Spring fever?

Susan Manzke
The cat finds a comfy spot for a cat nap.

We have barn cats and we have house cats. These two groups remain separate for their own good. Too bad one of our house cats has a different opinion of his situation.

Othello is not a young cat and he’s neutered. The trouble is that recently this furry fellow is not acting his age or his altered state.

The last two weeks, Othello has expressed his opinion loudly in the house. “Meow” he says. This means, “I want to go outside.”

One day he was walking around going meow, meow, meow. I guess I wasn’t paying attention and he let out a loud MEOW to make sure I was hearing him.

Othello, the escape artist.

Since we don’t want our old house cats to catch a cold, or get beaten up by the barn cats, we keep all three, Othello, Pete, and Cruella, safe inside. Too bad Othello isn’t happy with this. He has turned into an escape artist.

Bob was heading outside to roll the garbage bin to the road but he didn’t get far. Soon he was back in the kitchen.

“Othello scooted out. I need help getting him,” he said to me.

I grabbed my coat and followed Bob out the door. Lucky for us Othello hadn’t gone far. He was inside Sunny’s fenced yard, but we knew if he was there too long he’d find a space big enough for him to slip through and really get away.

Some years ago, Othello had escaped like this. For three days we searched for him. After such a long time we were sure we’d never see him again. One morning he showed up again, a little skinny, but not hurt. Afterward, Othello appreciated his safe, warm home and didn’t try to get away, until recently.

This time, Othello ran into the bushes around the house. Bob went after him even though it was raining - I thought the cat would race back in the door after walking into the wet, cold weather, but he was determined to get away.

Bob shook the bushes back and forth until the cat came out. I called to Othello by the door and he came in.

This wasn’t the only escape. Othello is a fast cat when he wants to be. He raced past Bob’s feet two days later and we were again faced with an escaping cat.

Again the cat went into the bushes. Bob voiced a few choice words as he moved the bushes again before the cat raced back inside.

That evening, when it came time to feed both inside and outside cats, Othello jumped up on the table so he could see the barn cats coming to the porch for food. He paced back and forth showing us how much he wanted out to join the flock of felines. Of course, there were others looking in figuring Othello has the better position living inside.

One other time, Bob got sick of hearing Othello’s meows and put him in the basement. Well that didn’t help. The cat’s voice didn’t stay in the basement. It echoed through the whole house.

When anyone visits these days, we warn them not to let the cat out.

Right now Othello is resting quietly inside. In fact, he has made himself comfortable on Bob’s chest, blocking Bob’s view of the football game on television. The cat is still making a point that he’s not satisfied with his situation.

That old cat doesn’t realize he has the best deal in town. He can sleep 20 hours a day, eat his fill, and live comfortably with us. Othello should know that we keep him trapped for his own good. He wouldn’t last even three days outside at his advanced age. Fingers crossed that this spring fever leaves him soon and we can all get back to our ordinary life together. 

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;