The up and down weather of the past few weeks has made life difficult for our cats. They never know if it’s a good time to go outside or not. So far, they have handled being housebound better this year than they have in winters past.
Every day is a surprise for them, with some days cold and others nicely warm. About all they can do is stick their noses out the door and decide what to do. On days it’s been cold or snowy, they gave up on going out without much grumbling.
They mostly just sleep away the bad days and go soak up sunshine on the good days. Of course, they are happy when the days are warm and bright. Our girl cat, Skittles, has been spending warm afternoons on the ramp leading into our storage building. Our boy cat, Ozrow, goes roaming around his kingdom. One good afternoon I spotted Ozrow just sitting in the grass, looking satisfied with the world.
We keep telling them to hold on a while longer because the days are soon coming when all they will have to worry about outdoors is rain. They act like they understand that and are willing to be patient.
Well, most of the time. Ozrow went on a toot through the house in the middle of the night recently. He was apparently trying to run off some pent up energy. At times, he can be as antsy as a kid confined to a classroom too long.
Normally, by this time of year they are both deeply infected with cabin fever. I don’t have any idea what has made this year different.
Maybe it was simply so cold some days they realized winter has been for real and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Or it could be that both are getting older and a bit more mature in their thinking. They are no longer semi-wild teenager types.
I know they dream of the days when they will once again be able to go out and stay all day. They may only sleep outdoors most of the day, but the fresh air and sunshine still perks them up for a while. By mid-summer they will be lazy but still won’t want to get in the house to take advantage of the air conditioning. They will stay inside to keep warm in winter but they don’t mind the heat very much. When it’s hot, about all they want inside for is a bite to eat and a drink of water, then they are ready to get back outdoors.
We always make them stay inside at night. When she was younger, Skittles would lay out until well after dark, sometimes until midnight. She has not done that in recent years. Instead, she enters the house when told she should and shows little indication of wanting back out.
We know winter is hard on people but we forget it can also be difficult for cats.
They appreciate the house and food and warmth, but at heart they are still outdoor creatures. Right now, they are awaiting the days when they can have the best of both worlds, inside and out.