We have a clothesline that runs across our backyard. We don’t use it because well, first off the sun doesn’t hit it, and secondly it’s pretty high (I couldn’t hand the clothes without standing on something) and thirdly, I hang to dry anything I want to in our laundry room. Nobody really wants to see your bloomers while they drive by either.
Our cat is scared of vacuums, brooms, his travel box, people touching his paws and “The Hand”. The hand is some hand position that Emile used to play with him as a kitten. He is not afraid of his reflection, strangers or motor vehicles. He was kept in an apartment for his formative years, and perhaps that is why he does not recognize cars as a frightening. In fact, he sees the roadway as a terrific place to loll, roll and warm his body. Who doesn’t love some nice warm pavement. So, as much as he likes outside now, we can’t let him out unfettered because he thinks that brooms will hurt him and cars will not. You can’t argue with a cat.
We have a leash for him – and I am sure his cat friends tease him – and we do use it to let him out to sniff the bushes and do cat chores. However, he has figured out that clockwise is the opposite of counter-clockwise. So, often, I’ll find him stuck in one place, timidly taking a step and getting the same resulting pull on his neck.
With our clothesline, Emile designed a neat contraption. The end of the leash attaches to the line so Beavis can walk back and forth across the backyard increasing his mobility by about 5 times. And he doesn’t get tangled up around poles anymore. He strolls back and forth, sniffing this, sniffing that and coming to the door when he is ready let in. I undo the leash and he strolls in the house. He doesn’t like the leash, but he likes being outside more. So we compromise – and it’s been working for a couple of years.
When he wants in, he comes to the door and stands there until someone notices, undoes the leash and lets him in (after all, this is where is washroom is). Today, he wanted out, so he frolicked in the grass for a while and then presented himself at the door. I undid his leash so he could wander in the house and he made a break for it!
June 4th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Outsmarted by a cat.