Monday, December 02, 2013

Julius goes walkabouts

As I've mentioned before, our cats are all indoor cats, technically speaking. This is not such a rare thing here in Canuckistan as it seems to be in other countries (like England.) There are many ways for cats to die here: predators, cars, cold, snacking on spilled anti-freeze, snoozing under the warm hood of a car only to have someone turn the engine on... you get the picture. My high-school piano teacher lost her beloved cat to a car's fan belt one winter. The cat managed to drag herself home in shreds, but had to be euthanized. That's a good reason always to give your car's hood a few smacks before you get in and start it up in winter. Scare out any cats who may be sleeping in that warm dark place!

In any case, lots of cats have zero interest in going outside in winter anyway, preferring instead to curl up by a warm fire. In my opinion, it's a personal decision as to whether or not you let your kitties free-range and I ain't judging nobody. I just do what works for me; I can't deal with the worry when my kitties are out roaming. When I was a kid, one of our cats disappeared for two weeks and I still haven't forgotten that. He finally showed up, considerably skinnier, without an explanation for his absence.

And there have been no free-range cats since we moved to the farm, where I have seen fishers that not only routinely enjoy a nice entrée of warm feline, but also eat porcupines. PORCUPINES! What the hell kind of vicious monster can take down something that has 30,000 quills? What chance does a cat have against that!?

Julius used to be an outdoor cat but I eventually got tired of crying when he'd disappear for a night or two. Plus he got in fights and ended up with horrible abscesses that needed draining, something I also got reeeeally tired of, along with the associated vet bills. And of course Alex tripod kitty came to us after being found in a leghold trap some moron put out in the city of Cornwall! So ya know, I'm good with indoor kitties, even though it means spending more time playing with them and keeping them from getting bored out of their little kitty minds. (Did you know there are iPad apps to keep cats entertained? Yes really!)

Our cats do have a nice big outdoor cage they have free access to through a cat-flap in the basement window. Julius became an indoor cat after we moved back east in 2006, and took to it with little fuss (thanks to the cage!) So it's all working well for us.

And every once in a while, someone does a runner out the door and gets an hour or so of freedom. Julius is not so much a runner as a "saunter-er." So when he sauntered out the other day, I went along and kept an eye on him as he enjoyed a chilly stroll in the snow.


Here comes Mr. Handsome!


He is almost 14 and has lived in four provinces in Canada, and has been driven across our large country twice.

He has also scared the sh*t out of me on numerous occasions, and when we first adopted him in Nova Scotia (he turned up at our back door one winter), he spent his time convincing another neighbour he was homeless, subsequently scoring himself extra meals every day!


Not stupid, this cat.

He had to have three of his four fangs removed in 2010 but he's still got it! When he catches a mouse in our basement, there's no messing around, leaving half of it in our bed like the other sissy cats do. He crunches that sucker right up, which makes for a rather horrifying scenario when one wakes up from a dead sleep in a darkened room:

crunch crunch crunch

FLICK! (light goes on)

crunch crunch crunch

"Oh, hello Mother. I'm just enjoying this tasty mouse I caught. Can I offer you its liver?"

"Uh no, thanks, Julius. I'm good."

FLICK! (light goes off)

(Stick fingers in ears, return to sleep, plan on dealing with any remaining body parts in the morning. Except there aren't any! Julius is nothing if not thorough.)



Julius has a magnificently fluffy butt, hence his many nicknames: Fluffy Butt, Mr. Fluffalicious, Fluffy Pantaloons, Flufftastic... you get the idea.


He quite enjoyed his snowy romp and the bright late-fall (I can't believe it's not freaking winter with all this snow and cold!) sun.


And when he was done, I carried him inside and he had a big long nap!




27 comments:

  1. That's like Tux - he loves to be outside, but is quite content to just saunter about and hang out with me.
    Julius is too handsome (though I am partial to gingers...)

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    1. Julius sends you kisses, and good thoughts for Tux!

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  2. He makes me think of a miniature lion. Very much a cat's cat. He's had a good life, that guy.

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    1. He is indeed a cat's cat!!

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  3. Mister Fluffy McFluff@rse!! Our John's pants are floofy like OJ's. The Baby enjoys her morning saunters, too...although she's nowhere as efficient eating critters!

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    1. I think Julius just occasionally likes to show the other cats how it's done.

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  4. Julius! It's scary outside. You're best hanging in the basement on rodent control...know what we mean?
    The REAL Maple Syrup Mob xxxxx

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    1. I have no doubt he'd stare down a fisher. Fearless, that cat.

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  5. I captured my little guy two years ago, four weeks old, feral. His mother lost him. After 24 solid hours of invisible crying, he came to the kitty app, although holding on to him was another job. The look he hands out now when I give him some kitty app is complete disgust. "I could have made it on my own!"

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  6. He eats the whole mouse? Bones and all? Cats clearly have strong jaws.

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  7. In general (if there is such a thing) I think that cats are outdoor creatures. Ours spends most of the night outdoors hunting, and the daytime curled-up on some bed. Summer or Winter doesn't seem to make much difference to him.

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    1. THey lose their will to go out at -30C, LOL.

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  8. I bet he bragged about his outdoorsy adventures to the other kitties after going inside!

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  9. Oh my, I´m freeeeeeezy only to see you in this ice!

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  10. Jenna is impressed with Mr. Fluffy Butt. She thinks he's awesome and glad he gets to enjoy a little stroll about the yard occasionally.

    Pee Ess: Jenna's nickname is Fuzzy Butt--same reason ;)

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  11. Your story of when you adopted him reminds me of Beba, one of my sister's cats, who has at least 3 households where she get fed. She spends a few days in each place in turn and has a different name in each household.Cats sure know how to handle humans.

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  12. Awww he is such a handsome boy! I love his fluffy fur. It is very nerve wracking having outdoor cats. I wish I could bring them inside, but the hubby has capped the indoor cat total at 3 (well, he capped it at 2 but I brought Gizmo inside anyway and kind of forced it on him haha). Where I live (in the US in Missouri) it is very common to have outdoor cats. Being in the country, there are strays everywhere because many people don't spay and neuter their animals so I have to feed any that come my way. But if I could keep them all inside I would!

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  13. Julius is gorgeous and I'm trying really hard to rid my head of the image (and sound) of him crunching away on a mouse.

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  14. This is a sore subject with me so you might not to allow this post. We just lost our beloved House cat Simba. And setting aside the millions of song birds being depopulated by feral and domestic cats here in suburbia, have witnessed dozens of birds captured and eaten on our deck and below our feeders in recent months. Our neighboring farmers who keep cats to keep mice and rats our of their barns have what I consider "working" cats have a good cause. The neighbors who feed birds, and feral cats on their decks are doing a disservice to all.

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    1. I'm with you! I feed birds all year and I can't in good conscience let me cats out for a free feathered buffet. :(

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  15. He really is magnificent and I think I will steal him if I ever get near your farm.

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  16. Love his coloring! What a handsome dude. :)

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  17. Utah (now 26) had been an indoor cat most of his life. My mom had alzheimers and started letting him out. Now, he spends his days in the yard and never seems to go any further. Some things you just can't fight.

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  18. I think Julius is one of the most beautiful cats I've ever seen. I only had one cat that ever went outside, not by my choice either. He would run out before anyone could catch him. He was a gorgeous black and white longhaired that I captured as a baby in a feral trap. He went out one day and never came back and I never found him. That's when I decided I'd never let any of my cats out again. Love, love, love Mr. Fluffalicious! Mimi sends kisses.

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!