775. I can’t talk now. I’m too busy sucking the joy out of everything.

I so envy people that can just enjoy their pets.

I remember when I was a little girl and I had a basset hound named Jenny.  I was about 8 or 9. If jenny was sleeping in the room I was in, even if I had to go to the bathroom,  I waited until she woke up naturally because I knew if I got up she’d feel that she had to wake up and follow me.

I’ve written about this before but I think it bears repeating. My niece Stephanie and I were driving to Montauk and there was a woman in the next car trying to drive with her head all the way forward because her cat was laying on the back of her neck. Steph said “If you had a cat, that would be you.”

It’s these many years later and when I decided that I wanted a pet, forgetting Stephanie’s dire warning, I weighed all my options before making my choice.

I knew that a dog would take over my life. I wouldn’t want to leave him alone so my new found freedom would be jeopardized. Remember how I felt tortured when I left Liz’s dog Rupert alone and mostly I didn’t. That is why I decided on a cat. They are independent and don’t mind being left for short periods.

What I didn’t take into consideration is how crazy I am.

My home looks like cat Disneyland with toys, castles and little fake mice everywhere. I watch Elvis constantly worried that he’s bored or lonely which keeps me from leaving my house for any length of time.

I realized that I could never go away for even a weekend with someone only coming in once or twice a day to feed him so I asked my doorman if he would stay in my apartment if I had to go away which is a distinct possibility because as you know I’ve just been hired by Yahoo Travel to write about, shall we say, MY TRAVELS!!!!

Now my latest nightmare, my terrace. I have a terrace with about a 3 or 4 foot high brick wall and about another 4 feet of iron fence above it. Now that the weather is nice I sometimes sit out there. When I did this Elvis sat at the door watching me and last week I decided to let him out. Liz’s cat Puss used to go out on her terrace all the time.

Mostly Elvis walked around looking at stuff and then he’d find a shady spot and just curl up. When I’d go inside he’d usually follow me a short while later.

The other day I saw him walking on the brick wall, outside the fence (the fence has bars spaced far enough so that he can move back and forth easily). My heart stopped. I forced myself to stand there quietly so as to not startle him. He looked over the side, walked a short distance and came back onto the terrace.

That was it for me. No more going on the terrace for him. Then I started thinking about quality of life.

When people have outdoor cats they risk predators and cars and all kinds of things but they let the cats out anyway. Elvis spends a good part of his day looking out onto the terrace, either in front of the glass door or on the window sill.

Last night Julie was here and saw Elvis walking on the wall. She froze and said “You can’t let him out again” she added something about the damage I did to her heart to have her watch him do that wall thing.

I know she’s right. I’ll try to keep him inside but it will break my heart to watch him look longingly at the outside world. Remember I said I was crazy.

The truth is I just don’t know what to do. I know I’m opening myself up for a million horror cat/terrace stories but please don’t. They will only make me crazier.


21 thoughts on “775. I can’t talk now. I’m too busy sucking the joy out of everything.

    • I bought some plastic webbing but I have to wait until the men are finished working on the terrace. I’ll keep him in until then. Did puss walk outside the bars?

  1. ~sigh~ I hear ya. My cat Boo is 14 years old and has always been an indoor kitty. Since the warmer weather, he has now taken to sitting in front of the screen door every evening to loudly, “sing the song of his people”. I’m thinking he is imploring one of his own kind to come save him from his wretched, pampered life. So far no takers for him or me. Elvis is safe and loved and will be just fine sniffing the breeze from inside. We should all hope for as much.

  2. I bought plastic mesh netting and put it around the wrought iron bars of my balcony to keep the cats safe. I also never let them out unsupervised anymore (that ended when I found Daisy perched on the railing, ready to jump into a dogwood tree – I almost had a stroke). This seems to work out pretty well…they can enjoy the balcony and I can keep my sanity 🙂

  3. First, let me remind you that I’m a cat lover and owner of two sweet, totally indoor cats. If you need a reminder that your kitty lives a stimulating and pampered life, visit the nearest animal shelter. Elvis is living like The King even without jumping around the terrace and making you a nervous wreck. Achieving contentment isn’t nearly as complicated for kitties as it is for humans, just watch ’em. Guess we pet lovers have to keep our anthropomorphizing in check, it breeds a lot of guilt.
    Oh, and I agree with all of the previous comments!

  4. Let him out on the porch. Cats who go outside climb up in all kinds of places and never fall off. Unless it’s on funniest home videos.

    • Randy, if you saw how scary it looked…..I’m going to try to keep him in until I can put up wire but if he sneaks out before I can (he does that) I hope you’re right.

  5. Our cat is an outdoor cat (although in the UK where we have different predators) and we kept him in much longer than you normally would with a cat you planned to allow outside (we had to wait until he’d had a heart scan). As a result he tends not to roam nearly as far. He still enjoys going out but likes to know where we are and come back reasonably quickly. Maybe if you keep Elvis in for a while before you let him out he’ll also appreciate the indoor comforts more. Or if you decide to keep him in then he will be happy too!!


      • if you look out the window on metro north you can see cats looking out the windows. that’s what cats do. don’t let him out. let him lookout the window. then we all can breath a sigh of relief!!

  6. Buy him a catio. They sell them in all different sizes. It’s loony, but I’m planning on getting one as soon as we move into a place with a patio.

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