While my carpenter and I adapt my sketched plans to the reality of the backyard site and materials, the cat has watched our progress from the window.
Smoky is a rescue and acquainted with street life. When we took him for vaccinations recently, he tested positive for kitty aids. So, immuno-suppressed, he should not go outdoors because he could get very sick. He must remain inside also to not spread the virus to other cats should he be provoked to scratch.
Hence the catio. Here in the bay area, we are feeling spring and I’ve become weary of the relentless pestering of my feline to go out. I am also delighted at the prospect of getting my strawberries in the ground in a protected place. So this project seemed like a good idea…
However, at 4:38 this morning I woke up to the insistent crying — meow, meow, meow — of said cat. As I became conscious, I had no doubt whose voice it was, but it seemed like it was outside, under my window. I sprang for my flip-flops and headed for the back door, opening to rain. Cold, windy rain.
One soggy gray cat came in, hesitantly, meowing weakly. I got a towel and started drying him. He went for some cat food, but quickly climbed up on the blankets on my bed. More toweling
“Well this is just great,” I muttered to no one in particular. “Here we are going to all this trouble to create a safe outdoor space for the cat and he sneaks out (how?) and gets himself a roaring cold. Terrific. A catio and a dead cat.”
This morning Smoky stayed in bed when I left. He stayed on the blankets all day, my mom reports. This evening he got up for awhile but he’s definitely low key. Perhaps tomorrow he’ll perk up.
He has snoozed beside me while I type. And curled back up in a new sleep position. Looks like he’s planning to get better. After all, we have such great plans…
Update: After two days of serious cat sleeping, Smoky was underfoot this evening, watching birds out the window, and acting quite normal.