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Need opinions RE: indoor Charlie + new house. (long but important)

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Ok i'm not sure where to start. Charlie is almost 9. He was an outdoor cat for 8 years. He has been indoor ever since Jasmine passed away over 8 months ago. He eventually adapted to the outdoor enclosure and loved lazing about in the grass, and meowed when he wanted to come back in the house. He really and truly got alot of use out of it.

We moved house 9 days ago. Now even if he was to be let out, we don't have a registration tag from the new council atm, and he's still getting used to the house. He was on Clomicalm from the day before we moved, to a few days after (so less than a week) just to help him with the transition, as this was his second move. Alots happened in the last house, he needed to be on anti-anxiety meds. He's been off them maybe 6 days now.

My dilemma is, as he is a stressed cat, with a heart murmer (vets have never told us it was serious, all i know is to not let him get fat so it doesn't put stress on him) my father keeps saying the stress will kill him, and he wants him to run free in the neighbourhood. My father wants a proffesional opinion from a vet, and i need reassurance a vet will recommend that we keep him as indoor.

Although we are set far back, we are on a main road. We are in a very bushy area with a big block of land, we are pretty sure there are snakes and other critters here. We are going to be putting up a small, but temporary enclosure so Charlie can get his fresh air and grass, while we plan a bigger one, more secure and bigger than the last.

What i want to know is, what would you do? Have him go from outdoor to indoor then back to outdoor in a place where he is likely to get hurt. Having him indoors has let him adjust to not having Jazzy around to protect him. He's been at less risk from cancer, he's had no injuries, not had to worry about the neighbourhood strays etc.

My father wants to let him run free, he says he'd rather him run free and not be stressed, even if it means he gets hit by a car 5 minutes after we let him out. Please, please, give me your opinions. I want my baby to be around for another 9 years.

He is going to windows and doors, wanting to be outside. Being near this road, there are dozens and dozens of huge freight trucks that pass through each day from early morning to night. He is adjusting to these new and louder sounds. There is a cute, but very noisy dog next door that barks whenever it sees a person or another animal, that would freak Charlie out too. Some days he will just sleep the whole day. He still has cuddles and purrs, and is eating and drinking as normal. But he occasionally scratches at the window and meows and meows. It really depends on the day.

There is no physical or financial way to enclose the whole backyard, there are no solid wooden fences, they are cyclone wire fences, covered partially with plants, some definately toxic to cats, and thorny. The block is roughly 1400sqm in size. I want him to go back into an enclosure, like the way he enjoyed it last time.

My father has a short fuse, he gets stressed easily, he has no job, he sits on the pc all day. Imo he wants Charlie out so he doesn't have to keep looking over his shoulder making sure kitty doesn't run out when he opens a door and gets p*ssed off when he keeps meowing. He has no compassion.

Charlie is my cat, i picked him out, i named him when i was about 15. I give him meds, i feed him, i love him etc. But even though i'm 24 next month, what my father says goes (apparently). My mother is the one who provides (and i pitch in rent money while i'm looking for work). I told her i am not letting Charlie out, there is no way, and she seems to agree with me, but she won't speak up to my father. I feel like i'm a little kid being treated this way by him.

We are further from public transport, so getting to vets and places without a car is hard, imagine trying to hike up there carrying a stressed cat in a carrier.

Am i being selfish wanting to keep Charlie from being injured, possibly killed or getting lost?
post #2 of 2
No of course you're not! Before I forget - I hope you don't think that cancer is catching? It absolutely is not under any circumstances, so don't worry about that at all. Anyhow, I do know where you're father's coming from, but I think (knowing what you've said about his present personal situation) he's likely projecting his frustrations and desire to be 'free' (out there with the other guys making hay :-), but please please do not let him influence your decision regarding what is after all your cat and your obvious very good instincts. I even want to ask if there are any plans for you to move out on your own at this point, and take Charlie with you? At 24 you are legally within your rights to make these decisions and I urge you not to be intimidated by your father (I'm now speaking not only from a very similar experience father-wise, but a lifetime of trying to come into my own, on my own.. and I'm very much older than you now). Your father does not have the right to let your cat out to possibly get run over or lost, etc. and if you know any one at all who's authoritative, even the vet or someone else, who he'll listen to and see reason from, get them on your side ASAP. And good luck!
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