) he appears, as though this is a perfectly reasonable hour for any cat to come home. Argh. I’m overcome with mixed emotions – so happy he’s finally home safe, but riproaring mad at him for making me worry and wait up half the night!

We have a new deal now. He comes in for dinner, and that’s it. He doesn’t get to go back out. I am NOT doing that dance again!


  1. That's the same deal I have with the peeps! We get to go out during the day but must be in, at night. Occasionally... someone comes in super-late and peep #1 goes all into her peepify mode. It's so embarrassing... Sometimes she comes out lookin' for us in her nightie.


  2. What about taking him out on a leash/harness? My Bobo used to love to go outside (Cody, thank goodness wants nothing to do with it)
    so I used to ONLY allow Bobo out with his leash on. Would that help?

  3. I have the same problem here. Some cats are just so much happier outside.Glad you finally found Mickey. It is so frustrating when they disappear but I truly feel like if they are happier outside, then that is where they will be. But I do live in a place that isn't too dangerous. Although, I have had several disappear and not come back. Some cats do get used to staying inside. Take care.

  4. That was our Rusty. Even in winter pawing at the doors to be able to go out in any milder winter weather.

    One summer night we neglected to call him in - Dad always did it, and Mom didn't think about it. Next morning, no sign. We traveled the neighborhood, looking and calling, put flyers in mailboxes, etc. Then one day we realized there were tufts of Rusty fur on the front lawn. Probably had been there all along. We believe a coyote got him that night. SO sad, but there was no going back.

    In the end we had to come to terms with the fact that if we had kept him in all the time he would not have been happy. But we do regret not calling for him that night.

  5. uz....itz WAY mor fun ta stay INSIDE at nite; find all de toyz ya can find N play with em; run thru de houz like ewe bee crazed; watch garfield on de tee and vee while chillaxin ona ree clinerz chair with a few ham samiches N sum friez...then it iz ta bee out side wear ...stuffz...mite bee.....trooly...N if any one noes ham bee uz !!! stay in, stay safe :)

  6. See, took it one step too far and ruined a good thing. You don't have anybuddy to blame but yourself. (But at least you still are getting some outside time...count your blessings on that one.)

  7. Mickey, you and Austin are from the same mold!!! Naughty boy!! ;)

  8. Can you get him a cat enclosure (like a baby tent???) so he can go outside but still be "safe" inside???

  9. Many of my friends with indoor/outdoor cats call them in at supper and that is if for outdoor time for that day - good plan. Most of what happens to them if outdoors occurs when dark.

  10. Mine won't go outside even if I stand with the door open. They step out and run back in. Or if they make it to the stairs, I shut the door, then they run back and scratch to be let in.
    I've went thru your worry twice, never again! She never came home the 2nd time.
    What I do now is a game we play. I'm still taking a risk something might make them run.
    I know how you felt.

  11. You guys should get a Kritter Kondo - they're awesome! We have one, and we love it so much. We get to go outside and still be safe :)

  12. Oh yeah...been there/done that with my previous cat Eddie. No way could I keep him in and I worried every minute he was out - especially when he refused to come home when I thought he should be! Sammy our current boy is an indoor cat and has never known anything but that unless he's out on a leash - which he loves. I do NOT miss that semi-panic, pit of the stomach icky feeling of wondering that I had with Eddie. Mickey is quite the acrobat balancing on that fence railing!


  13. Maybe you could find some kind of tent so that Mickey can go outside, but still be sort of safe? We've thought about getting one for Moosey, who is pretty curious about the "outside." We would sit out there with him, of course.

    Or maybe a leash and harness?

    Hugs, and have a great weekend, Julia!

  14. My parents used that method with their collection of several outdoor cats who adopted them. Late in the afternoon they took canned food out to the workshop and garage. The cats knew when dinner time was and were all there 99% of the time. While the cats were chowing down, they were locked in the garage and workshop for the night.

  15. That's ME ! , Mickey and Me is the same !!! I love love outdoor !

    and my mom feel exactly the same as you ! But she chose to keep me happy even she knew it's pretty risky and some time I made mom freak out by go home late. Just like Mickey but me is worse..1 am. MOL and Mom will locked me in the next day for punishment.

    Mom said she love freedom herself. And She can't lock in my human sis inside whole day, so she couldn't do that to me too. All kitties on my street have a freedom to go out even in front of our house is the road. But most of parent here they put microchip and collar on us kitties to make sure we won't get lost and have a contact no. for emergency.

    Mom will not feeding me during the day so when it's dinner time, I will dying to get in and eat and when I get in, the door shut ( Now mom laugh ). And it will open again in the next day morning. After the door shut, it will be my time with my fameowly

    - Eating ( Mom pet me while I'm eating )
    - Playing ( about 15-30 min. )
    - Massage from Daddy
    - Eat again ( Mom pet me while I'm eating )
    - Brushing
    - Nap ( do it with dad occasional )
    - eating ( Mom pet me while I'm eating )
    - On bed ( with mom & dad )

    When Spring and Autumn, that's when my mom have to be alert. Especially when having full moon and the weather is warm, all cats will love to have a big party outdoor...tee..heh. Mom will make sure I will starving at diner time ( Cruel )

    Do you know , My mom prays for me everyday to be safe ? I think she and my daddy know well, Outdoor never safe, But they prefer me to be happy more than miserable like most of the kitties here. My parents only do what they can do as a pawrent, I guess

    Good Luck with Mickey and Hug to you

  16. You need a catio...but then again, so do we!!!

  17. Glad he came home, that fear in your heart feeling is just horrible and I have been in your shoes once or twice when a cat accidentally got outside. I am just grateful I don't have to decide on the inside/outside issue. My cats are indoor cats except when we treat them to an outdoor excursion, supervised, in our enclosed yard. They love it and live for those special moments.

  18. We know how awful it is when cats go MIA and so glad this ended well. Odin did the same thing earlier this summer. We try our best to get everyone in by 6PM and despite the risks we stand by our decision allow our outdoor loving boys a choice.

  19. TW's last cat used to go out. That is, until he came home with a nasty abscessed bite on his food. He also gained a lot of weight since he used to eat all the food the neighbors would leave out for the strays. He wasn't happy staying in but after a few months, he stopped axing.