The other day, an animal control officer came to my door and told me that a neighbor had complained that my cat, Sidney, was “doing his duty” in the neighbor’s yard. I was somewhat surprised since the first thing he always does when he comes in is head to his litter box. The animal control officer told me that if I didn’t keep him out of the neighbor’s yard, that they would set a trap and then I would have to pay a fine to get him back, if they caught him. She also explained that I had to keep him in my yard. Has anyone ever tried to keep a cat inside a yard, fenced or not? Sidney climbs chain-link fences like they aren’t even there. How is one to do this, and given the number of cats that are in my yard on a regular basis, it is apparent no one else does, or knows that they have to.
I’m a little disappointed that the neighbor, whoever it is (they won’t tell), didn’t come and knock on my door and tell me about it. I’m not sure what I could have done, but I would certainly have gone over and cleaned up the mess, even though there is no proof that Sidney was the only cat doing it. I don’t doubt the neighbor saw him do it, but have they just missed the other cats doing it, or do all the other cats in the neighborhood not do it? Perhaps Sidney is the only “bear that shits in the woods” – or in this case, a neighbor’s yard.
Sidney’s Zen place is outside in the summer, laying under the bushes taking a nap, having “chase the leaf games” with the wind, and visiting his furry little friends across the street. He cannot understand why he cannot go outside anymore and in fact, he is begging me right now. It’s almost more than I can stand.
I suppose I could build him the kitty equivalent of a prison exercise yard, because that is now what he is, a prisoner no longer able to enjoy the freedoms he has been used to and loves so much. At least till I get an escape proof exercise yard build for him, his days will be spent in the house eating, sleeping and begging me to let him out. I play with him, but it’s just no substitute for playing with the leaves and the wind.
My furry little friend’s predicament has me thinking a lot about freedom right now. We so take it for granted, and most have become very complacent about the dangers to our freedoms. Perhaps most are just too far away from the fight that brought us the freedoms we have and that are slowly and systematically being taken from us, or perhaps no longer care.