Friday, July 27, 2012

Broadening horizons.

After 5 and a half weeks, Tina and Charlie were well settled in and we had established a feeding routine of morning feed, early afternoon, evening and night. They had also made the house their own. It was now time to let them go outside. I am still freaked out from Cato’s accident so I was really nervous letting them go explore.
Orla went away to Dublin for the Thursday and Friday night. I was going to attend the opening of a fashion atelier in Limerick City Saturday evening and meet Orla there on her way back. So we decided to let the two out on Sunday the 15th of July.
We reckoned that the best time to let them go outside would be an hour before their lunch.
When we opened the door, Charlie cautiously stepped out the back door, the muscles on his back shivering, and stayed very close to the wall. He was obviously nervous and shot back inside after a few minutes. Tina only looked on from the kitchen door. She didn’t want to go at all. It was a bit of an anti-climax. We all went back inside and opened the door half an hour later again. This time Charlie went a bit further and away from the walls. Tina only sat outside the back door for a while. Charlie was outside for about 20 minutes when it was lunch time. We got him back inside and the two had lunch. A few hours later we opened the door again and the two of them went outside. Tina only went a bit alongside the wall and Charlie disappeared into the hedge. He was calling but we couldn’t see him. Eventually he came back out and went exploring in the back garden while calling out every so often to make sure we were still there. He was outside for another 30 minutes while Tina went back in after about 10 minutes. We let them out a few more times and Tina eventually went on the grass and started climbing the trees in our back garden. Charlie followed lead. They were also running around chasing each other and chasing bees and flies. For the rest of the evening they were passed out on their favourite sleeping spots.
The next few days Orla let them out a few times a day, weather permitting, and went out with them, as Charlie was calling on a regular basis to make sure someone was there. Both felines stayed in the garden for about half an hour per session. When I got home for lunch they were often resting from their morning adventure and a good lunch and when I came back from work they had just been outside as well. Because of their time in the garden, they don’t need to play in the house as much.
Last weekend the weather was beautiful so Orla was working away in the garden. I was cutting the grass of the front lawn and the two felines were outside exploring. Whenever we went inside, Charlie would come looking for us after a while. He seems to like it when we’re outside with him. It is also reassuring for us because, for now at least, they don’t wander off too far. And why would they. They have about half an acre to explore with trees to climb, hedgerows full of creepy crawlies and grass to run on. Let’s hope the weather will hold for another while. They’re having so much fun outside.

Click on a photo to see a bigger version.

Tina looking from inside the door while Charlie goes out during the first day.

Charlie hiding in the long grass, under a tree.

Tina, 5 days later, on one of the raised beds, looking out over the back garden. 

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