Saturday, October 28, 2006

Grounded

Catzee's Mom here. I'm going to write her post today as I am only able to explain the title of this post from my point of view and not hers.

It started at dinner time. Usually both cats supervise dinner preparations, the setting of the table, and sitting down to eat. On this particular night it was only Rascal. I wasn't especially worried because when Catzee crashes for a nap, then she's out!

Both cats follow this routine because they each get a few treats at the beginning of dinner, and neither one ever wants to miss out. It was puzzling that Catzee wasn't there, because she loves her Temptations.

So I called her. No response. I called again, but still nothing. I got up to look. I looked in all her favorite nap spots but she was nowhere to be found.

At this point I had a funny feeling, so I said to The College Kid, "I think we'd better go look outside under the balcony." We grabbed our shoes, ran out the door, and down the stairs.

We both called her but no answer. So I started to look under the bushes and sure enough, she was squatting under a large bush, peering at me with huge amber eyes. I called her and reached to pick her up but she backed away. I almost panicked at this point, trying to figure out how the two of us were going to surround her and get her before anything else happened.

But the second time I called she recognized me and came to me. We quickly brought her in and a good looking over revealed nothing wrong; no cuts, abrasions, limping. In fact she was ready for her Temptations and then another trip outside.

How it happened is easy to speculate because she is wild to jump after bugs. She demolished the resident spider's web early on and catches all manner of flying creepy crawlies, proudly bringing them in to show off. So I can imagine her jumping after one with her usual abandon, only to fall on this (view looking down from the balcony):

As you can see, we fortunately have large dense bushes under our balcony, thick and leafy enough to break a small cat's fall.

Unfortunately, she's not allowed out there anymore. She's been "grounded" in more ways than one.

This is not going over with her very well at all.

She begs and pleads to be let out. And if we won't let her out that door, then she tries for this one:


I feel so badly for her. She is such a hunter at heart. I think she would make a superb barn cat, and both DH and I are sorry that we don't have a few acres and a barn to offer her at this time.

The only solution I can come up with at the moment is perhaps taking her out on walks on a harness and leash. Rascal hates a leash, but I think Catzee is young enough and interested enough to train to one. Does anyone have any experience with this? She's about 6 months old and 8 pounds. Do they make harnesses small enough for her?

I would love to take her out for walks and I think she'd be a happier kitty if allowed to do so.

17 comments:

Grr, Midnight & Cocoa said...

uh-oh! GROUNDED! grounded is what happens when ya duzzn't stay on the balcony - in more ways than one. our Lady had a small kitty with a leash and harness that fit her, but the kitty didn't want to have anything to do with walks. Catzee prolly would though. Also, there are those cool new kitty strollers efurrybuddy's been getting, but ya duzzn't get ta catch bugs - just sniff and look around. we don't get ta go out at all. in fact, we can't effun get in any of the windows 'cept one, cause we aren't allowed ta be here :(

The Meezers said...

I think that catzee would do well on a harness and leash. they do make them small enough for her. put it on her a few times in the house and then take her out on the balcony once or twice, and she should be good to go. - Meezers Mom

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

Kitty strollers or a harness and leash are a good idea. Mommy and daddy get me a lot of elektronik toys I can hunt when they aren't around to play. Some squeak and light up (motion sensitive) and some rotate around so I haf to bat at them.
Mommy will put stinky goodness or treatsies in wind up toys that I can chase and still kill and "eat" it.
I don't do that so much anymore since I've been indoors for 2 years now. Mommy knows it is hard to keep her in, but it is safer for her.

The Tower Hill Mob said...

We have dreamed of being able to take Tilly and Toby out on a leash, but they don't like it.
CatZee is a young, smart tortie and I think she'll love it! Reinforce positive behavior with a treat and she'll warm up to it quickly. Besides, i wanna see photos! She's a sweetie!
The Mum

Sarah and Tiggy said...

