On one of the last nice days of fall I see my neighbors kids (tweens or young teenagers) in their pajamas, in their backyard, with their indoor cats cradled in their arms. No leash, no harness, no collars ... each tween has one very large and very scared cat. Each cat then proceeds to panic and wriggle out of the arms and make a beeline for the patio door... eagerly entering the safety of the house. Each tween then takes the cats and brings them outdoors once again and the same scenario ensues. At some point, one of the tweens has the bright idea to CLOSE the patio door so the cats cannot gain access to the safety of the house.... and each time the cat goes to the door, the cat is brought FURTHER out into the yard.
I could not handle it anymore... I went outside and explained (as nice as I could) to the girls that the cats were obviously scared and they just wanted to go back inside. The fact that their yard was not secure and the cats could easily be frightened and run under the fence and into the busy road or into another yard where we are surrounded by houses with dogs that are not cat friendly was also a factor they should consider before keeping their terrified cats outside another second.
The mother of the household ushered the girls back into the house and I explained the situation. She turned to go inside with an exiting dirty look thrown my way. Well, at least the cats were inside and No good deed goes unpunished.
People... FIRST, inside cats should NOT go outside unless they are on a leash and harness, updated on their vaccinations, neutered/spayed, microchipped and closely supervised. SECOND, being outside is not necessarily exciting for a cat that is used to being inside. It can be very stressful for them and when a cat is stressed is reacts with a fight or flight behavior. THIRD, if you insist on bringing your cat outdoors and you have done the previously mentioned precautionary steps, you should know that your cat might now WANT to go outside and may just take it upon itself to go outside on it's own, possibly without your knowledge.
So while these tweens had the typical level of judgement of someone their age, you, as an adult, have better judgement, right?
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