Please, keep your cats inside.
WARNING: GRAPHIC INFO BELOW.
I had intended this as a reply to someone who learned the hard way why they should keep their beloved cat indoors..but tumblr ate it. So, here it is.
Living in a town known for its cats, feral or pets, many are outdoors. In fact, my Olley was indoor and outdoor for about 9 years with “only 2 “minor” (re: required surgery) injuries,” and I couldn’t keep him indoors due to his peeing (which after many years, has been solved and corrected).
But a year ago, that changed, immediately. My husband and I were on a Sunday drive to sit at our local coffee shop to relax and enjoy the nice day. We weren’t even a block from our home when a neighbors cat rushed from under a car trailer…and under our back tire. I still remember it, the thud. Seeing a cat in our rearview, flailing madly. I jumped from the car, my husband followed behind, but just as I stood above her she stopped, exhaled a final breath, all muscles quivered, and then she was still. Her eye protruded grimly from one socket, blood poured from her mouth. A life was lost.
Stormy was three years old and, too, “never once crossed the street.” She was, that day, across from her home.
We buried her in our neighbors backyard, the neighbor didn’t blame us, but as an elderly woman, I was crushed for her to lose her companion.
THAT day, Olley became an indoor cat.
But no, it couldn’t stop there. On our way home from groceries, a little more than a month later, we pulled up to a stop, the two cars ahead rolling along, either too busy watching traffic or too cold to care, I saw a kitten dragging itself, crying out from under a car…
I rushed out, grabbed it to which it rightly screamed and bit, but I wrapped it in my sweater, crying. As we turned onto the road to get to our vet there was another kitten about half a block. My husband rushed out, brought it to me, and I gently pet it, sobbing. Both died. The second cried the whole way, died the moment we arrived. The first, euthanized because its entire back half was crushed. Though not our fault this time…it was horribly traumatizing.
One month apart..if I remember.
I cannot express enough how horrible it is for someone like me to have to experience such a tragedy. To carry that burden. What if it had been Olley? Or Bob? Or Mynah? I couldn’t live with myself. But it took this nightmare for me to realize it! Just like you, my cats now stay indoors, all of them.
I will never forget Stormy or those two kittens. Ever.
I don’t care if your cat always stays in the yard. I don’t care if your cat was a “street cat,” I don’t care if your cat is too old to leave the porch. Keep your cats indoors, or build an outdoor run, or cat proof your backyard. Remember that owls, hawks, raccoons, dogs, people, disease…they don’t care about how special your cat is. I dont care how lucky your mom’s cat was for 14 years. They will fucking destroy it. And you will have to suffer with that guilt. And you will hate yourself.
Think of people like me, who learned the “easy” way, who could accidentally run over your cat, or be witness to the awful screaming of kittens in unimaginable agony and fear. Think of me, and imagine I am you, and you were in my shoes. It fucking sucks. Now imagine that those cats, were YOUR cats. It’s hard, very hard, to understand.
But trust me. You don’t want to be the cat owner cradling a pair of dying kittens, a neighbors dead cat, or your cat, that you thought was invisible to cars.
Just. My god, just protect them.