I’ve been thinking about our cat’s life. She exhibits Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs quite faithfully: food, warmth, hygiene, affection, play. What she doesn’t have in her life, as she’s equilibrating to a restricted bungalow existence, is adventure. But this weekend, this weekend, we open the window and let her out into the greater world.
We expect it will be a slow process of exploration, but she should adjust at her own pace. After all, she came to us up in the high fellside a decade ago from a village lifestyle, and made her own life out among the voles, moles, mice and shrews. Once again, however, there will be an issue of some traffic as she investigates the roads around the small estate. Everything is quite slow, so she should be okay in the close vicinity. The faster road is possibly at the limit of her territorial range, so we’ll hope she comes to no harm.
We hope she’ll spend more time in the neighbouring marshland than the roads, anyway. But who really knows the mind of an inquisitive cat? She will go where she pleases, that much is for sure. There are other cats around, so doubtless she’ll do her perambulating during their resting times. Or she’ll cow them into submitting to her own walking whims. Whatever the case, adventure beckons. She’ll know, of course, where food and warmth can always be found, and she’ll follow a scent trail to return when she wishes.
I can’t be sure that a cat experiences what we might call ‘joy,’ but I’m sure they understand ‘freedom’ when they experience it.
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