Indoor Cats

S.O. and I have, at various times, had anywhere from two to eight cats living in our pile of rocks. None were declawed. All were treated at various points to prevent accidental multiplication. All were kept indoors only.

Gasp! Shock! Horror!

You didn’t DECLAW THEM?!?!

Well, no. We didn’t, and don’t.

We don’t keep furniture and furnishings so fine that they can’t stand the normal wear and tear of daily (sometimes hourly) use. That is what furniture and furnishings are for in our pile of rocks. Yes, the little multi-switchblade-equipped furry feline felons have, upon rare occasion, taken it into their fuzzy skulls that sharpening their talons upon our well-used furniture is a Good Thing. Judicious application of the Mighty Hand of No!! (spray bottle with water) usually takes care of the problem. For persistent feline stubbornness, a light dusting of dried cayenne pepper powder (followed by much howling, meowing, and dragging of nose through carpet) creates the appropriate atmosphere for cattish attitudinal adjustment. (Just make sure you warn your S.O., and vacuum it back up before guests arrive.)

Cruel? No. The one and only time I’ve been pepper-sprayed thoroughly convinced me that I never wanted to be a guinea pig at another self-defense demonstration. (I bought two of the devices on the spot, along with training in their use. You see, I could personally testify as to their effectiveness after I could breathe and see again.) I can speak from first-hand experience, and after consultation with the vet, that this treatment does no serious harm to our beloved pets. For each such cayenne pepper incident, the boundaries of What Is and What Is Not A Scratching Post required only one lesson.

It also happens to save money on vet bills. Here at Life of Pookah, we are all about sane frugal living.

Pookah wishes to go on record that Pookah learned proper behavior on the first lesson. Pookah has NEVER experienced cayenne pepper powder. Pookah has, however, watched Pookah’s foolish, stubborn daughter ignore the obvious signs of violating human territories. Pookah graciously allowed Pookah’s daughter to groom her own fur that day.

Pookah is still considering disowning Pookah’s “offspring”.

Crime! Blasphemy! Inhumanity!

You don’t LET THEM OUT?!?!

Let me explain something that may not be inherently obvious from my previous references to our small portion of the primordial scrub, upon which our pile of rocks is situated.

Where we live, there are these critters known as Wild Animals, and occasional Feral Pets.

And small tasty birds.

That means that there is a high percentage of likelihood that Mr. Fuzzywuzzy will end up as some critter’s dinner, claws or no. If dinner attendance is not enforced, Mr. Fuzzywuzzy *will* have lacerations and punctures to show for the attempted enforcement. This can still easily result in a dead pet. Additionally, with all of these wild and/or feral critters about, not only is there increased likelihood that Mr. Fuzzywuzzy will contract parasitic or communicable infection, there is also a significant chance that the local wild and/or feral critter control methods will accidentally send Mr. Fuzzywuzzy into the feline hereafter.

Take this interesting factoid for example: As of three years ago, there was a feral feline population explosion, numbering some fifteen or more individuals. Fox, coyote, raccoon, possum, and “other” critters in combination with nearby farmers taking exception to attempted chicken feasts and the inevitable attrition due to motor vehicles, reduced that number to barely a half-dozen within a year. Yes, they grow the critters big enough to do the job around here. Personally, I don’t know if muskrat or beaver will kill a cat – but they certainly get big enough to do so.

Now there are maybe three outdoor cats in our area of primordial scrub, of which one is a relatively new immigrant to the region. All of them have the battle scars to prove that they can hold their own – or at least know how to wedge themselves into an opening too small for nature’s dinner enforcers to get at them. (One is becoming a grizzled old veteran tomcat, who thinks that Marine special forces training is for wimps.)

In short, outdoor cats have a very reduced life expectancy in our neck of the primordial scrub. While I am all in favor of natural recycling, I’d much prefer to enjoy many years of companionship and affection with my pets than go through the heartache of finding their gnawed remains. Our indoor cats are well-fed, groomed, played with, play with each other, and get to watch small tasty birds through the window. Pookah herself has shown little desire to return to the Great Outdoors, even though the opportunity has repeatedly presented itself.

Pookah can always get another small tasty bird from the kitchen. If Pookah wants to play Chase, Pookah will let human see Pookah getting the small tasty bird. Humans do not take corners very well at all.

(P.S.: The foxes are absolutely gorgeous, but they are very shy. I have yet to catch one with the camera, but I’m still hoping.)

One Response to “Indoor Cats”

  1. Adriana says:

    No USDA inspection on feral hogs- but they’re one of the hatelhier animals to eat, depending on where they’re taken. Small sows are best. Avoid anything with nuts. Unlike things like bears, armadillos, and possums, which cancarry leprosy and transmit it to you in your dinner, hogs are limited as to what diseases they can carry.meat spols quickly, so butchering it immediately after shooting it- as in same day, is important. If you can’t get it to the butcher in 12 hours you need to pack it in ice, and you need to gut and skin it asap.Deer- which roam your area regularly- will be much eassier to deal with, so long as you keep taking your allopurinol.

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