Life in a Cat house

Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House




Our cats bore up surprisingly well under the horrid weather last week.

After a few decent days, we rather expected them to be grumpy and all out of sorts when it turned wicked with ice, sleet, snow and a temperature that dipped to near zero.

They actually remained pretty placid, with no big cat fights and no whining. They just slept a lot and occasionally got up to wander around the house. Both of them spent some time sitting and looking out the window just the way they do when the weather is nice.

Our girl cat, Skittles, didn’t make any attempt to go out all week. She was content to be a house cat and didn’t blame us for the foul weather outdoors. It was more difficult for our boy cat, Ozrow, because he really dislikes using the litter box. His preferred bathroom is outside, which is why he wants out the moment people are up and available to open the door in the morning.

When the sleet and freezing rain began Monday afternoon, Ozrow still went out for a few minutes. He went out a few times Tuesday, too, even though he waited until it was nearly an emergency before he went to the door. During periods of snow Wednesday, he cut back on his trips outside, but still went. Thursday, when our thermometer was showing a temperature of six degrees, we expected him to stick his nose out and reverse course, deciding the litter box was not so bad after all. He surprised us by going anyway, although it was only for about two minutes.

One time, I think it was Wednesday afternoon, both cats suddenly acted like they were in the grip of serious cabin fever. Ozrow was upstairs and started to do his pathetic meow thing, then he ran down to the kitchen and began to mill around in circles.

Skittles came out of the bedroom and joined him. She was silent, but she was also going in circles and looking like we were abusing her.

Vivian finally figured out what the problem was with them. I was eating a snack of tuna salad and they had smelled it. They were not suffering cabin fever or anything else. They just wanted tuna. When I put it back in the fridge, they calmed down and soon went back to bed.

We thought that after a couple of decent days before the ice and snow storms, when it was nice enough for them to be outside, they would have difficulty being cooped up indoors for days.

Maybe it’s because they are getting older and starting to mellow out a bit, or maybe they thought they had their nice weather run and could live with some bad weather. Whatever it was, they were calmer than they have ever been during forced imprisonment. They just ate, slept, looked out the window and slept some more.

That doesn’t mean they won’t be ready for better days, with sunshine and warmth and no ice or snow on the ground.

When spring finally arrives they will be more than ready to get outside to enjoy it.

There will be bugs to chase and dirt to roll in, as well as nice naps on the deck. And Ozrow will be able to go to the bathroom without freezing his tail.

We’ve been pleased with the way the cats held up under last week’s winter weather siege, but I know they will be happy when better weather moves in and they are no longer stuck indoors for days.