Jane showed up about six weeks ago. The rumor is she was left behind when a resident at our condominium complex moved. There is no evidence to support that, however she wants to come indoors and is friendly to just about everyone she meets, including me. John named her Jane… as in Jane Doe, since she hasn’t told us her real name…yet. You know how cats are. They like to be mysterious and remain anonymous if they can get away with it.
I am a huge animal lover and last year I took in another cat who wasn’t abandoned but rather kicked out of a house when the “new” baby arrived. Her owners stopped feeding her, hoping she would just go away. The neighbors next door figured out what was going on and came to me, asking if I would either take her or find the cat a new home. Of course I said “yes.” Annie has been part of our family ever since. Everything worked out perfectly because she went into heat two weeks after she moved in. If she was left outside, we would have many more kitties to find homes for. Annie made herself at home right away. She had no desire to go back outdoors (do you blame her?) and my other kitties quickly welcomed her to our family.
Jane is a different story. She has been in my home several times, sniffing and looking around. I keep her in a separate room because Annie seems to be jealous. Jane is welcome to be part of our family but she seems to enjoy visiting and then going out to roam the complex. At first I was upset and worried about her. There aren’t many outdoor kitties who live here and the ones who do are territorial. I don’t want Jane to get hurt.
All my pets are indoor, except for the dogs who go outside to do their business and get exercise. So why doesn’t Jane want to live with us? Everything she could possibly want or need is provided by me. I meditated on this a few times and finally figured out… Jane is me. She’s a free spirit. She wants to live life on her terms which means coming and going as she pleases. I’m the same way. I don’t like any kind of restrictions placed on me by someone else.
Now that I understand her, I have to respect her choice. This is her life and she gets to live it the way she wants. She likes coming inside, napping on my bed but a few hours (sometimes minutes) later she wants to go back outside. She is happy living outdoors and that’s all that matters. And isn’t that what life is all about? Happiness. We all want to be happy and happiness looks different for all of us. For Annie and my other cats, happiness is basking in the sun as it streams in the window, and playing a game of chase with each other. Jane prefers lying under the fern bush in the afternoons and sitting on my porch, a few feet away from the screen door, while my kitties sit on the other side watching her. They seem to peacefully hang out, respecting each other’s space, although there has been the occasional hiss.
All of Jane’s needs are met. A neighbor keeps food in a bowl outside her front door and I’ve watched her catch a cricket now and then. I guess you could say she’s become semi-wild. If Jane changes her mind and decides to come inside to become part of our family, she is always welcome, but for now I’ll respect her wishes and be happy she chooses to be my friend.