Some of my cats would be happy to stay in the outdoor cat enclosure all year long. Since it's getting colder, I want them to be in the barn in their heated, carpeted cat rooms. Most of the cats went in on their own accord, but I had a holdout last night. My beautiful, sweet (most of the time), but stubborn calico, Annie, was snuggled cozily in her blanket-lined box and had no intention of leaving it and going inside to the cat room last night. I don't shy away from a cat challenge, so when Glenn asked if he needed to go out with me to help usher her indoors, I declined the offer. I felt sure I could accomplish the job by myself - which I actually did - the first time. I made sure the other cats in the room did not present challenges to Annie and I lifted her from her box and gently placed her through the cat door and into the smaller cat room. I blocked the cat door until I could get back inside the barn and place the sliding door over the opening. By the time I was back in the barn, Annie had pushed her way to freedom and was again outside in the enclosure. So....I recruited Glenn and together we entered the enclosure and found TWO cats had escaped from the cat room. I left him in the enclosure to round up the escapees, while I went into the cat rooms to keep the others from escaping as he worked to get Annie and Riley back inside. It wasn't the easiest of jobs, and though Annie did finally give up, I kept asking Glenn to find Riley. He overturned boxes and an Igloo "cat house" but didn't see Riley. She hadn't come in while I'd been standing there at the cat door, but must have sneaked back inside before I'd gotten there. I was glad both cats were then safe and warm. I had brought the box Annie loves inside as well. I cuddled Annie and placed her back in her box and that is where I left her - cozy, warm, and safe. I hope she was contented as well, but that remains to be seen.
I'm sharing Annie's kitten photo and her most recent one. I took the kitten photo the day I rescued her at Der Dutchman restaurant in Waynesville, Ohio. A friend had called and told me about a calico kitten hiding under bushes at the restaurant. For some unknown reason, my friend had not tried to help the kitten, even though she and her family had eaten there the night before she called me. Of course, she knew I'd drop everything and travel the 45 minutes to Waynesville and somehow get the kitten. After I'd followed the kitten around the outside of the restaurant for about 30 minutes, some well-meaning "helpers" decided to assist in the rescue. Despite my warnings that they should not try to grab the frightened kitten, they did so anyway and were bitten, scratched, and required some basic first aid. That set my rescuing back a few paces, but I applied first aid, then thanked the helpers and sent them home so I could catch the kitten in my own way, with a quieter, more gentle approach. I placed canned cat food inside a carrier and stood back from it. The kitten walked into the carrier and I closed the door behind her. In the end, it was as simple as that. Another friend found a family for Annie, and she had a happy home for six years. Then something happened and the people who had loved her decided they didn't want her anymore. They put her outside in the middle of a cold winter two years ago and I was asked to come and "rescue" her again. So now she's mine and she'll have a home here for the rest of her life. I honestly wish I'd kept her in the first place, but I was attempting to keep my cat population at a manageable level. Who was I kidding?