Precious loves going outdoors. Because I live in the suburbs, she’s only allowed to go outdoors when I’m home and able to be right there with her, or at least puttering around the house nearby. What this means is that once the warmer weather gets here each Spring, we often spend a half hour or so with the front door open after I get home from work. Often, I’ll sit on the porch playing with my iPhone — often waiting for whatever delivery person is bringing me the food I ordered — as she wanders around the bushes and sidewalk in front of our townhouse and the neighbors’ places. Every now and then I might look up and call to her to see where she is.
Often, she’ll explore for five minutes or so, then come running to find me, just to make sure I haven’t disappeared. I like it because it reassures me that she hasn’t wandered too far, where I’d have to worry about unfriendly people, careless drivers, or other animals.
Often, I’ll let her out for a few minutes while I’m getting ready for work as well. Convincing her to go play at these times isn’t always easy however. She’ll often keep coming back in the house and staring at me as if to say, “Well? Aren’t you coming out too?”
Of course, she’s really in her element on those occasions when she’s staying with my parents while I travel. They live in an extremely rural area, so they don’t have to worry about cars or unfriendly people (even the friendly people are rarely less than several thousand feet from their home. Because of this, she feels more free — and we all feel more comfortable letting her — roam a bit farther and for a bit longer. There are times when she will explore for over an hour only to come to a door so she can come in, get some affection, and grab a bite to eat. After that, she may wander off to get a nap or ask to go right back outdoors.
I also admit that given her poor health when I first adopted her, I enjoy watching her explore and play. It’s fun to watch her sniff at every flower, tree, and shrub she comes across. It’s fun to watch her check out the birds or even chase them (she hasn’t quite figured out how the whole hunting thing actually works). I look at her and think, gee, I love that she’s still such an active cat at the ripe age of nine and a half years old.