If cats could talk, they would still keep some things a secret.  Have you ever wondered why cats love boxes?  What’s so fascinating about a bug, and why do they sit on our newspapers? 

We’re not cats, so we’ll probably never know the answers.  Most of their adventures are harmless, but what happens when kitty’s habits turn dangerous?

Some of our worries are unnecessary.  Most cats can climb down a tree just fine.  So, don’t worry about Fluffy in the tree.   You probably don’t have to call out the fire department.

However, sometimes cats pick dangerous or even deadly places to nap.  This is how my kitty, Paxton entered my life.

There are pros and cons of being considered a crazy cat lady.  The pros are obvious.  One of the drawbacks is that once people find out that you have cats, you become the “go to” for every cat within driving distance. 

When I answered the door and saw a stranger with a box in her hands last Spring, I smiled. Thinking that she had just one more cat that needed a home, I got ready with my “No room at the Inn” speech.   Instead, she opened the box to show me a tiny kitten with bandages and stitches all around his tummy and head.   She told me that the morning was cold, and when she started the car, she realized something was wrong.  She opened the trunk to see the kitten under the hood.  Apparently, Kitty thought it was a great place to take a warm nap.  She took him to the vet and got him sewn up and stabilized, but could not keep him.   So, she brought him to me. 

Her daughter already named him, Paxton.  I didn’t want or need another cat.  I didn’t even like the name. It just broke my heart to look at him.  I agreed to take him, temporarily.  I would keep him just until he was better and I could find him a great home. I took him in, but I worried a little at first.  In fact, I thought that there was a possibility that his injuries were much more extensive than we knew.  He was so lethargic.  He didn’t play.  He didn’t meow.  He was not interested in anything at all.  Over time, under the watchful eye of Biggie, the Chihuahua, Paxton grew into a curious, playful, handsome cat. 

Now, the only reminder of Paxton’s encounter with the engine is a slightly jagged ear.  I think it gives him character!  He is a beautiful ginger cat who follows me around and talks to me all day!

However, Paxton’s encounter just made me consider the dangers that await our feline pals when they go outside.  Paxton no longer has any interest in the great outdoors.  While I think the home is the safest place for my cats, there are just as many cats that don’t share a passion for the house.

If you have and indoor/outdoor cat, please take every precaution to keep him safe.  Be on the lookout for other kitties that live outside.  Even though Spring is on the way, there are still plenty of chilly nights.  When you start your car in the morning, make some noise.  If you remember, tap on the hood.  That way, you can alert any critter that might be trying to keep warm inside. 

If you feed feral cats, they will depend on you, and you’ll be responsible for them. You are an important part of their life.  Spay/Neuter to prevent a kitten explosion.  If you have a TNR program in your area, the “fixed” cats will have an ear tip that look similar to Paxton’s!  Keep your trash in a can with a tightly fitting lid.  Nothing is more tempting to cats than a black plastic bag full of … stuff.

There are plenty of portable shelters, water heaters gadgets you can buy to keep them comfortable outside.  You don’t need anything that fancy. Warm up a brick or two in your oven.  Wrap them in a blanket, and place them outside in a safe place, for a nice warming station. 

Microchips and breakaway collars are great for outside cats.  You can place a little bell on the collar, too.  Kitty might not like that, but it will alert you to them and the birds will thank you, too. We’ll probably never know why the trash can looks like a treasure chest to kitty, but with a little thought in advance, we can do our best to keep them safe!

In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson

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