It took some time for me to be the type of cat person that I am. I started with The Twins when they were tiny babies, separated from their mother. I had no idea the body language, litter habits, outdoor feral behavior, indoor/outdoor behavior, collar types, harnesses… zip, nada, nothing.
I have a neighbor that adopted a cat. Potter is the most adorable, social, fluffy cat with great litterbox manors that I’ve met.
Though, his parents are dog people. I can’t fault them. I was a dog person. Cats like to go outside. Cats like to hunt and bring you dead or sometimes alive things. Cats always lick their buttholes. Cats leave hairballs cold on the floor as a surprise at your 2AM walk to the bathroom, barefoot. What do you do with a cat that isn’t adorable?
Stereotypes are there for a reason but they aren’t often 100% true. Not all cats are made to be outdoors, not all cats get hairball issues, not all cats like to let you see them lick their buttholes.
Potter stayed the night with us once. We didn’t know who his owner was and he was playing around on the steps in front of our apartment. We brought him inside and fortunately he was wearing a collar with a tag from the Humane Society (and a bell on it) so I was able to call them in the morning.
Another day, Potter was upstairs down our row, next to a friend’s front door, looking longingly from their patio to a bird in a tree. We picked him up and called them to sent the kids for the cat, as it was getting dark outside.
A few days ago Dismal found Potter’s collar on his way out to finals at school. We called the owner and left a message and then found her walking the dog and reunited Potter (who was elsewhere) with his collar. Owner wants to tighten it to keep it from coming off. Politely told her cat’s collars are meant to come off if they are snagged on anything as simple as the cat’s tooth while they are grooming. It’s not like the collar on a dog. Cats can be injured by their collars. It’s meant to do that.
Then we were just chatting as she was walking the dog. The cat was falling behind, distracted again and this time on the roof of someone’s car in the carport, yowling at a bird. It was funny, futile, loud and if it had been my car I wouldn’t have been so amused.
He just doesn’t seem to have that kind of instinct to be an indoor/outdoor cat. He’s more like an indoor cat with outdoor tendencies and curiosities. He’s a bit of a lovely doofus. And I get to keep my mouth shut as he’s not my cat.