Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You can take a cat out of the wild, but it is much harder to take the wild out of the cat

Zoey on his cat perch
We are completely dedicated to keeping any pet cat that we have as an indoor-only cat.  This can be tough when you have a former stray cat, because they know all of the amazing possibilities on the outside, including bugs, small animals to chase, places to hide, and plenty of things to mark.  To combat this urge, we have a cat tree in one window ,a cat perch in another window, and something by almost every window that allows them to sit and watch the outside.  We also keep bird feeders outside of a couple of the windows so that they have plenty of critters to look at for hours at a time.

However, we could not always provide these luxuries.  When we lived in a condo complex, we subleased from a landlord that said we could have cats even though the condo complex itself didn't allow them.  We did not realize that this meant they could not look out the windows without having neighbors call the complex on us.  We had to keep all of our windows covered, but the cats would find any way that they could to look outside, and we really couldn't blame that aspect of their personalities.  

Kita and Seph wait by the window.
Worse yet, when Seph managed to sneak out our front door, he was actually shot at after a few hours.  Thankfully, this caused him to run back into our house (where we were waiting for him with all of our doors open in the middle of winter), but not soon after, our landlord called to ask if we could give up our cats.  This simply was not an option.  Instead, we stayed for the remainder of our contract and moved to a place better suited to having pets, which also allowed us to get our dog, Kita. 

This story is only one small example of what pet-owners have to consider when finding a place to rent.  When looking for a place online, the simple filter of "allows pets" limits the possibilities by A LOT.  What if we didn't have the resources to find a place that did allow us to keep our cats?  Luckily, that wasn't the case, but the house we live in now is very old and on a main road.  It was one of the few options available to us since our cats are not disposable items to us.  I really wish that this would change, and pet owners weren't often forced to give up their pets when moving to a new home.  I think it happens a lot and is a cruel fate to the animals that end up in a shelter or even a new home without the people that they are often so attached to.  We are very lucky to be able to keep the pets in a house that we don't own, and I wish other pet owners the same good fortune.  I also make a plea to pet owners to continue and expand their search for new homes in order to take their pets with them, and a plea to landowners to understand that pets are family members and that they should consider opening their rentals to responsible pet owners.

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