baby cat monkey

by sheryl dean
(campbell california)

i have a year old cat. i was never a cat lover. i have always been a dog person. until i moved in for a while with my mom. my sister had moved out of state and left her cat there. i tried everything i knew to discourage this pesty cat from being around me. but he would not listen. and i started to warm up to him. after 5 years, at the age of 17, we decided to put him down, because he was in pain a lot. we had been manually hydrating him with an iv on and off for a year. let me tell you something. i have been through a lot in my life, but i have never, ever experienced the horrible gut wrenching agony, that i felt when i came home that night, and he wasnt there. i was absolutely hysterical and i cried for days. i have never felt such grief in my life. i am barely able to keep from crying now. i realized after all of that, that he had been my friend. regardless of what i "thought", he had made a place in my heart for himself, and he was my friend no matter what i did. he was there. i only wish now that i hadnt spent so much time trying to shoo him away from me. i wish i had shown him the love that he so badly wanted to share with me. anyway, i digress. i have a question in the present day world. finally, after 2 years had passed, i decided i wanted to have my very own kitty. i looked around, but i coulndt find one i liked. then one day a friend of my sisters had a kitty that she couldnt keep and i said i would take him. he was 4 months old and a holy terror. he is a year old and hasnt changes a bit, even after i had him neutered. he is me in a male cats body. i love him more than i can ever relate here. my question is...i live in a very nice place with a small backyard area. i want him to be able to go outside. he loves it out there. but twice, he has found a way to scale the fence to get out. both times i thought i was going to have a heart attack. there are big dogs around us, and a good amount of traffic. i managed to get him back in both times. now i dont want to let him out at all. we have 2 other cats here that go outside, but they have absolutely no desire to leave the safety of the yard. mine, on the other had, begins searching for ways out of the yard, the minute i let him out there. he wants to hunt and be like a wild cat. i feel like its cruel to keep him indoors all the time. we have tried

various things, like wrought iron fencing on top of the fence. i tried a cat leash, and he wasnt going for that. i dont know what else i can do. is there any way for me to let him out back without the fear that he will jump up and over the fence? when he does this, he will not come to me. he hisses. i retrieved him from the neighbors yard. thankfully, dog free. and another time, i simply reached up and ripped him off the fence. my husband turns the hose on him if he even looks at the fence. but i cant do this. he's my baby. any suggestions? thanks for listening.

Answer by Kate
Ahh Sheryl the joys and tribulations of loving and caring for a cat. Every cat owner in the world will know how you feel about him, and yes i do know the gut wrenching pain from losing a beloved furry friend, it's never easy but is worth the joy they bring to you in their lifetime.

As for your boys desire to get out, well yes this is just natural behaviour for a cat, some more than others though have a stronger desire to go further afield and this sounds like your cat i'm afraid.

i totally agree with you i also feel that it is cruel to keep a cat inside all the time (I know others will disagree, please do not comment the argument cannot be won). In a way you are lucky to have a yard, this at least gives your cats a chance to be outside in an dangerous area. the trouble is a cat who is determined to get out will if not completely enclosed. the only thing I can suggest and i don't know if this is possible where you are, but is to either create an enclosed pen in the yard or to place a wire mesh fence over the top of your yard completely. i recently visited a cat shelter and they had done this, it was fantastic. the cats could be outside but were completely safe. It was created using tall wooden posts as supports and that plastic coated wire mesh. cheaper than fencing I would suspect. there are some companies out their who build enclosures for cats but I wouldn't be surprised if these are very expensive.

Unfortunately this will have some cost to you but you may feel that it is worth it and stop you from having to worry about them outside.

Apart from that I am afraid that is all you can do, believe you i know how you feel. i have just adopted two four month old kittens who will be going outside for the first time in a week or so and I am so worried but at least I know where I live they should be relativity safe once they get used to things.

I wish you and your climbing cat all the best


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