Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Homebodies

Apologies for my lack of 'wordy' posts over this past week or so. I spent the long weekend at my parents' house, lounging around and catching up with old friends at a party. I came back to Wellington and got all cranky and PMSy- not the best frame of mind to be in for blogging! Don't you love being female? Apologies to any male readers for my overshare, you fortunate bastards. All's well now though, and in two days it will be the weekend again!

As you may have noticed a couple of posts ago, I got my new tripod from my Dad while at home, so I can now begin the daunting task of posting portraits of myself, wearing stuff. Exciting, huh? It's a little embarrassing and I feel like a bit of a dick, but at the same time I really want to do it. I think it'll be good for me overall, in terms of teaching myself how to dress nicely again, keeping an eye on my weight and what clothing is just not working for me (have already banished a shirt to the 'not-until-I-lose-5kgs' drawer after yesterday's attempt), as well as indulging my conceited self in growing a collection of pictures-of-me. Plus, people are definitely my favourite subject to photograph, and what better model to use than the always-available me? I have no delusional NZNTM aspirations, let me assure you. Mock all you want, but I hope some of you will offer support or constructive criticism in your comments!

In other news, Wallace has fully recovered after his trip to the vet, however the past couple of days he has been a big pain in the butt with his constant meowing. And I mean constant. When I first got him from some crazy farmer lady in the Horowhenua (he lived in a greenhouse) she assured me he was neutered, and being the naive sweetheart I am, I didn't bother to double check. His super-fluffy coat kept his boy bits hidden for a while, but after I'd had him a while it was obvious he was in fact all-male. Thanks, lady. It's no big deal, and since I corresponded with her through my now-dead Hotmail account, I couldn't send her a grumpy email once I realised. It means I definitely over-paid for him, but what can you do. He's worth it. So yeah, he's almost fully grown now and his meowing definitely seems to be mating-related. Have booked him in to get neutered on Monday, so hopefully that will settle him down. I'd always planned to get him neutered eventually, is just a bit of a pain that it's now urgent- obviously being an indoor cat there was no concern about him knocking up any sexy lady cats, so I hadn't bothered to get around to it.

I know many people are critical of my decision to have an indoor-only cat, and that's fine. But I thought I'd write down my reasons. Just, y'know, because I'm in a typing mood. My previous cat, Vodie (the one tattooed on my right leg), was an indoor/outdoor cat and he was run over at around a year old, while I was at work, when I lived alone just a few hundred meters away from my current residence. As anyone with a heart knows, losing your pet is just the worst, and Vodie was my second cat to be killed on the road. You can read more about what Vodie meant to me on the post about my tattoo here if you wish. When I decided to get a new cat, I'd been thinking about it for several months after Vodie died. I lived with Charlie in an apartment in the CBD, and though the apartment had a fire escape that spiralled down to the ground, there was no cat door and being in the central city it was impractical to have an indoor/outdoor cat. I'd read about people keeping indoor-only cats online, including over on The Dainty Squid blog, and started doing some more reading up about them. Basically I was absolutely desperate for a cat- I may dislike children, but my maternal instincts go into overdrive when it comes to fur babies. I knew I would have to either get a very young kitten, or a grown cat already accustomed to being indoor-only. It took a few weeks of scouring Trade Me before finding anything suitable. I found a pair of adorable full grown indoor-only cats, but they were only going as a pair which wouldn't work. I eventually came across a listing for the then-unnamed Wallace, and after I emailed the farmer lady I discovered he had grown up in a glasshouse... Obviously I ended up adopting him.

Since we've now moved out of the CBD to a house with a yard, a lot of people, including Charlie and Matt at times, don't understand why I still want Wallace to remain an indoor cat. I adopted ('bought' sounds so... commercial) Wallace with the knowledge that provided he remains healthy, I'll potentially have him for the next 15-20 years. I'm only young, and I don't see myself moving away from rental properties within that time period, so there's a very real chance that in the future I'll move back into an apartment. I adopted him knowing that my choice of rental properties will be restricted by having him, and I don't mind that at all. But in my opinion it wouldn't be fair to him to introduce him to the great outdoors here, only to move house again in the future, and make him indoor-only again. Obviously apart from his current desire for a lady friend, he has always been perfectly content with living in a confined space- it's all he's ever known.

Life is full of unforeseen events, but to the best of my ability, I never want to be a cat owner who has to rehome my cat because my living circumstances have changed. If I decide to travel in the future, I have decided that I will only do so if I can find temporary accommodation for Wallace- he's my priority. If I decide to move to Australia (or anywhere else I guess, but even Australia is a bit of a pipedream) during his lifetime, it will only be if I can afford to move him with me. I am definitely a crazy cat lady, and you're welcome to think that way! I just appreciate it when those who don't understand my decision at least accept it, as I do others' decisions to have children or get married or love roller derby.

Happy Wednesday, lovely readers.

9 comments:

Anne said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

http://galadarling.com/daily-outfit/daily-outfit-26th-december-2006

Lots of good reasons why! Also, totally agree about inddor cats.

