Maine Coon Cat

Finnegan gets some outdoor time under a watchful eye.

There’s a great debate raging at our house. When I got Finn for Cait, I made the executive decision that he was going to be an indoor cat. Knowing that the average lifespan of outdoor cats is around four years, and having lost my most favoritest cat in the whole world ever (yep, at around four years old) to a wild animal, I decided that for both Finn’s lifespan and Cait’s emotional well-being, it seemed the only reasonable choice to make. Cait agreed.

But then Finn got out once. And he loved being out. Really, really, really loved being out. And so it was that we discovered that Finn desperately wants to be an outdoor cat. We’ve had to close off the Dog Door because of him, so the dogs feel penalized. Still, he tries to get out every time the regular door opens. He hides under the dogs’ bellies and tries to shoot out with them when we let them out. He hides under the chair by the door, hoping to make his escape. He hides behind our feet with eyes trained on the door, hoping we don’t notice him lurking there. His escape attempts have gotten so frequent that we’ve all become paranoid about opening any door.

Under this duress, it seems cruel not to let him out. So he gets visitation rights with guards on either side to keep him from going over the fence.

And we continue to have ongoing discussions about what the right thing is to do…

Andrew thinks that it’s about quality rather than quantity of life. His vote is to let Finn out. Of course, I don’t think it’s a simple matter of either/or, and I think Cait would be crushed if anything happened to Finn. Yet Cait wants Finn to be happy.

Dear reader, please weigh in. What’s your vote? If you have a cat, is it indoor or outdoor, and how did you decide?