Today was Josie’s turn to go outside. Though Renn is my scientist, he likes his studies to be under clinical conditions. Field tests are not for him. In fact, his empirical nature aside, he is a cat who seems to go with his feelings. On the other hand, I characterized my Chubs to someone today as “less emotional” than Renn, and I believed that she would do better outside.
As with both my big boy and Parker, Josie tolerated the harness quite well. I think she was puzzled by it more than anything else. Once out of doors, she was assailed by a great many stimuli that stunned her a bit. She froze, but did not crouch as low as Renn, and didn’t cry. She was trying to understand the situation. You will note her tail was at first clearly between the legs.
But it wasn’t long before something caught her attention. She was intrigued. The tail remained low, but was out and swinging. As she understood that there was no real threat to her, she explored more.
There was grass, and there were trees; Josie had seen them often enough from within the apartment, but I suspect they presented a different aspect to her close up. Once upon a time, I described her as ‘easily alarmed’; now I think of her as ‘easily alerted’; her attention is caught almost dramatically now and then. She was interested in her surroundings.
Someone who was not pleased with this development was Parker. He saw Josie outside and started crying and pawing at the screen – not something I cared for. He was shouting to me, “She’s in my harness! She’s in my harness!” in his high voice, and did not like his adventure being usurped.
But the die was cast. The Great White was by now rather enjoying herself. She did not express this by purring or rolling about. However, you will see that by now, her tail is up, and she knows there is nothing to fear.
Unlike Parker, who will generally follow my lead – literally – even though he may grumble about it, Josie protested against directions she disliked by simply lying down. This happened several times. An interesting discovery, though, was that while inside, Josie will often squirm when picked up, albeit not as much as previously. Outside, at least on this occasion, she accepted being handled and carried without a movement.
And so ended Josie’s outside adventure. She had been an outsider-cat when very young, but I doubt that she recalls any of that now, except possibly as a basic feeling. It may have helped her here, but I think it is simply her matter-of-fact personality dictating her responses. I am sure she will be outside again one day.