O.k.. So, I’ve been living in a rental property for six months now. The house did not have a pet door installed, so I’ve been leaving the back door open (despite the fact that I don’t live in the safest of neighborhoods (but who of us really does??)). This has made me feel uncomfortable and somewhat unsafe. I did it because it was the best thing for the cats — they dont use a litter box and they do ‘their business’ (among other things) outside. Even when I’m home, on calls or what not, I have left the back door open. When I leave the house and I think I’m going to be gone for more than a couple of hours, I have left the door ajar. It did weigh on me, made me feel uneasy.
But today, no more leaving the back door ajar. A very dear friend of mine came over with all his tools of the trade, and helped me (well, really he did all the work, I just left him alone as to not annoy him) install a cat door. He pulled out a glass panel on the back door, put a cat-door in a piece of plywood, and put the plywood with the cat door in it in space where the glass panel once lived. OH MY GOD, this is the best thing EVER. The cats learned to get in/out thru the door almost immediately (not that challenging, they are very smart cats). I feel SO LIBERATED and SAFE. It is probably one of the best things that has happened to me in the last 6-8 months. It is like being in fog/smog for hours/days.. and all of a sudden breathing in fresh air. It is somewhat of a indescribable feeling, but also one that is intangible. Like a weight that has been lifted!
Here is an example: I went to get my haircut today and have a few drinks with friends. Usually I would leave the door ajar… and hope that another cat didn’t come in or that I was robbed. Today, I didn’t think once about it… it did not enter my thoughts at all. Its amazing that this small things has given my brain room to relax…
So, of course I got home and starting thinking … What is the feeling of being safe? What is that feeling worth to you? What is the value of a friend who would selflessly give that to you? Priceless in my book. I’m ready to cry at how much safter I feel, and it is a matter of 6 inches… the 6 inches that my back door is NOT open to strangers walking/stalking me. Priceless. (o.k … for those of you reading, yes, I get what “6 inches” means to you… don’t contact me… I get it).
O.k.. I realize I get a little “gushy” at times… But that feeling of safety is priceless… The cats have already become acclimated to the opening.. they dont care, as long as they have access (o.k. yes, sounds a lot like a marriage of convenience.. )… For me, the obligation is worth it — I’m heading to bed in a few minutes and I dont have to go outside in my pajamas and whistle for them to come home… They will come in when they are good and ready and I can go to bed.