Caitlin said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I understand keeping him as an indoor cat. In general indoor cats have a much longer lifespan and are healthier.

My dad and stepmom had four cats at one time...two were outdoor cats, but they lived in the middle of nowhere so the bigger concern was coyotes and other predators. Surprisingly the two outdoor cats outlasted the indoor ones, but it's truly a miracle given all the animals that are around. Wallace is a beautiful cat :)

Sara said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Aw, he looks like a super guy! My family has only ever had indoor cats, but I've known a lot of people that have had success with indoor/outdoor cats as well. I think we always just kept ours indoors due to the coyotes that lived nearby ... and to avoid fleas, feline AIDS, and yes, knocking up sexy lady cats. ;)

Krystal said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i think i would always have an indoor cat so i'm not sure why people criticize you! i think it's the norm where i grew up i guess :)

shelbyisrad said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Totally agree with your decison about keeping Wallace indoors. And he is absolutely beautiful by the way!

Jenna said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Dan and I have just moved from roxburgh to our own wee place in hataitai with Juno as well of course. I always felt uncomfortable having her at roxburgh as it felt unnatural to not have outdoor space for her. I would never have chosen to have a cat while flatting as like you said it is a 15-20 year commitment and it's not something I take lightly. However, when our previous irresponsible flatmate adopted her we of course grew attached (and now couldn't imagine not having her with us) and now feel completely responsible for her and chose our new flat with her in mind. This is because it is up away from the road and has plenty of outdoor space for her to explore and keep her entertained. Obviously we are very lucky to have found such a safe cat friendly place but in the future if we move we will endeavour to find another place with at least a garden for her. I can understand with your past horrible experiences with cats around roads why you may not want to let Wallace out but if you are in a location that is safe then I can't understand that decision. Cats are naturally so inquisitive and want/need to explore and just because they haven't previously had the chance to doesn't mean that they wouldn't love it. I don't mean to sound judgemental here as I (luckily, *touch wood*) have never experienced losing a pet this way so I can't really relate. Though, growing up on a farm we did lose two cats who sadly died from mysterious injuries that were most likely from a roaming dog:( Life can be dangerous and yes, these beautiful moggies would have no doubt lived longer if they were indoor cats but if given the choice I doubt that they would chose that for themselves.

I'd like to say though that Wallace is a very lucky cat to have such an obviously dedicated carer (mum) and most cats/pets in nz unfortunately are not half as lucky as that!

Alice said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Firstly I should clarify for overseas readers that keeping cats indoors-only seems to be very usual in New Zealand- Juno, who my old flatmate Jenna writes about in the comment above was the first (99%) indoor only cat I'd ever come across, and I don't know of anyone else who has one, either in my rural hometown or here in the city. I don't think I'd really heard of keeping indoor cats when I was growing up- maybe as something people living in the middle of NYC did. All the family cats at my parents' house were/are free to come and go as they pleased through the catdoor.

I read a lot of information from owners and vets both for and against indoor-only cats before making my decision so I totally appreciate that a lot of people are very much against it.

I'm sure that if Wallace could choose, he would prefer to be able to go outside, but he doesn't know that lifestyle and is perfectly happy and healthy with the life he does know.

I do question my decision sometimes, but overall I'm happy, and Wallace is happy. And I definitely feel he has a better lifestyle living with us (where someone is home with him the majority of the time) than he would staying at his previous "address".

Thanks for all your thoughts, everyone!

Matty C said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is why as much as I love animals, I can never have a pet of my own. I move around too much, and tend to get incredibly restless if I spend more than about two years in one place. Even the three years it will take me to do a degree is a dauntingly long time.

v. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

First of all, that photo of you and Wallace is just too adorable for words.

Secondly, I'm so thankful I checked this blog today and read this post. I've been obsessing over this indoor vs outdoor cat issue for days (months!) and feel like maybe I'm just becoming a crazy cat lady who over-analyses anything to do with her fur baby... So good to see I'm not the only one who thinks this is a big decision.

I've had my new cat now for 6 months and we've kept her indoors the whole time, mainly because she hasn't been spayed yet. The time has now come to book her vet appointment to take care of that and, after that, my excuse for keeping her indoors every day is going to disappear (we had a cat before who lived a happy life spending most days out of the house).

Except I'm starting to think that's not really my only reason. For a start, I have no clue how to train her to go out and come back on her own. I can't imagine how freaked out I'll be the first time she goes out, wondering when/if she'll make her way back on her own.

I'm very tempted to just keep her as an indoor cat - for her own safety, but also for selfish reasons (so I don't get a stroke every time she disappears for more than an hour or two). But at the same time, considering we own the place and we've got a yard and live on a fairly quiet street (but not far from a busy road), maybe it would be unfair not to let her go out and explore on her own.

Sorry about the super long comment. I'm going all crazy cat lady on you but I guess it's okay since you're one too.

Anyway, thanks for the post.