Inside cat, outside cat

As I lay, half-asleep on our shared bed, I can not help but gaze out of the window. Lately, I have started to wonder what lies beyond my clean, comfortable, temperature-controlled environment. 

On one paw, I am comfortable. I have been an inside cat my entire life. I am accustomed to the soft blankets which drape the foot of the bed. I am consistently provided food and the large, bald one even handles the removal of inside bugs, a task that I would certainly not wish on anyone. My needs are surely met, no one could argue against that. 

Window at the Kilcher Homestead, Homer, AK

Life indoors is also predictable. My daily rhythms closely reflect those of the large, bald one. I wake when she wakes, I eat when she eats and I sleep when she sleeps. There is great comfort in the predictability of being so closely tied to Michele. I feel a deep-seated sense of security, which larger society seems to reinforce on a daily basis. 

But on the other paw, I can not help but wonder what lies beyond the protective veneer of the window through which I currently gaze. Is it hot or cold out there? What kinds of bugs are creeping around the plants and what will happen when I inevitably confront them without Michele’s support? If I go outside, will I ever be allowed to come back?

Life outdoors is unknown. It’s unpredictable, scary, and very likely uncomfortable. But a life outside also represents an endless flow of possibilities. There would be new smells, new sounds, and, possibly, new cats. My fear would be tempered with unexpected joy and the kind of excitement that can only come alongside the truly unknown. 

I start to lift my head to move towards the window in an attempt to express my newfound desire, but then I am suddenly overtaken by the desire to nap. I drift to sleep on the foot on the bed as I dream of life as an outside cat.  

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