This week, in my column, we’re going to do something a little different. Normally, I think of something I have a lot to say about and say it. This week I’m doing something different. This week I did hard-hitting investigative journalism researching a topic that I’ve spent years avoiding: outside.
There are people who think that an indoor cat is unsuited to writing about outside, but I say, who better to do so? An outdoor cat is too emotionally involved in the topic to set their prejudices aside, but me, I’m a journalist kitty. I did a bunch of research. I looked out the window for days. I talked to Daddy and Mommy. I even interviewed a friend of Mommy’s who insists she knows me from when I lived in Chicago. All that research confirmed that I don’t need to set my prejudices aside, because my prejudices are spot-on. Outside sucks and no sane kitty should ever go there.
I know you outdoor cats are thinking, but outside you can poop wherever you want to! But the reality is that indoor cats can poop wherever we want to already. And when an indoor cat poops outside the box, she gets to watch Mommy or Daddy clean it up. How better to keep your humans in their place than to make them clean up your feces? Some cats would say that outside there are other animals to hunt, beat up, and pick on, but again, what’s the point of having Mommy and Daddy? Here’s the thing: You might think I’m just an indoor cat, but that’s not true. I’ve been around. In Berkeley I used to go out on Mommy’s "porch," and I broke out of her apartment in Chicago one time and found my way all the way to the garbage room. So I’ve done my share of seeing life outside the apartment walls, and I can tell you, there’s no place like home.
There are other issues with going outside. First, you have to worry about fleas. That means either periodic flea dips or wearing a flea collar. Both suck. Flea dips are a torture designed by humans to punish cats for going outside. Humans put chemicals in water and create a foul smelling and awful-tasting solution. Then they put you in it. I swear to me, why would any cat want that?
First, you smell terrible; second, you’re soaking wet; and third, when you try to lick yourself, you taste disgusting. It’s a bad scene all around. Flea collars seem less bad, but they smell funny, and they require you to wear clothes like you’re some kind of human or something. I was born naked, and I intend to live out my days as naked as a kitten. Even if your human has some magic way of keeping off fleas, you still have to wear a collar with a tag on it that lists your name and where you live so humans can return you if you get lost. If I ever need a strange human to return me home because I’m lost, just put me down, because I don’t want to live with that indignity.
Even though all this sounds terrible enough, there are even worse parts. Outside contains humans you don’t know. I know, that seems crazy. How many humans can there be? I’ll tell you, there are a lot. And they go outside. And if you, like me, have a healthy fear of strange humans, you know that a human you haven’t met can’t be any good at all, because, if they were good, they’d be humans you know.
And outside has lousy armrests. They’re made of stiff plastic and nowhere near wide enough to lounge on. The ones that aren’t made of plastic are usually made of bamboo or wood, both of which feel funny to lie on, and your fur can get snagged. And outside there are loud noises. Cars drive by and get in accidents; there are sirens, planes, helicopters, and occasionally trains. They all seem loud when you’re inside, but outside, they’re even louder. It’s every cat’s nightmare.
So kitties, resist the urge. Like my grandmommy used to say, "Nothing good happens when you stay awake more than four hours straight or go outside." Humans, don’t make your cat be an outdoor cat. You’re not doing them any good. If you want them to have more space to play, just get a bigger house. Doesn’t your kitty deserve the very best?
This is Mina Hilligoss-Toles saying, "Goodnight, and good luck."
Need more Mina? Of course you do. Browse the Mina archives for some high-grade feline contempt.