I find it amusing that an indoor cat can live her cushy life with her humans believing that she’s the only cat around. She may see birds outside and children playing and maybe an occasional dog walking past on a leash. But in her world, she is the one and only cat until…
It’s the same for the outdoor cats in the neighborhood. There are three indoor-outdoor cats next door. They wander over to visit me in the garden sometimes. They join us when neighbors congregate at the mailboxes or catch up with news over the fence. But they seem to be oblivious to the fact that there are other cats inside some of the houses until…
Almost always the indoor and the outdoor cats in a neighborhood finally meet and it’s not usually a pretty picture. Annie must have caught the scent of Lily’s supper the other evening and she found her way onto our porch and peered in through our screen door. She looked as cute and sweet as ever until she caught Lily’s scent and actually saw her chowing down on her meal. You should have seen the sudden shift of gears. Annie’s ears went back, she cowered. She obviously did not expect her human garden friend to be harboring cats inside her house.
It wasn’t long before Lily sensed something. She looked up from her meal and saw Annie. Shocked at the reality of a strange cat so close to her (and her food), she reacted rather rudely—slightly curious, but mostly ready to attack, should it become necessary.
Nothing happened. There was a screen between them, after all. But I have to say it was Annie (the outdoor cat) who retreated and Lily went back to eating her supper.
Like you, I’ve seen many encounters between the inside and outside cats and most of them do start out badly. Some such cats ultimately make friends. This was the case with Smokey and Gibbs. Gibbs showed up at my mother’s house one day wearing a collar with his name and phone number printed on it. He came so often, Mama started feeding him. Soon he and Smokey became familiar. I can’t say they were friends, but there was a familiarity and a definite connection. When the day came, six or eight years later, that Gibbs stopped showing up, Smokey showed very definite signs of missing him.
I imagine each of you have stories you can tell of interactions between your inside and outside cats. I always enjoy sharing your comments.