Hi! Tiggy's mom here. Tiggy adapted really well to the leash. We started her when she was about 4 months, and she was too small for the cat harness, so I got her a ferret harness which fit perfectly. She is now 7 months old and almost big enough for the smallest setting on the cat harness. At first, she didn't like it, tried to bite it, etc. I put the harness on her (no leash) every day for an hour or so, it only took about a week before she was fine with it. The "walking" part is more difficult though. She definetly can't be "walked" like a dog, it is more like she walks and I follow. I have found the best place to walk her is in the park, where there are no cars to scare her. Also, I bought a retractable leash, so she can have a bit of personal space. Most of the time, we just sit outside with her, while she prowls around, sniffing the grass and pouncing on bugs. One thing that helped her to be comfortable outside on the leash was playing with one of her favorite toys. She loves going out, and I think the leash is a good compromise. Also, be sure that the harness is snug enough. If it is AT ALL loose, she will struggle out of it. (Been there, done that!) You should be able to stick only two fingers under it. Good luck and keep us updated!!!

ML (Mary Lynn) said...

Ohmigosh, Catzee. I was scared to death to read anymore when I got to this, one of my favorite blogs.
I can't believe she jumped down there. I still remember your "Trouble with Torties", I've been working on a collection of KC's "activities", but this one tops 'em all.

KC is the big hunter, too. Last night a large grass spider got in and she went at it. I got to it, fortunately, before she did. I think it could have made her sick.

I'm going to start taking KC out on a leash. Bear (poodle) has taught her to fetch, so now I'm throwing for both. KC wants to go out with Bear to walk. Why not.

Great advice about the ferret harness. I had no idea what to do. KC just turned 4 months and weighs about 3.5 pounds, she's still small in weight. Long and lanky.

Catzee is so close to KC in the way she acts, I just look forward to coming and seeing what she's up to!

kattonic said...

Hi Catzee's mom. I go out on a leash with my collar several times a day. It's all kinds of fun. I started doing it when I was only two months old and I followed my big sisfur around. Momma won't let any of us go outside without a leash, so Sadie doesn't get to go out acuz she won't wear on. Speedy will but he doesn't care all that much for the outside.

KC said...

o, Catzee, u's did all that.

i's so jealous. hee-hee.

can't wait till u's post ur side of tha story.

tortitude!

Lux said...

I'm so glad that Catzee is all right - I got scared reading the first of your post!

I'm the same way; I want outside to hunt bugs SO much. Mom & Dad did get me a harness and leash, but I just mostly stand still in it. It just makes me feel weird.

Good luck!

Merlin said...

Oooh, me and my mommy were scared for Catzee! I've never tried a harness, but my mommy says she had one for the Kitty that leaved here before me. That kitty weighed around 8 pounds, too. She was old, and she adapted to the harness okay. I bet Catzee would really like it! Let us know how it works out!

Jake and Bathsheba said...

Good luck with a harness! We won't wear one and Mom has never had success with them with any cat she's had, but perhaps she didn't try hard enough. We get to go outside, so we have no incentive to want to take to a harness (and we're much too old now).

~J&B

Canberra BK said...

You are so clever Catzee - you can walk up walls! Just like those guys in The Matrix. Wow.

Ariel said...

I got a harness for Ariel when she was little cause she loved the balcony.I got the smallest I could find.Yet I now here they can be adgusted to fit.

Ariel said...

Hi,

Me again.I found this link... http://www.arcatapet.com/category.cfm?catnum=220
they have adjustable kitty harnesses at good prices.

Patches & Mittens said...

I used to beg and plead to go outside, but now I am resigned to being inside, and I really like it, especially when the rain falls and the snow flies.

Patches

Cecilia said...

Oh, we got a little scared for a moment. We are very glad she is save. We know nothing about leashes, sorry.

DEBRA said...

Oh my Catzee!

Have you thought about a stroller?
Then you could take both Rascal and Catzee out.

I am just so relieved she is OK!

*Abby's Mom