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Life in a Cat house

Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House

Our old Ozrow cat is having a pretty good winter for a change.

He loves to spend his days outdoors when the weather is nice. For most of the years of his life that has meant the summer because winter was usually too cold and yucky for him. The mild weather through most of this winter has allowed him to get out a lot more and that makes him happy.

Sure, we’ve had a bit of snow and some rainy days and cold mornings, but he has not been trapped inside so long he started to develop his usual bout of cabin fever. If he has to, he can tolerate a day or two inside where he mostly sleeps on the bed nearly around the clock.

It’s a different deal with our young Amelia Jane kitty. She has no interest in going outside, so it doesn’t matter to her much what the weather is like. She might stick her nose out the door at times and that to her is all the going out she needs.

While the weather might have been acceptable during most of this winter it has not been perfect. For that reason, Ozrow has become somewhat of a nuisance at times. He goes out for a few minutes, then wants back in. Once inside it is only a few more minutes before he wants out again. Unless a day is hot and sunny, he can never make up his mind where he wants to be.

He really does not do much outdoors. He will go for a stroll at times, but mainly he sleeps on the deck if it is sunny and warm. Even in the high heat of July and August he would rather be outdoors than inside where he can take advantage of the air conditioning.

Ozrow is getting older now and isn’t as active as he once was. We no longer see him climbing trees and it’s rare to see him running full bore across the yard. He usually wanders around close to the house and then, if it is warm enough, he will conk out on the deck to snooze. If it’s chilly out, he will jump up on the window sill to serve notice he wants inside.

Actually, he has a platform outside the window rather than sitting on the sill. My wife, Vivian, put it up for him years ago. It’s quite a way off the ground but he can still make the leap up to it. You can pretty much tell the weather by the way he acts once he is on the platform.

If it’s nice out he may just sit there and wait for someone to notice him. He might even doze off for a while. If it is cold or rain sprinkles are falling, he will bang on the window and scratch the outside window frame to attract our attention. We took the screen off the window years ago to keep him from ripping it to shreds. He can get downright frantic if he thinks rain is coming and he’ll all but tear the whole house down to get in.

He has learned to sit on the deck railing under the eaves if rain is light and he can take refuge there if we don’t see him at the window. When rain gets heavy or starts blowing, he will start slamming into the door in the hope we will hear him. If that fails, he retreats to shelter under our utility building until the rain stops.

So far, since autumn, he has got to spend more time outside without freezing. He wants it to stay decent until spring, when he expects it warm up for real outdoor weather.