In case you don't know, he was a stray we brought in from outdoors that's been spooked by a variety of stimuli outside, like speeding cars and rain. He'll cry, howl, hide, or sometimes, have a combination of those reactions to those things. We call it kitty PTSD, probably as a result of his abandonment.
However, he's an extremely friendly, affectionate, people-loving cat otherwise. And he does love looking out the window. And following the sound of birds. We live near a busy road, and don't really have a yard, so Mark and I have been trying to leash train him. I think it's a nice middle ground where he can breathe some outdoor air on occasion while not completely freaking out.
The vet guessed he was about five months old in the fall when we took him in, and I did some reading online about leash training cats. Basically, the younger they are, the more adaptable they will be.
So we occasionally strapped the harness onto him in the winter, rewarding him with an excessive amount of treats for tolerating it. But just within the last few weeks, we began taking him outside with the leash because it's finally freaking warm enough. But I'll tell you now: Cats aren't like walking dogs. I kind of just follow where he wants to go, within reason.
Waldo tends to start slow. He'll bask in the sun for a few minutes, laying around and adapting to the outdoors, and then he'll start walking when he's ready. I've been taking him out about once a week for 20 to 30 minutes. It's just enough time where he can get his paws dirty and explore some fresh scenery.
A friend who walks her cat outside told me it's been a great way to curb door dashing. Her cat associates the leash with the outdoors and he'll purr as she's putting it on. Waldo isn't quite at that point yet.
For this photo shoot we drove to a nearby park, so Wally was a little more nervous than usual about going outside, but I think he did really well. Hopefully we'll make it back over there soon.
In other news, ahh it finally feels like spring. A dress without a sweater was totally doable on this day, with the high temp reaching a fiery 60 degrees! Also, I hope you enjoy the new look. I made some tweaks to the layout, including a new banner and navigation bar. I kept the polka dot background (for now) for some flair. :)
So how have you been? Enjoying the warm weather? Have you ever tried walking a cat? Haha.