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Life On the Other Side


As most of you know, we are owned by five cats. For awhile they were all inside cats to keep them safe from harm.  With both of us being away at work all day, they spent much of their time staring out of windows from the assorted window seats and cat trees in the house.  Two in particular, both rescue cats, seemed to long for the freedom to roam that they once had.

Finally we relented, and let them go outside for awhile in the evenings when  we get home.  The change in their demeanor was remarkable as they became more alert and less lethargic, and better behaved when inside due to expending some of that pent up energy. 

Even Stormy, our senior cat who was terrified of the great outdoors when he was young, soon took interest and made it clear that if they got to go outside, so did he!  The two one-year-olds followed suit, though Gracie (the baby of the bunch) tends to stay in close proximity to the door.  None of  them wonder off very far, playing in the tall grass and weeds near the house, and hanging out on the big back deck enjoying the fresh air and scenery.  By the time it gets dark they are ready to come in and revert to lap cat status.

Last night when I let them outside I left the door open to enjoy some fresh air into the house since a lovely rain shower had cooled things off beautifully.  I sat in my rocking chair with my new Eee Pad, catching up on blog reading and Facebook.  When I glanced up, what did I see?  A row of furkids sitting up on the hot tub cover staring in the window at me!  It made me laugh.  When they are inside they watch out the windows intently and long to be outside, once outside their greatest curiosity was apparently what was going on within.

I had to smile, realizing how much we people are like that.... always curious, and a bit discontent with where we're at and what we have - wondering if the grass on the other side of the fence might not indeed bit a bit greener than our own.   It reminded me of the photo above in which Story was watching a couple of the feral cats outside the window who were in turn watching him.  I'm sure to the insiders, all that freedom to come and go as you please seems quite wonderful to dream about, and to the outsiders the soft comfort and plentiful food to be found within must appear to be a life of luxury.

It is easy to assume that others have it far better than we do, that their lives are easier with fewer worries and less stress, and that having more money, more love, or good health would solve all our other problems too.  But the truth is that happiness and contentment are not conditioned upon these things. It is not what you have or don't have, it is how you approach life and how you deal with the things it brings your way.  Attitude is everything... real happiness must be found within. 

My cats have the very best of both worlds... they are able to spend some time outdoors roaming free, and still have the security of a good home, plenty of food, and the love of caretakers.  I wonder, if they had the ability to reason and had to pick just one, which they would choose... inside or outside?  What about you, which do you long for more... freedom or security?  If you are able, like my cats, to enjoy some of both, you are truly blessed! 

Life may always look a bit brighter elsewhere, but if you stop to count your blessings, you will realize that there are many good things right where you are.

18 comments:

  1. What a timely and wonderful reminder. I love the thought of your cats glaring in at you. Too funny! And yes, we are very much like that - longing to be 'over there' somewhere else, when we are tiptoeing over all the heaps of blessings right under our noses. I needed that reminder, so thank you.

    If I could have more of freedom or security, right now it'd be freedom from the constraints of a lifestyle that no longer 'fits'. I already have complete security in Christ, and am learning more and more that no matter the circumstances, security is there.

    Great post!

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    1. I understand completely about a lifestyle that "doesn't fit", Carrie, and I truly hope you find a way to change things up a bit so it does! There are many good things about the lives we have, but of course we are still restless by nature, and chafe easily under confinement. Perhaps that is part of being human in our highly-structured society. I'll be watching to see what you do!

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  2. What a cute mental image! I've never let my cat go outside, I'm to afraid of her being hurt and she's too afraid of all the "scary noises and monsters". Also, the only times she goes outside are when she is taken to the vet or when the groomer comes and takes her out to the van, so she doesn't exactly associate going out with fun things.

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    1. We live out in a rural area Kellie, where there isn't much traffic or rough folks living nearby who might harm the cats. If we still lived in town, they would not go out. The greatest risks out where we live are the coyotes at night, who see cats as snack food. That's why they must come inside when it gets dark!

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  3. Great post, as always. I like the comparisons ans analogies you use in your writing. And yes, we learn so much about ourselves when we watch others interact, even our critters.

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    1. So true, Annie. I am a people-watcher and an animal-watcher, I am always fascinated by the things they do! I thought it was so humorous that the furkids couldn't wait to go outside, then found looking inside more interesting than what awaited them out there. The door was open, they easily could have just walked back in, but chose to stay outside and watch me! Cat TV I guess!

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  4. "Life may always look a bit brighter elsewhere, but if you stop to count your blessings, you will realize that there are many good things right where you are. "

    So very true.

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    1. Sometimes it's easy to feel restless and disillusioned with our lot in life, Robin, but I know I have a great life, I remember to well a time when I couldn't say that. I am so thankful for all the blessings that come with my life with Papa Bear! The other stuff is just a matter of accepting that I have to "deal with it"! :-)

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  5. Loved the picture. And I think we need a bit of both… just like the cats.

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    1. Thank you Shimon! I agree, we need some of both to feel both safe and alive. I tend toward the freedom end of the balance, but the older I get, the more I also value security.

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  6. Hi Josie,
    I have nominated you for a bloggers award. For more details, please see today's post at chrissychatter.blogspot.ca
    Thanks and Have a great day!
    Love to the furkids,Papa Bear and you!! :)

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    1. Thank you Chissy, that's very kind of you!

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  7. 5 cats, goodness, I hope they are all friends. My cat is sitting beside me at the computer as I type, where she can get up close and collect any stray cuddles that may be on offer. There is No way she would tolerate another cat in the family, she flys into a panic if the cat next door comes into the yard and has been known to shred curtains in her panic....ouch. She is similar to your Sophie, but with white underneath and on her paws. She is amazing because we lost her for 8 months when we moved here, and got her back from death row at the pound.She survived somehow, I don't know how, but when she saw us again she settled right in and knew she was home despite being in a different house.

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    1. Wow, Linda! It was such a happy ending to your story to read that you found your cat after eight months! I can imagine how happy she was to be back with the people she knows and loves. Lucky kitty! All of my cats get along well, never any squabbles. They have befriended one of the feral outdoor cats too, and are often seen sitting nearby each other when outside, probably visiting about life indoor/outdoors! :-)

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  8. That's is a curious question security or freedom. I kind of link the two together, for me. When I graduated high school it was very scary but I felt a freedom from the four walls of HS and it was exhilarating yet it was scary to be "free" and no future out there. Shortly after I found The Hubby and had the security to add to my freedom. It is still that way with him. He gives me security and the freedom to spread my wings any way I want.

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    1. Hi Jill, welcome to my blog! It sounds like you are blessed indeed I have that with my husband too, but did not in past relationships. I also believe that real love does provide both security and freedom to be yourself. Part of that comes from trust, which is essential, and the desire to see our partner be all they were intended to be. Real love encourages and uplifts!

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  9. I think that with security comes freedom. If I'm secure then I feel as though I have the power to do and be anything. Without it, I'm just left floundering.

    So the answer for me would be both.

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    1. Very wise and true, Lily! WHen we feel insecure we do flounder and doubt our own abilities. With a foundation of belief in ourselves we are willing and able to expand our world's and become so much more. That's why it's so important for parents to give their children that security and a belief in ther ability to handle life!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)