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.