There’s a Whole Big World Out There, Kid

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Back when Finn was just a little thing (now he’s almost as big as Graidy), he followed Kiera everywhere and wanted to do everything she did. Including using the dog door.

He never quite figured it out and got stuck a couple of times half way in and half way out. Kiera would push him back in with her nose.

Now that he’s a big guy, he’d give anything to get to go out. But we have too many wild animals that would quickly make him lunch, so we don’t let him out — on purpose, that is…

These days, he’s taken to hiding right behind our feet and shooting out the door as soon as we open it. Makes letting Kiera and Graidy in and out interesting, to say the least.

When he gets outside, he gets so excited he doesn’t know what to do first — run to the back of the property? Run up the tree? Run under the bush?

Fortunately, while he stands there thinking about it, we have plenty of time to race out and nab him.

Someday, I’ll put up a chain-link area (he could get out of the fence we have now with no problem) so he can safely enjoy the outdoors. That’ll keep the ground hunters away. And I’d just like to see a hawk or owl try to get him with Kiera on duty. No way, no how. In the meantime, we take him out for short grass munching and tree climbing sessions. We stand near and watch so we can grab him if he tries to make a run for it.

Yes, my Finny boy will eventually get to have his day in the sun.

9 thoughts on “There’s a Whole Big World Out There, Kid”

  1. WE keep our coon cat indoors too…and it saddens me. Malcolm pleads with me to go outside. I cave and let him munch grass and run around the yard for a while then take him back in. We have lost so many cats to predators and fast cars that speed down our gravel road. I cat-sit outside quite regularly. These coon cats are amazing aren’t they? Adorable picture.

    Coons are definitely amazing. Really — almost like having a third dog. LOL! 

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  2. We have put up deer fencing all around our yard and garden for our cats. We used seven foot high plastic fence called invisible deer fence with steel stakes pounded into the ground and staked about every foot into the ground. We have a cat door and they are allowed out every morning after border patrol to check that a bear or moose hasn’t crashed through. Everyone comes in at 6:30 PM, no outs after that. The young guys will generall come running to a whistle at that time, they know it’s dinner. Yes, these are cats.

    Some animal had torn a piece of the fence climbing through once, but now I don’t think they bother.My husband saw a bear come up to it, put his nose to the mesh and turn away.

    The cats are very very happy with this. I had indoor/outdoor cats for years until we lost one last spring. I can’t keep them from the sunshine and the frog pond and the grass to hide in and the moles and chipmunks to chase and the apple trees to climb and the good things to smell and being with me when I weed.

    Before the fence they were content and slept a lot. Now they are deeply happy and tired at night. They have a lot to do all day.

    There are photos on my blog.

    Sounds like the perfect setup!

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  3. You get the Longest Comments Award!

    I was just thinking maybe one of those doors would help with our housebreaking blues, but I think my Finn would escape too!

    Don’t I have thoughtful commenters?!

    A dog door would make house training easier. But you could also teach your pup to ring a bell to go outside.  It’s really easy to teach. Here are the instructions.

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  4. I grew up with indoor/outdoor cats, and a whole slew of them just disappeared, until our last cat.

    When I got cats after I moved out, they became indoor cats by default.

    When we got the boys, though, we decided that we would build them an outdoor enclosure. In actuality, it’s a dog kennel! You can get the panels at Home Depot.

    It started out small, 6 x 6 x 6. It has grown & grown over the years, though, and is now 18 x 12 x 6. They even are able to snag all sorts of critters from there (including birds, the last one they brought in still alive & it was flying around our house at 6 am).

    My husband is luckily very handy, so he put a cat flap into the window, built a small “tunnel” from the window to the kennel, and they have free access to it during the day.

    Oddly enough, the dogs never go out into it. Lola has never shown any desire to, and while Chester poked his head out a few times, I’d just tell him no & he stays in (separation anxiety can have its uses). When Chester was a puppy, we’d take him out in it so he could run around, since our backyard wasn’t fenced in yet.

    We also trained the boys to a harness & leash. Simba, in particular, loved his walks. But we have far too many dogs off leash in our neighborhood. Now that the yard is fenced in, I could do it again, and I know he’d love it — but there just aren’t enough hours in a day what with walking the dogs, too.

    Surprisingly, he doesn’t try to get out the door when we go in & out with the dogs. He would if we held the door open long enough; he has managed to get out — not with the dogs — a time or two over the years.

    I’m surprised your cat hasn’t figured out the doggy door. That’s the reason we can’t put one in, although it would make life so much easier, because that the boys would be happy to use. I even taught my 17 year old cat to use it. She wouldn’t go out into the kennel on her own, but she would come in on her own when she’d had enough. She was old & frail, but she never forgot how to use it, even if it had been several months since I’d taken her out into the kennel.

    The kennel sounds like a great solution. We actually can’t use the dog door anymore because Finn did eventually figure it out. It’s made life a little more complicated but so it goes… 

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  5. It is so hard to protect cats outdoors and yet that is where they want to be. Our Blondie found her way all the way out into the field behind the cow barn yesterday. Lots of mice. Lots of coyotes too.
    The kids called her down but……

    It’s a dilemma… 

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  6. I always feel so badly for indoor cats. Good to know that there’s hope for Finn yet! That picture is adorable, btw!

    I feel badly for indoor cats too. But there’s no getting around the fact that outdoor cats statistically have a much shorter life span. I lost my last two cats prematurely because they were allowed to be outdoor cats. I don’t want to lose Finn prematurely. And thus goes the argument of quality vs quantity between Andrew and me. 

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  7. Have you seen those outdoor enclosures they make for cats now? I have always wondered if they work. They are like a cross between a play pen and a cage, but larger. Seems like a good way to get your kitty outside safely.

    Yes, they’re called X-pens. I’m looking into them. 

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  8. There was a bit of a panic moment yesterday when I was outside and met a couple with two Corgis. We were chatting when the man said “Oh I guess they want to say hi” as my two standard poodles pushed the latched screen door open and fell out of the house like clowns in a car. There is no fence in the front yard! I didn’t run after them, used my calmest scream. Amazingly the poodle who was adopted from a rescue group was the one who came back immediately. The other dog sniffed the very calm Corgis (yes-calm!) and started to trot down the street. The Corgi people helped me corral her and get her back in the house–with the front door closed after the dogs got in. Sheesh a person’s heart can sure beat fast!

    My heart’s just racing reading about it! So very glad all turned out well.  I have to keep my front door locked because Kiera can open it faster than I can.

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