I say you foolish woman you, why have you got your cats on leads? Well I'll tell you why. See that beautiful handsome boy up there? That's my Sacha Boy. As you can see he is impossibly handsome, distinguished, a chap of fine breeding. Totally loving and loyal, at least he was. We had him for a almost a year, one wonderful year. He was such a character, that photo was taken as he sat on my desk staring at me. He often did that while I worked. He also slept above my head on my pillow every night, always there when I awoke. He always had his little routines; go out into the garden with us, go out for a few hours in the afternoon, visit certain houses and especially his mate Fred in a house behind ours. They apparently would sit on Fred's owner's sofa and watch TV together. However, Sacha would always come home, always.
One night he went out and he didn't come home. I knew something had happened. I immediately posted flyers on lamp posts and knocked on doors, sent off a photo and description to missing cat sites but it was all in vain. Sacha's crumpled little body had been found in the road by a neighbour. I saw him coming to our door and I knew straight away.
I believe cats should go outside, I don't believe cats should live their entire lives indoors, always sitting on window sills watching the birds. Indeed, Sacha's breeder consoled me with the knowledge she would rather he had had a year of wonderful freedom with us than a lifetime of average!
When we decided to have more cats we were faced with a very difficult dilemma. I simply couldn't let them have free range again, risk something happening to them. Losing Sacha in such a horribly violent way was so distressing and I couldn't go through that again. So we have these little cat harnesses and Quentin and Mishka go for the occasional roam, and sometimes they are allowed to roam off-lead. However, we never leave them outside alone and always get them to come back in with us.
I'm not sure how this will work as the weather improves and the door is left open with kids coming and going. Right now they are thoroughly lazy and seem happy to spend most of their time indoors. We will have to see what happens. Siamese and Oriental cats are terribly gregarious and will go to anyone to make friends, and these two seem to know no fear. So another potential problem is that of them being taken or fed by people in an attempt to take on ownership.
Well anyway, I hope you enjoy these photographs taken on their first jaunt into the great outdoors!