Like many feline-related articles mention, it is natural for cats to be outdoors. I was watching a documentary on cats via Netflix a few days ago, and they mentioned that cats are one of the few animals that can survive and still reproduce even as strays.
But, my boyfriend and I have decided to keep these new kittens strictly indoors. Does it make us bad parents for not letting them feed into their curiosity? When the slightest bark comes from outside, or the chirping of birds, squirrels rustling in the trees, these two girls tilt their heads and perk their ears wondering what it is they’ve just heard. And, we want to help feed that curiosity, but at the same time, we’re scared.
We had a Bengal Cat, Cinnamon, the sweetest cat anyone could ever dream of. She was my first kind of cat. She belonged to my neighbor, who would let her out at night time. She came to us on a rainy night, the tears from the skies weren’t slowing down any time soon, and they seemed to have been growing stronger and stronger. My boyfriend and I didn’t have the hearts to keep her outside in the cold, in fear that she would get sick. But, we let her out the next morning, in fear that she had an owner who would be wondering where she went. To our surprise, we found a dead bird at our doorstep when we got home. She loves us!!! We took care of her every night – fed her, bought her toys, a cat tree to play on, and unconditional love. We didn’t meet her owner until about 6 months later, who is this sweet elderly man. But, since Cinnamon was his cat and he lets her out both during the day and at night, we had to abide by his wishes.
This past October, we were walking around the apartment and Cinnamon got distracted – we parted separate ways. We didn’t think too much of it, because she always found her way back to our apartment no matter the time. However, that night she never came back. When her owner found the people who had found her and thought she was a stray, they refused to give her back to him until after he had shown the couple pictures of Cinnamon from years prior. Before returning her, they complimented her behavior and asked if they could buy her from him – they’d pay him cold, hard cash. Disgusted, he said no, and brought Cinnamon back home with him. Believe it or not, two days after, she went missing again, and despite putting up signs for people to look out for her and bring her home, we haven’t been able to find her since. Pretty obvious what happened to her, don’t you think? But, it has left a scar in our hearts forever. I still have dreams of her every now and again, and it’s the saddest thing ever.
And because of this, we’re too afraid to let our little kittens out. Maybe when they get a little older, we can get cat harnesses for them and walk them around the apartment complex. I always thought cat harnesses were the silliest things to be sold for pets … and walking your cats? Always made me laugh. But now I understand the need for them. Everyone’s situation may be different on why they would consider buying cat harnesses for their felines, but my reason is because I’m scared. I don’t want the same thing to happen again to what happened to our Cinnamon.
The girls have each other to play around with at home, and they enjoy each other’s company so much. They play with so much excitement and energy, they get burned out, fall asleep, wake up, and hit the repeat button. They receive love from their humans, and I hope that’s enough for them (for now). I hope they know we love both of them so much, and that we are just trying to protect them.
What’s outside isn’t as important; not now anyway.