Update: Well, the question is moot at this point. Lee says no to another kitty.
Thanks for the input, though.
We have to the acceptance that our Lucky kitty is never coming home. He went out sometime during the night on February 20th, and we never saw him again.
He was an indoor/outdoor cat.
We were so lucky to have gotten such a great cat out of a kitty that was once a stray. He came during the framing stage of our house out of a culvert nearby. He never did anything but make it clear he would be a great addition to our family. Lee nor I had ever owned a cat, and didn't really consider ourselves 'cat people'. Just about every cat we'd ever met was a mental case.
Lucky behaved more like a dog, than a cat (in our opinion). He never scratched the furniture, he never had accidents inside, he came when he was called, he never met a stranger and he never got up on the counters.
He loved being indoors with us and he loved being outdoors---being a cat. Yes, he brought us 'presents' every now and then. Mostly rats and mice.
We never really feared for his life outdoors, because he was very, very aware of the presence of coyotes in our area. He had plenty of places to zoom to safety if he was being pursued. He could also climb a tree like a cheetah. He was up to date on all his vaccinations in case he encountered a stray cat with diseases. We live at the end of a cul' de sac on a road with 2 other houses. Getting hit by a car was nearly a non-existant possibility. Not even loose dogs to hassle him.
I just think he was more balanced and happy, because he could go outdoors.
That's where the problem lies. It is our assumption, after much searching and posting of signs, that it was probably a coyote that got him. He was 12. He could still run and still climb trees, but it could be that he just wasn't fast enough. The thought of Lucky being snatched up and carried off, makes me want to get out the 22 gauge and kill me some coyote.
I'm more realistic than that. I know that we moved out here--to the coyote's habitat. It's no different, no matter how unsettling, than Lucky catching a rat or a rabbit.
We are now at a place in our lives, where the kids are starting to want a new cat. A young cat, an orange cat, a cat that 'talks'.
But what to do? Should we risk having our hearts broken again, and have a coyote take another cat? On the other hand, we feel a cat should get to be outdoors for its own sanity. I go round and round in my head about the subject.
I'll think I really want another cat, and then I'll think about searching for Lucky at 5 am on a rainy, cold morning. Then I'll think about him rolling in the dirt and playing with long stems of grass. Then I'll think about going hoarse while calling for him for days. On and on.
My question to you----do you have an indoor only cat? How is their personality--honestly? Do you have problems with scratching the furniture? I worry that indoor only cats scoot out the door while you're unloading groceries and don't know that to do with themselves. I read plenty of "lost cat" stories on Craig's List about indoor cats that got out, freaked out and disappeared.
Pretty please, don't tell me you opinion about why cats should be indoors only or outdoors only. I just want to hear of your experience with indoor only cats. Thanks!