Your cat: In­side or out­side?

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PETS - THE de­bate about “in­side” and “out­side” cats is a hot one, so if you’re not sure what the best thing is for your kitty, here are some of the salient points from both sides.

in­cred­i­bly dull that it’s cruel. Cats need space, and they need to have some fun ex­plor­ing.

> It’s fun. Cats love ly­ing in the sun, chas­ing butterflies and play­ing.

Be­ing out­side and hav­ing a life of their own gives them true qual­ity of life.

Cons

> It’s dan­ger­ous – es­pe­cially if you live in a high-traf­fic area or in a place with lots of dan­ger­ous dogs or nasty peo­ple.

> It’s dirty. Ac­tu­ally, cats are very clean an­i­mals, but if you have a long-furred cat, there will be ex­tra main­te­nance.

> Fights. There is a higher chance of your pet get­ting into trouble with another cat, just like kids in a play­ground will get into a punch-up.

Your cat may end up with the kitty equiv­a­lent of a black eye and a scraped knee.

> Live in a quiet street. A dead­end road is ideal. And prefer­ably with neigh­bours who don’t drive like lu­natics.

> Im­mu­nise prop­erly. Keep jabs up-to-date so your kitty stays safe from disease, and check your pet ev­ery day for lumps, bruises and scratches – just as you would a child.

> Limit play­time. If you es­tab­lish a rou­tine whereby your pet stays in from 9pm to 6am, you can su­per­vise more closely and there are no mid­night sur­prises.

I was com­pletely baf­fled by the dy­nam­ics of these relationships – un­til this morn­ing.

I had just given Guido and Tar­get their break­fast, and was open­ing all the doors for some fresh air, when I saw a small furry gin­ger face peek­ing in.

Then I saw a sec­ond furry gin­ger face! It was just like that part in The Ghost And The Dark­ness when Val Kilmer re­alises there are two lions, not one.

Any­way, these lions were the furry, friendly type so I had a chat with them. I still don’t know which is the girl I met last year be­cause both of them de­manded cud­dles.

As there are two neigh­bours, not one, this may ex­plain why there is this “hot and cold” thing go­ing on. Pos­si­bly Tar­get and Guido like one, but not the other. I also sus­pect Tar­get was vis­it­ing one of them in a friendly, neigh­bourly way on the day he got stuck in the kitchen.

Cats lead com­pli­cated lives, and their pol­i­tics can be Byzan­tine, so I guess all we can do is watch and learn. With a bit of luck, they’ll all end up friends.

Maybe if I play John Lennon’s Imag­ine to them, Tar­get will be in­spired into be­hav­iour that will lead to the grow­ing out of his bum fur. Then he can look an­gelic from all an­gles.

Visit the Katz Tales face­book fan page at www.face­book.com/KatzTales to catch up with Tar­get, Guido and their friends.

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