The Adventures of Happy Cat: Outside, on my own

IMG_9590Day 1:

I have decided that I need to go outside. It’s nearing my 9th birthday and I’ve been a cosseted housecat for 8 and a half of those years. I fear that I might have become out of touch with my kitten instincts and ability to fend for myself in the wilderness. The house is very nice, of course. Food is always available, there are lots of warm sunshine spots, the humans love to pet me whenever I’m in the mood, and I usually get a whole queen-sized bed to myself for nap time.

But something in the outside is calling to me. I have to go chase it and see what it is and where it could lead me. I’ve decided that today is the day that I make my escape. I just have to wait for one of the humans to leave, so I can sneak out unnoticed.

Day 2:

My plan worked perfectly! I made my way outside last night and no one was the wiser. I raced to the woods in the back of the house and immediately felt at home. Here I was, a cat against the world. Nature and I are getting along swimmingly already. I have found a warm patch of leaves to nap in and I’ve already seen plenty of food for me to snack on later. I’ve chewed some grass already and found it to be delicious!

How could I have not known about how good grass is? I’m a cat, after all. I have cat instincts and cat needs. I feel at one with myself and the universe. There is nothing I can’t do right now!

Day 3:

It’s kind of boring out here…

I hate to admit it, but I kind of miss the humans. They’re big and clumsy, but they have these warm laps. And they pet me. I miss being petted and getting scratched behind the ears. I tried scratching behind my own ears, but it’s not the same thing. Also, it gets cold at night. The leaves aren’t as warm as the blankets and comforters that I’m used to. I’m starting to think this might not have been the best idea.

Day 4:

The outdoors suck.

Day 5:

Hunting it harder than it looks. I tried to catch a little mouse, but it was so fast! I ran and ran and ran and it was so much quicker than I was. It ducked and dodged and finally crawled under a pile of branches and I couldn’t get to it. How did my kitty ancestors do this? Getting food is a lot easier when it’s placed in a bowl right by the kitchen.

Also, water. Water used to come from that magic silver thing and was placed into clean bowls, daily. But now, I’m scrounging for any of water I can find. It rained a few days ago, so there are still little puddles around the forest area, but when this dries up, what am I going to do?! I need to start thinking quick. I thought I’d be much more adept at being an outside cat, but my skills are just not up to snuff.

I also wonder how Reginald and Leonard are doing. I usually talk to them via Skype and I miss having conversations with my fellow cats. I wonder if Reginald is finished writing his paper on spinal surgery yet or if Leonard is still planning his vacation. I thought about trying to figure out this mail system that humans use, but it seems so primitive. Also, my penmanship is terrible.

Day 6:

I found food and water! But apparently it wasn’t for me… It was on a porch outside of a house. I thought that someone must have know about my travels and had kindly left me victuals to aide my in my journey. But after I had drank my fill and almost half of the kibble in the bowl another cat runs up and hisses at me. She says that this is her house and that food is also hers.

Of course, I tried to tell her that I was a traveling cat, a newcomer to outside life and I would be very appreciative if she would share her meal. She told me to go away and that I wasn’t welcome on her porch! I told her that she was being quite rude and inhospitable. The lady cat said that there were cats all over the neighborhood who try to steal her food and if she let everyone have it, then she would starve.

I apologized for eating her meal and I left, to go look for other forms of sustenance. I managed to catch a massive cricket and made an afternoon snack out of that. But I must admit, it wasn’t quite as good as those little kitty treats that I get when I stand on my hind legs, like a circus cat. I’m starting to miss those kitty treats…

And my scratching post by the window. I used to sit there in the sun and meow at birds. I used to think if only there wasn’t this glass between us that I would eat them for dinner. But now I realize that birds are much harder to chase than even mice! Birds can fly! How did my ancestors survive?

Day 7:

Terrifying day today! I saw a feral dog. It was big and scraggly and mean looking. It told me that I looked like a delicious breakfast and then it chased me all over the forest! I managed to climb into a tree and wait him out though. He got bored after a while and lumbered off into the woods. I have never been so scared in my entire life.

By dinner time I was so hungry that I snuck over to the lady cat’s house and stole some of her kibble before she returned from wherever she was. I felt bad doing it, but after a day of being chased and terrified, then going on a long and completely unsuccessful hunt, I felt like I didn’t have a choice. Maybe one day I’ll be able to catch a bird or mouse and bring it to her for compensation.

Anyway, I’ve decided that I need to get home to my family. I’m sure they’re lost without me and missing me terribly. I know they would probably give anything to have me home right now. Also, I don’t like the outside. The lack of readily available food and water, the weather changes, the danger, the lack of ear scratches. It’s just not as good as being an inside cat.

Now if only I could figure out how to get home…

Day 8:

I did it! I made my way home tonight, very late. I sniffed and sniffed until I picked up the scent of home and followed it all through the woods. I made my way onto the front porch and peeked into the windows. I saw one of my humans at her computer and knew that she would let me in. So I sang with my beautiful cat voice to let her know that I, Happy Cat, have returned.

She came to the door right away and let me in. I allowed her to pet and fuss over me for a while. Then I checked out my food dishes, which were full of fresh kibble and got some water from the magic silver thing. It’s feels so good to be home. I made a space for myself on the black comforter and took a quick evening snooze before it became hunt time.

When it was hunt time I stalked around the house, using all of my new hunting skills. Okay, so maybe I didn’t learn a lot of new hunting skills. But I did get that cricket. That counts. Overall, my time outside was interesting and I don’t regret it, but I don’t think I’ll be repeating this experiment again. It seems that I am a spoiled indoor cat, through and through.

But it’s nice to be home again.