22: Nature Calls

22: Nature Calls

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Cat Did That!

Nature Calls

The cat is the only animal which accepts the comforts
but rejects the bondage of domesticity.

~Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon

When we moved to our new home in Alabama, our three indoor-only cats quickly discovered the pleasures of a screened-in porch — all the smells, sights and sounds of the great outdoors without any of the dangers.

Our boys, Cujo and Laser, were content to laze on the porch watching the squirrels, birds and chipmunks that were always in the yard. Fluffy, however, the oldest and most adventurous of our trio, wanted more. She was always looking for a way to sneak out into the big wide world so we could never open any door to the outside before checking to see whether she was lurking in the vicinity.

I guess it was bound to happen. One evening, just a few months after we moved in, my husband was on his way out to the grill with his hands full. Fluffy came dashing out of nowhere, darted around his legs and in a flash was out the door and into the woods.

We had adopted Fluffy from the shelter when she was just nine weeks old. At five years old, she had never been outside in her life. My husband and I spent hours calling her and looking for her, but to no avail.

Anyone who has ever had a feline family member knows that if a cat does not want to be found, you are not going to find her. When it got dark, there wasn’t much we could do except go inside and hope she found her way back. I was terribly worried about her having encounters with other animals, getting hit by a car or just getting lost.

I didn’t get much sleep that night, so at about 4:00 a.m., I decided that I might as well just get up. Since it is so quiet around our neighborhood at that hour, I thought I would go outside, and maybe I would be able to hear Fluffy if she was crying in distress.

I flipped on the outside light and looked out the window. To my great relief and joy, there was Fluffy, apparently no worse for the wear, sitting on the back sidewalk. I ran to the screen door and flung it open. As I did, Fluffy came bounding along the sidewalk and up the steps.

This is like something out of a corny movie, I thought as she ran full-speed toward me.

She ran toward me and past me, up the stairs, and straight to her litter box.

Apparently no one had ever told Fluffy that it was okay to relieve herself outside.

Fluffy did little except sleep for the next twenty-four hours. Whatever adventures she had that night, they certainly wore her out. In the thirteen years since that great escape, she has never again made an attempt to get out and commune with nature.

~Nancy Kucik

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