Andy is a Ragdoll. This breed of blue-eyed cats is supposedly even-tempered and docile; loving and placid; doesn’t shed much; and enjoys being held.
Hah! I will concede that Andy has blue eyes. He also has orange ears, an orange nose, and lots of matting, shedding white hair. He hasn’t a placid bone in his body. Once in a great while he’ll let himself be cuddled, under protest. Not that he isn’t affectionate, in his way. He especially likes to sit on the back of Lee’s chair and groom his head. Or alternately, climb up on Lee’s chest when he’s on his back in bed, stick his nose in Lee’s beard, and knead his neck. If Lee’s not around, Andy will get on the back of my chair and do the grooming thing. He sprawls on the desk when I’m typing, within reach so I can give him a scratch. And stands right in front of the computer so I can’t see the screen.
Andy is the most curious of cats. He’s an into-everything, bat-things-off-the-shelves sort of cat. He loves the outdoors. We have a screened-in patio that partway satisfies his desire to be outside. He periodically sneaks out when one of us isn’t quick enough to close the door. Fortunately, there are so many fascinating things outside that (so far) we’ve been able to catch him before he vanishes from sight.
We’ve been deep in home improvement these past few months. Most recently we updated the bathroom. The rest of the room turned out so well we decided to replace the shower fixtures. Access to the shower is through a closet in Lee’s office, by means of a large piece of plywood that is generally nailed down. When the plywood is removed, not only is the back of the shower accessed, but also the space below the house. We said to each other, better keep the closet closed.
(I think Mozart the raccoon is living under the house. We had all the crawl space openings closed up after last year’s adventure with the dead possum. Shortly after I made Mozart’s acquaintance, my next-door neighbor came over brandishing a big stick and said there was a big raccoon under the house –I’m not sure what he thought he was going to do with the stick; Mozart is big enough to take it away from him. I looked and sure enough, one of the crawl space coverings was ajar. I propped it back up, with bricks. The next day it was open again. I figured, what the hell, and left it alone.)
(I went out one morning last week and the cat food container wasn’t where it was supposed to be. I found it in the back yard, tipped on its side. I suspect Mozart came for a snack, found no food, and had a hissy fit.)
We did keep the closet closed. Until the day we didn’t, and Lee saw Andy wandering around outside. We’ve no idea how long he was out, or how far he went, but he hissed when Lee picked him up. Lee was shocked. Usually I’m the one who grabs Andy, so I’ve been hissed at before. However, the hissing didn’t stop for a good half hour after we all went back inside. Andy was so jacked up he went running through the house hissing at me, at Lee, at Mo, at nothing and everything. When he stopped hissing, he started meowing. He wanted to go back into the closet. He wanted to go outside. He may have wanted to go hang out with Mozart, for all I know.
He still wants to go back outside. He wants to go into the closet, though the opening has been closed up, and the contents restored. He meows and meows. I feel bad for him, but ragdolls are indoor cats. They’re lovers, not fighters. Supposedly. Gentle, placid, goofy Mo can yowl ferociously when strange critters come around.
Mo has no desire to go outside. He likes to sit inside the patio door and watch the birds eating the feral’s cat food. We step around him as we go in and out and he doesn’t even budge. Mo’s the easy child.
Andy isn’t. We’re thinking about a leash.