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Have You Leashed Your Cat Today?

Have You Leashed Your Cat Today?

Recently I read about the leash law in Okaloosa County. Really? Yes, I can see a leash law for dogs, but for cats? Good luck on that one. I wonder how easy, or not-so-easy  it would be to actually contain your cats on a leash. I’m sure there are some that do.

We recently inherited cats – four of them. They were neurotic inside cats – whenever they could be contained. One of them was never was allowed to venture outdoors (it was too hard to persuade her to come back in). Tigger lived the life of luxury under the bed in the back of the house while the other three scampered out into the sunshine every morning.  She only chanced an excursion down the hall  to eat when the house was locked down for the night.

When these four cats came into our possession we shooed them outside. Yes, even Tigger, the recluse. We felt she  needed to see what the world had to offer. Now, three years later she is the lone survivor, peering into the open doorway whenever it is ajar, but never hightailing it to the bed in the back room.

Tigger doing what Tigger does best!

Tigger doing what Tigger does best!

She has become accustomed to being an outside cat and now has a friend, Foster Kitty. Foster is a stray as you can tell by his name. He adopted us last year when he decided to make this his home and is as sweet as he can be, but as Tigger, always has one eye on you and one on the nearest escape route.

Foster Kitty being camera shy!

Foster Kitty being camera shy!

Blackie is another stray who wanders the neighborhood taking turns eating and sleeping over at all the houses in the cul-de-sac. No one knows where he came from as he appeared out of nowhere with his lopsided look coming from one ear partially chewed away. He will be gone for a while then show up when we least expect him with another nasty injury to his torso. He’s a fighter.

Blackie resting from a night out on the town!

Blackie resting from a night out on the town!

During the day we leave a bowl of dry food and a bowl of water on the carport. That must be why we have all the turtles come up to share the food and at night if we don’t take in the leftovers from the day we have possums and raccoons. Even the birds share the bounty.

Having a bite of breakfast

Having a bite of breakfast

Come to my house for dinner.

Come to my house for dinner.

 

I hate to eat and run but...

I hate to eat and run but…

 

Just a quick bite before I'm on my way!

Just a quick bite before I’m on my way!

Oops - you caught me!

Oops – you caught me!

Yes, I washed up before eating.

Yes, I washed up before eating.

 

 

 

Share and share alike!

Share and share alike!

 

Tigger and Foster know when it is time for their evening meal. They can hear the spoon tap on the dish as H divides a can of cat food between them for a night-time treat. If he takes too long they remind him they are waiting by banging their bodies against the back door. On the days he works they are waiting in the driveway for him to return home and walk in the front door behind him as he opens it and then out the back as he walks out to get their bowl. They are hilarious. I let him do the feeding just so I can watch. 😉

Over the summer we bought flea collars. Andrew, always wanting to befriend these cats decided he would put the collars on. After many attempts he gave up on Tigger and said she would just have to scratch. Even H could not coax her into welcoming the collar. Foster finally succumbed to the ordeal.

Yes, our cats are a bit skittish. We could hardly touch them when we first began the caring process without them bounding out of sight as our hands drew near. Now H can give a quick pet as he feeds them or sometimes a spontaneous brush throughout the day as he sits outside. You would think these cats would be more at home with me since I am the one person around all day, but no, they took to H. I probably don’t pay them as much attention as he does. I should.

I just don’t see them ever taking to a leash!

Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress.

11 responses »

  1. My sister in law only lets her cat outside when he is tethered to a leash that is then attached to a rope ‘run’ that stretches across her yard. He is fine with it and still chases butterflies and stalks insects but doesn’t leave the yard. When we first got the Diva, we only took her outside on a leash. She got used to it. We don’t need it so much these days because although she follows us when we go outside, she always returns when we do.
    Since we have a lot of birds in our garden, I really don’t want her roaming around. I hate when I drive up the street some days and find a mass of feathers from a pigeon or dove that wasn’t quick enough to evade roaming cats, on the neighbour’s lawns.
    I love your night time visitors though. 🙂

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    • I think my cats are too far gone to be leashed. We would never be able to catch them. I understand what you mean about the birds though. Foster loves to stalk them but never has much luck!

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  2. A lease for cats? Ridiculous! I have four — three insider only and one indoor/outdoor. Our area is heavy with fox and coyotes so outdoor cats don’t last here. My outdoor is required to come in every night but he’s ok with that. Love the pictures of your zoo. I don’t have turtles but I have frogs, opossum, skunks and deer. Beautiful as they are I would try you my deer for your turtles!

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  3. Oh I loved this. Nothing like a good kitty essay before you retire for the night. I loved that you adopted them all. You didn’t say why…hope it’s not sad.

    And the pictures of the turtles and raccoons…priceless. Great line, share in the bounty. I’d be so charmed to find a turtle on my porch, or carport.

    Nature, she can be a real pain storming up the coast, or charming as a southern girl comin a callin.

    Great piece 🙂 meow

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  4. Cats don’t like leashes. Somebody is nuts. We inherited two cats with the house, but we are both allergic so they had to be outdoor kitties. One died from a stroke and the other is still going strong, despite periodic fights with the local raccoons.

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    • So far we have had no raccoon fights – except maybe that is what is tearing up Blackie. We will never know. Cats would probably have to be trained as small kittens to tolerate being on a leash!

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