My cat and I have some really wonderful times together in the garden. There is something sublimely peaceful about a close relationship with your cat, under the sun, on the grass with the gentle sound of the wind rustling the fresh, new leaves of spring. It invigorates the soul and washes away the pain.
I believe that a lot of cat guardians/caretakers lose out because their cats are full-time indoor cats, they don’t share the outdoors together. Is not just about the cats, it is also about the cat owners who are missing something. These people don’t have the opportunity to spend some special times outside in the sun with their cat in their backyard or garden. I know that it is not always possible to allow domestic cats to roam around the backyard but if the backyard is enclosed and secure methods are employed to keep the cat inside the backyard, and predators and other cats or dogs out, there’s no reason why a cat should not be allowed out into it.
The warm weather has arrived in the southeast of the England. It is time to sit outside and fall asleep in a deckchair with your cat companion on your lap. Then when you wake up you chat with your human companion while your cat messes around in the flower bed or at your feet. This is what I do and the presence of your cat outside, with you, while you read or chat adds a warmth to the experience taking it to a different level. Throw in a glass of wine and it is about as good as it gets. A pinnacle of human existence.
Jean Cocteau said that a cat adds soul to one’s home. Well, they have the same effect on the garden too. There is something supremely joyful in watching your cat play in the sun around you.
My cat, Gabriel, typically of most domestic cats, snoozes and sleeps in the middle of the day because he has been active in the early hours of the morning and will be active again in the evening. However, yesterday at about 2 pm I wanted him to join me outside. I called him. He woke up and came to me via his new catflap. That was nice of him. I thanked him and he clambered over me to plant himself at the top of the chair above my shoulders.
He then rested on my shoulders while I snoozed in the warm sun. He then climbed down and rested on my lap. He wanted to play so we messed around a while. He likes to nibble my hands. I know that people say you shouldn’t let your cat nibble your hands but I usually do for a limited time.
Gabriel then messed around in the flower bed chasing insects and sniffing. He likes to chase various kinds of insect including flies. I think he eats flies. Is that a health problem?
I live in an apartment so the extensive gardens are communal – shared by all theoretically – but typically of communal gardens very few people actually use them except people like me and my cat. Therefore, the area of the communal garden that is adjacent to my apartment can almost be treated as mine. It is not enclosed and therefore there are risks. There are pros and cons which need to be weighed up. Every cat owner has to make their own decisions about risks and rewards. They should be done with due consideration.
I ensured that my cat was familiar with the place before being allowed out and I did this by leash training him and walking him around the place on his leash. He is neutered and he now uses a cat flap, not completely because he’s not yet got used to pushing the flat open so it is, as you can see from the video, held open! It will shortly be put down so that he is forced to use it properly.
In the West, and in Australia, there is a gradual shift to cat confinement so what I’m advocating goes against that, slightly. However, using the backyard as described is not going to be a breach of any confinement laws that may apply.