Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Maine Coons on Leashes and butterflies

An email from blog reader, Margie--

Kitties don't have to stay in the house if they are leash trained and wear a harness. I have leash trained my two Maine Coons, and walk them around the condo. They need variety and exercise, and this is one way to safely provide both. Sometimes, I take one or the other (one cat at a time is enough of a handful) and let them climb small trees around the building. The harness has to fit properly (no more than 2 fingers under each band) so the critter can't get loose.

Margie, you're absolutely right. There is no reason why a cat can't have a walk-about outside with a harness and lead. And from my experience Maine Coons are perfect candidates. They tend to just take to it, if you start them young. There a very large Maine Coon in my neighborhood who you'd think was a dog in the manner in which he walks with his mistress. He literally stops traffic because people rubberneck to get a look at him smartly strutting down the sidewalk with purpose- head up, tail up, and nose in the air.

Unfortunately some cats just don't take to it, even if you do start them young. My Maine Coon mix (Yes, rescued out of a vacant lot in Brooklyn as a very small kitten.) just didn't like it AT ALL, even though she'd been born an outdoor cat. She did participate in other Maine Coon behaviors as a kitten, like chunking her cat toys in the toilet so she could "fish", but a lead nor going ourside just weren't in the cards.

My cats do take pleasure in climbing small trees though, so they aren't total lardos. I've several ceiling height ficus, and it isn't unkown to walk into a room and find a cat hanging on a branch by her toenails.

Eleanor Tauber, the photographer of the wonderful raccoon family, sent in a lovely butterfly photo taken at the American Museum of Natural History Butterfly Exhibit. (Go see it, you'll love it.) Unfortunately either Blogger isn't doing photos today or it's something to do with the unfamiliar computer I'm using in wWsconsin. I'm here looking after my folks. It won't let me post a boffo shot of a Maine with harness either. Very boring. Though it did let me post the parrot photo yesterday. I'll try for them again tomorrow.

Life truly is one big mystery after another, isn't it?

Donegal Browne

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