Training Ourselves

In The Grass

As you know from time to time we deal with the issue of Pilot being an indoor/outdoor cat. When we first adopted him his previous owners had actually let him outdoors so from the moment we had him he was begging to go outside. Once when we were in an apartment he bolted out the door, down the hall stairs and out the door when he got the chance. Luckily we scooped him up and brought him back inside.

Then we moved to our current house in a very woodsy area (so woodsy our backyard is just woods for miles and miles) and in a cul-de-sac, so the car situation is minimal. We realized we were in a great location for cats to play but that there were also a lot of wild animals that could hurt them. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but then Pilot snuck out about 3 times without us even noticing.

At that point we decided that on weekends we’d let them out to play and bring them in at night. Aurora never goes far, she usually hangs out on the front or back deck but Pilot goes wandering into the woods and sometimes doesn’t come home until the next day. That’s where it gets hard, you can’t reason with a cat to come in before dark (believe me, we’ve tried).

When it starts to get dark we’ll call for him…nothing. We’ll shake treats…he could care less. We’d try the ol “open a can of cat food” to get his attention but he only eats dry. Sometimes he’ll come to the driveway and just look up at us at the door and then turn right around to run back off into the woods.

Every once and a while we’ll consider re-considering Pilot becoming an indoor cat again and there are a lot of pluses to it. First off all he’s more cuddly when he stays indoors, which I love. We also worry about him less and he’s safer.

In the end, even though he might have a shorter life outside he really has a happier life when he can play in the grass sometimes. I had a cat Keyser Soze who started sneaking out when I was on a main road and got hit by a car, when I think about that I always remember how happy he was in the handful of times he got to play outside. I believe in living life to the fullest and if we can give that to him, why the fuck not?

Mind you I don’t think letting cats outdoors is a good idea in every location, we just happen to live in a very small house with a lot of land and very few cars. In my mind that is an ideal location for cats.

Again, it’s not an easy decision and one many don’t agree with but for us right now it seems like the best one. We are however trying to let him out less as he seems a bit spoiled right now going out every single day.

So instead of trying to train him we’re training ourselves to have faith in him and worry less. It’s not easy but sometimes you have to suffer a little for the ones you love.


  1. bubblewench

    July 7, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I totally understand what you are saying. Our cats go out and won’t come in (even more so since we got the puppy), I worry all the time and loose sleep over it. I had to let it go and know that they know where home is and will come back eventually!

  2. Shelli

    July 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I don’t think I could do it. If my kitty didn’t come home at night, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I’d be out there looking for her all night. You are very brave.

  3. subWOW

    July 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    First of all, love the picture. And you’re not joking when you said raising cats is just like raising children!!

    Btw, when I was surprised that you had a cat named Keyser Soze?! 😉

    1. Robin

      July 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

      @subWOW: I know, it’s SHOCKING.

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