Spring, With Cats…

So it’s here. Spring. The time of year, here in central Canada, when the winter’s majestic cloak is lifted from the land to reveal the mountains of un-scooped dog crap in one’s back yard. Allergic reactions abound from activated mold spores growing relentlessly under the melting snow. And temperature fluctuations leave us flummoxed  as to what clothes to wear from one moment of the day to the next.

People in my neighborhood are, nightly, flaring up their barbecues even though standing outside for more than five minutes causes all feeling to be lost in my nose. I have heard lawnmowers going, when I still have some snow in the shady parts of my lawn. Motorcycles roar up and down my street, and some of the drivers are wearing ski masks under their helmets. And my cats are absolutely crazed to get outside.

I use to let them outside to roam. But, last year, I got a cat back who had been gone for nearly a year. I was so convinced that I would never see him again, that I had already replaced him with another cat, when he was returned to me. So now, unbelievably, I have three cats and two dogs. Yikes. And of course, in getting Baxter back after such a lengthy absence, I decided to keep them all indoors from then on. It wasn’t so bad in the winter. They had little desire to be out there anyway and who could blame them? Sub-zero temperatures and snow over two feet deep in places isn’t a real thrill ride for a cat. But, boy howdy, once those birds started to return, the three of them became hell-bent on, once again, getting out the door. Baxter is the least aggressive of the three. I guess his eleven months in the Great Outdoors was enough communing with nature for him. He makes the odd play for the door but his heart isn’t really in it. Izzy and The Kitten are like little furry Terminators, unstoppable and on a true mission.

I can no longer open my windows. They have already clawed out the living room screen and bolted out through the opening. I will have to install a storm door on my back entrance. It blew open one afternoon, when I was in the bathroom, and they all three absconded at once.  I can no longer enter the house through the garage until I ensure that the garage door has been lowered. They will dart past me to freedom every time, especially if I am busy doing something, like moving groceries from the car into the house or taking the garbage out to the curb. I live in fear of door-to-door canvassers and census-takers and people stopping by who do not understand the concept of CLOSING THE DAMNED DOOR!! I had a furnace guy here a few weeks back and, in his comings and goings from the house, he let a cat out four different times.

I got so sick of beating the bushes around my yard and chasing one cat or another through my neighbors property, at ridiculous times of the night, that I actually called up a tradesman last week and got a quote on building a “catio” off my deck. I’m trying to let them have their way, without actually letting them have their way. I haven’t taken the financial plunge and gone through with it yet, as I am still trying to weigh the likelihood of them shredding the screen on THAT as well. Or perhaps they will start burrowing to get underneath the thing, like Andy Dufresne in bloody Shawshank Redemption.

I have copious amounts of cat hair billowing through my house. I swear, at least one of them should be bald with the amount of fur I sweep up, I vacuum up, I dust up, and they hack up. The cacophony of constant meowing and door scratching has led to me only watching television on my laptop, so that I can put in my ear buds and shut out the noise. I am up at the crack of dawn every morning, because that’s when the birds start moving around. Six little claws, scratching and digging at my bedroom door in an attempt to make me aware of the bird-action just outside our windows! I will soon have to replace that carpet and the door jambs, along with the screens. And I won’t bore you with tales about the kitty litter; my gawd, the kitty litter. They are prolific in that area.

So far, spring has been…interesting. I can’t imagine what other behavior treasures are in store for me. Summer, and my quest to keep my furry friends safe, looks like it might be…expensive.



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