Life in a Cat house

Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House




The first part of last week both our cats were infected with acute spring fever. It was kind of expected with Ozrow because he goes though life taking each moment as it comes and rolling with whatever is happening.

The big surprise was normally staid, calm, laid back Skittles. It took a while for her to accept spring was actually showing signs of springing, but she did realize it was for real she went into full-blown hyperactive mode.

The first warm and sunny day Ozrow went outside to frolic. Skittles chose to hang back and watch. She eased toward the door a few times, but backed away. She wasn’t about to let conditions fool her. After a couple of days she began to grasp it was for real.

Last Monday she eased out to check on the weather. People claim cats don’t remember things but Skittles proved those folks wrong. He favorite outdoor spot has long been in an outdoor flower box under a window above our deck. When she went out Monday, she went straight to it, even though she has not seen it for months. She didn’t need anything other than warm air to jog her memory.

Tuesday was when the full force of spring fever hit her. She wanted to get out well before daylight. That is a common time for Ozrow to make his first trip outside, but it’s something Skittles almost never does. On the best of days, she usually sleeps in until 10 in the morning or later. Tuesday, she went out, came back in after a while, and went berserk, running through the house like a kitten overdosed on catnip.

She has those running spells sometimes but they usually wear off quickly. Not that time. She couldn’t get enough of running and jumping.

It was like she was trying to shout to the world, “Spring is here.”

Sunshine and warm air is the best tonic known for cats that have been bound indoors through the long winter months. Skittles always gets through the winter much better than Ozrow. She doesn’t have his love of the great outdoors. Still, when the weather turns nice and looks like it might stay that way, she enjoys being outside. Unlike Ozrow, she seldom goes more than a few feet from the deck. She is content with her own little kitty zone.

She is always happy to get out, but this year was an exception. After the usual cautions approach she takes to everything, she wanted to soak up as much sun and warm as she could. She still didn’t go anywhere. Going exploring is not her activity of choice. Ozrow doesn’t go far, though he does check out the edge of the woods and all around the house on his daily strolls. Skittles confines herself to an area that is no more than two or three big leaps from the deck and door.

While Skittles was on her rampage of joy Tuesday morning, my wife, Vivian, asked me what I had done to wind up the cat. A little later she commented, “This cat has gone crazy.”

There is only one response to Vivian’s question and comment.

It’s spring outside.