Mimi really puts it all into leaving her mark on the end of the deck railing—after she’s run around most of the railing and stopping every foot or so to scratch again. All the cats who’ve gone outside with me have left their mark on this railing over the years, except for Moses, who had no interest in scratching anything because she might hurt it. But Cookie, Kelly, Namir, Stanley, Sally, Kublai have all made good use of the untreated, unfinished wood of the rail (I apply a coat of water repellent once each year, and a coat of blue stain several years ago). She had a really good time of it back in the spring and in September too.
Mimi and I go out on the deck most days, and the surprise to me is her timidity. She rarely leaves the deck to join me as I fill the feeders, but sits on the steps or the railing and watches me. The surprise is that this was her territory for years, and the neighborhood was her stomping ground. Perhaps the memories are not so nice. Not that I mind—I like having Mimi outdoors but she is so small and quick that a few times when she did take off for the next yard or the front yard I was sure I’d never catch her, so we went with a collar and leash for a while, and have gotten down to the breakaway collar with noisy bell so I’d at least know where she was. I still keep an eye on her, but she has plenty to do on the deck what with marking the railing and smelling everything, like this rocker, which needs to be thoroughly inspected each day.
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