14 April 2010

Out the door, and...

Yesterday I decided the poor cat really needed to go outdoors. He'd been closed in since last Thursday.

I took a chance. I opened the back door, and out we went, me with my camera. The cat didn't follow me into the back yard. He wanted to go out front. From a perch we set up for him in the garage, he had been looking out that way for a few days. Now was his chance to really get a feel for that area.

Out front is where the wood pile is.

He came on around back along the other side of the house. He scampered out toward the back gate, and suddenly he was over it. I opened the gate and followed. I left it open, and in a minute or two the cat walked back through it. Good, I thought, he wants to stay in the yard.


Ha! Another few seconds later he was over the gate again. And he disappeared. I walked a ways out into the vineyard to see if I could spot him, but he had vanished.

There was nothing to do but go back in the house and wait. Maybe he would come back. Maybe not. People had told me it was important to keep the cat inside for varying lengths of time — a week, two weeks, even 30 days — so that it would consider the new place home, and would come back after excursions outdoors.

...and then posing...

A couple of hours later, I had pretty much given up. I wished the cat the best, and hoped he would have a good life wherever he wound up.

Then Walt looked out a back window. "Bertie is out in the yard," he told me. Well how about that! I went downstairs and opened the back door. The black cat was perched high in the big apple tree, not far from the back door.

...and moving on.

When he saw me, he came running down from the tree — he found a long branch that runs at a 45º angle toward the ground, so his descent was smooth and fluid. He ran straight to the back door and walked right in.

Facing toward the back gate, but obviously drawn
by what's out in the wider world.

I'm going to consider that that's that then, and I'm going to open a garage window this morning so that he can have free access to the outdoors and can come back in when he pleases. I still need to inform the neighbors that the black cat they are going to start seeing around the hamlet is not a stray, but our new mouser moler.


  1. Wow!! What a lovely tale!! I'm glad Bertie got out and felt like he was at home.... a home to come back to... WHEW!!!
    So sweet!!!

  2. last summer when a cat, now named dijon, had just appeared on my porch & jumped into my lap (so instantly became mine) left for 3 whole days, i thought he had left for good, but he re appeared as if nothing had happened......then he was gone less & less.....sounds like Bertie (what did u decide on the name?) is yours now....i would feed Dijon every time he came back & now he runs to the food bowl every time he comes in (still)

  3. I will never forget hearing author Roy Blount Jr on the Prairie Home companion radio show expound on crying cats in trees and rescue attempts.

    His rather poignant conclusion is that "Did you ever see a cat skeleton in a tree"!!!

    they seem to come down eventually!!

  4. Bienvenue, Bertie!

    A regular source of food will keep him coming back. :-)

  5. Your cat looks like my newest cat. Since I now live in the south I decided to give him a nice southern name...Bominituos. I call him Bommer for short. I should have named him Bomination as he is always in trouble!LOL

  6. The cat came back! There's a song about that...

    In the last photo, he resembles an Egyptian statue.

  7. I don't think it's the regular food that brought him back, I think it's the feeling of belonging.

  8. What a beauty he is!

    I have read that cats are more attached to a place than to a person. Looks like Bertie is now attached to your place. Good!

    Eagerly waiting the big announcement of his new name.


  9. Looks like Bertie knows a good home when he finds one. He's your forever.

  10. I agree with Starman, it's the feeling of belonging. And he is a beauty!

    Donna in SF

  11. Still looking for a name? Or did you settle on Bertie?

    Truffe for your french neighbors and Truffles for you expats....

  12. I LOVE cats! Bertie has found a great new home! You might want to close that window at night, to prevent evening "arguments" and veterinarian calls...Laura


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