It’s 1:35 in the morning and I can’t sleep. My wife and I witnessed a tragedy yesterday and I can’t stop thinking about it. We were on our way to an appointment with my opthamologist in downtown Seattle. As we cut through a residential area on our way to Ballinger Way, we came across a large cat that had just been hit by a car. It was a beautiful cat with Siamese coloring. Its tail was thrashing, but the body was motionless. We immediately pulled over and frantically discussed what, if anything, we could do. We decided to see if we could knock on some doors and alert the owners. Just then, a truck drove slowly by, and the driver pointed to a nearby house and said “That’s where the cat lives.”
I went to the door and knocked with some urgency. A male voice called out “What do you want?” “Your cat has been hit by a car!” I responded. The door opened and a man looked past me to the scene on the street. “I thought you might want to retrieve the body before any children see it,” I added.
I returned to our car and we continued on our way. In the rearview mirror, I could see the man coming from his house with a woman right behind him. She knelt to the pavement, her face contorted in uncontrollable sobs. This cat was obviously a beloved pet.
My wife and I are cat lovers. Our last one was an indoor-only cat. We had her for 14 years (from kitten to her passing). It took us a year of grieving before we could adopt another one. The one we have now is an indoor only cat. We have made this choice for several reasons.
First, we enjoy our birds; and cats are too good a predator. It’s just not fair to our birds to have cats in the foliage. Second, there are too many coyotes around. Our neighbors once had five indoor/outdoor cats. After losing two of them to coyotes, they now have indoor-only cats. Third, our vet tells us there is less chance for an indoor-only cat to get into fights or catch a disease.
I understand that most any cat will prefer to go outside. There’s so much for them to do outside. And if they are an indoor-only cat, you have to play with them more for them to get exercise. However, I feel the trade-off is worth it.
So if you have an indoor/outdoor cat, I highly recommend you make one of your New Year’s resolutions to make your beloved kitty an “indoor-only” feline. He or she will thank you in the end. Besides, I need my beauty sleep!