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Our Himalayan Cats - Kept Indoors
27th January 1998
Well, Max is still alive and wreaking havoc in the neighbourhood. Our two are permanently kept indoors unless we can supervise them outside. This has been largely successful, with only one slip up recently, when Ruffian required veterinary treatment again for more bite marks and abscesses. But our vet bills have stabilised and one trip in six months is pretty good compared to what it used to be like.
We have the added benefit that our cats, who were growing a little independent by being allowed out at all hours, have now become very friendly and loving. They cuddle up, they talk to us more, they show much more affection. This is one of the reasons why we have chosen to keep them indoors for their rest of their lives.
Our neighbours are not as lucky as we are. Their vet bills are increasing every month. Max comes into our yard, finds nothing, and goes into the other yards and beats up all the cats he finds. His favourite habit is to bite other cats on the head. This leaves great gaping holes in the skin and flesh on the tops of their heads. Most of the neighbourhood cats have open running holes on top of their heads at one time or another, and their owners are not very happy. We no longer worry. When our two were the only ones being attacked, no-one else did anything or seemed to care. Now that their cats are being attacked, they care, but we don't.
We have changed things. One of the problems we had with Max, is that the bastard would run under our house and hide at the hint of trouble. As it is fairly low, we could never get to him and he could happily wait us out. And he would often use our underneath as a shortcut into other areas. But this has changed. We built an extension out the back. It's a large patio-deck thing with a roof. And we had the underneath enclosed with lattice. There's still a few more things to do with it to make it 100% safe, but it has already changed Max's habits. He can't hide underneath anymore. He can't safely get from his place to other neighbour's yards. He has to go the long way, where he often gets spotted, and then he has no quick run to safety. So he uses other routes.
And when the job is completely done, we will have a huge area under the new extension that is safe and catproof. We can lock our two under there during the day, where they have safety, a bit of sun and grass to roll in, and plenty of warm, dark and dry places to sleep. And lots of toilet places. There's about 100 square metres that's safely enclosed for them. This will be good for them, and it will be very good for us. We will save heaps on kitty litter.
Here are the two cats peering out of the bedroom balcony door while the building extension takes place. Note the look of horror as they see the back yard changed beyond recognition.
In October, we went to Turkey for a holiday and had a fabulous time. The cats stayed with their original breeder, and they got to visit their family again. This is the second time they have gone home for a visit. Once again, they lost weight after being put on a strict diet. Sending them back to the breeder is like sending them to a health farm. And once again, they settled into the cat's social whirl. There were kittens and young cats and old cats and they had a great time socialising. When we went to pick them up, they were glad to see us, but I think they were also sad to leave their friends and relatives. They don't get much cat socialising at our place now that they have become indoor cats.
We brought back a Turkish carpet. They love the carpet. It's something to do with the wool. They both like wool, and if I leave a woollen jumper lying around the house, I will find them asleep on it. They cuddle up to woollen things, and they like to knead their paws on woollen things and they like to rub their chests against woollen things. So when they found the new carpet, they lay on it and rolled around on it and rubbed themselves against it. They never get tired of it. Normally they don't get access to it, because it's in the front room with all the good (un-furred) things and they rarely get to see this room. But whenever I'm out there working on something and they are allowed to be with me, then they lie on it and wallow on it. They love it.