Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Great Indoors

Since the last Jane update was so popular, I figured I might as well do another one. She's one of the more interesting things going on here, anyway!

Jane is strictly an indoor cat. While she was found by the racetrack in Melrose Park, it's clear that she had a pretty sweet life as an indoor cat before she was either abandoned or escaped. She's very comfortable inside and came to us pre-trained. She wouldn't jump on the couch or the bed until we physically placed her on both, letting her know that it was okay with us if she wanted to curl up on a pillow or the arm of the couch. She won't jump up on the counters or the tables, and she loves to lay on the windowsill and look outside.

Sometimes, though, you can tell that she misses roaming free and being able to investigate anything at will. Case in point:

When the front door is open, she loves to stand up and watch the world. Today was a glorious fall day, and Jane spent the better part of the morning watching birds and squirrels roam around and cross the front lawn. Her ears never stop moving, and her tail constantly swishes back and forth.

She'll meow loudly when there's something in our vicinity that she thinks we should know about. When a bird perches on the railings she meows and comes running to find one of us. "HEY! Hoomans! This! Is! Important!" When we shrug and say, "Yeah, check it out. How 'bout that bird?" she races back to the door to stare at it some more.

I don't think she wants to hunt, though I could be wrong. When we picked her up from the shelter she was skiiiiiiiiinny, and when we play with her sometimes her prey-catching skills leave a little to be desired. Then agian, she's got that kitty cat instinct that tells her she needs to hunt. Even now, she's perching herself on a windowsill, then racing back into the bedroom, then racing into the kitchen, and back into the living room. I don't know what game she's playing or what she thinks she's chasing, but she's having a good time!

Jane also loves to observe. She hates to be left out of anything! When we first brought her home, she wanted to be left alone until she got comfortable. At night when we would go to bed, she wouldn't leave the bed! She needed to be close to us. Now, she'll stroll in whenever she feels like it--sometimes it's when I'm getting ready to sleep, sometimes it's after we've been asleep for an hour or so. While we were still getting used to each other, Jane didn't understand that nighttime = sleep for us humans, so around 2:30 a.m. each night she'd start meowing and looking for someone to entertain her. She'd chew on my hair and climb onto my chest to get my attention. She's cute, so it's hard to be angry with her, but at 2:30 a.m. I find very little to be entertaining. When she got really frustrated, she'd nip us lightly to get what she wanted. Unfortunately for Jane, those playful nips resulted in her getting kicked out of the bedroom. From behind the bedroom door she'd paw and meow and cry until we let her back in. It took 2-3 weeks until she finally got the hint, so she's much more well-behaved at night these days.

The drawback to all that re-training is that she now believes ANY closed door means she's in trouble. We try to keep her out of the basement, so whenever we go downstairs and come back up, she's waiting by the basement door very patiently, trying to show us that she's going to be a good girl and we don't need to shut her out. When I wake up at 4:30 a.m. to use the bathroom, she'll hop off the bed and follow me and meow from behind the closed door! Sorry Janey, but that's "me" time. When I'm finished and I open the door, she rushes in and noses around just to be sure she didn't miss anything fun.

Sometimes I think it would be entertaining to take her out into the yard on a leash, but I'm glad that she's an indoor cat. If she were the type to be let out early in the morning and come home at dusk, I'd worry to much about her, I think. I like knowing exactly where my cat is, even at 2:30 a.m.

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