Piper. Piper, Piper, Piper. My innocent, gimpy kitty. HA.
Yesterday, since I was home all afternoon, I left the back door open a crack so the kitties could frolic in the sun. My kitties are all indoor cats; they are only allowed in my fenced backyard when I’m home and within eye/ear sight. I have been fortunate in that none of them have ever tried to get out. Hey, I have one old kitty, one fat kitty, and one gimpy kitty – I believed this was a reasonable assumption. Besides, when I call them to come in, they all come running. Seriously. Like dogs. Sometimes I have to entice Jess to take that last step over the doorway by shaking the catnip jar in front of him, but that’s neither here nor there.
So I was watching TV/surfing/napping on my couch yesterday afternoon when a movement caught the corner of my eye. When I looked through the tall, skinny window by my front door, I saw the back end of a cat flash by. A back end that looked… suspiciously… familiar. As the bushy tail swooped by, I thought, PIPER. I opened the front door, calling her name, and rounded the corner to my driveway where she was frozen in horror, looking back at me, clearly trying to decide whether to keep running or just die right there on the spot. Honestly, even looking right at her, I wasn’t 100% it was my Piper at first – she looked THAT ruffled. I said her name again and asked her what was up, and she frantically ran towards me, past me, around the corner, then I heard her go up and over the fence back into my backyard. Hmmm. I came back inside to find her sitting in the kitchen, panting, frazzled, mortified. She. Was. Busted.
She was trying to act all cool, like “hey, what’s up? I’ve just been sitting here in the kitchen…” but she was really freaking out because she knew I had seen her. I had discovered her secret. Piper had been roaming the neighborhood for WHO KNOWS HOW LONG. How had I not seen it? Weren’t there times, now that I thought abut it, that I called her name out the back door and it took a little while for her to come running around the corner? The corner of the yard where I assumed she was sniffing dandelions, but where I now realized she was jumping the fence?? My illusions of safe kitties were utterly shattered. I was a bad mom. How did I not see the signs?? Oh, but you should have SEEN the look of guilt and distress on her little furry face. She acted weird around me for about an hour, then she shook it off and life went on as normal.
Except that now I know. And I’m not sure what to do. I didn’t let them outside today, because I couldn’t bear the thought of KNOWING she was out there, in the big scary world, roaming around by herself. They are inside cats for a reason; they’re not street smart at all, they don’t wear collars, and I thought that with her gimpy paw, Piper was defenseless. Hmm, might have to rethink that – I also thought she couldn’t jump the fence.