The Escape Artist


This has been a bad pet week, to put it mildly. Last summer, we adopted a wild cat. I use the term “wild” only to signify that it is an untamed member of a domestic variety. It was a stray cat that loved us so much that it sat on the back patio and sang for days until we finally reluctantly took it in.

The funny thing is that as much as the cat wanted in at that time, it now wants out. It has become an escape artist, refusing to behave like a house cat and instead reverting to its primitive instincts, which include escaping to the outdoors and climbing all over my car.

There is absolutely nothing as vexing as getting ready go someplace and finding your car covered with cat paw prints on the windshield. It does no good to wash it because the instant the cat sees a nice shiny clean car, its sole purpose in life is to reclaim its territory and mark it with more prints.

If the cat could go outside and behave itself, it would not be so bad, but it cannot. It fights. It was once an attractive cat, but that was before the back surgery. A close encounter of some sort in one of its adventures caused an injury that required surgical intervention and resulted in a large patch of fur being shaved off the cat’s back.

Even before the sutures healed, the cat bolted outside and was gone overnight worrying my daughter to death. Frankly, I was rather glad it was gone. She made “lost cat” signs to put around the neighborhood. Naturally, it eventually got hungry and came back home, none the worse except for a bloody and crooked toenail.

Regardless of how hard we try to keep the cat inside, it manages to figure out a way to get out. The latest trick of choice is bolting unseen from behind a chair and running between your feet. Previously, it was hiding behind the curtains by the window and bolting out as soon as the door was opened. Thank goodness cats do not know how to use crowbars.

Naturally, it does no good to attempt to catch the cat once outside. It is far too clever to let anyone get close enough. After his last wild night out, we noticed he was walking on only three feet. Another veterinary bill for an injured pad on his paw.

We decided that the cat must have motivation for wanting outside so badly, and that undoubtedly he was an amorous Romeo to a feline Juliet somewhere in the neighborhood. Juliet apparently is not picky about appearance if she dates a cat in his shape. We decided that neutering was inevitable and the only way to keep the cat at home before he killed himself.

Another trip to the vet and another bill, but we were certain that at last he would behave like a domestic cat and forget all about the great outdoors and romantic adventures. We brought the cat home and were tremendously careful about the door, but before the anesthetic had worn off, he escaped and was out the door, half-drunk.

Well, my daughter went after him and eventually came back carrying the cat and looking haggard.

“How did you catch him?” I asked.

“It wasn’t easy, I chased him around three houses and finally managed to get close enough to grab him.” The cat thanked her for saving his life by howling at the door for 30 minutes to go back out. He seems not to miss his manhood at all.

I really don’t have time to worry about it right now, though, as I’ve got to go outside and clean the paw prints off my car.

By the way, where’s the cat? No! He can’t be…

© 2005

Once they have tasted the outside world is it possible to turn them into a housecat? What do you think?

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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9 Responses to The Escape Artist

  1. I don’t think they do, both mine are indoor/outdoor cats and when my ginger one was in an accident and lost his leg, less than a week later, he was howling to go out, no matter what we do he doesn’t want to stay in all the time

    Liked by 1 person

  2. energywriter says:

    Ah, memories of my male cats. They still ran around but didn’t get in fights anymore. That was a big relief.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes but he was neutered too late in life. I have a lady cat that had a litter of kittens before she joined our household. Neutering was part of the adoption deal (especially when she went into heat and drove our neutered male crazy with displays of her hot lady parts). She has never shown an interest in going out again although she must have at one time. As he ages he will do it less and less. As for the paw prints on the car, I think you should wear that badge proudly! I am sure he paints your cars with dust and pollen with great care and creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

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