If you were trapped inside a house your entire life and suddenly given the chance to run free, wouldn't you take it? Not my cat, Holly. Granted, my 5-year-old indoor cat has a very cushy life: eating way too much, sleeping whenever, and being petted and hugged more frequently than she likes.
Recently, my daughter and I decided to test whether Holly might have some latent animal instinctual desire to venture outdoors in the wild suburbs of Boson (or at least onto the front porch). In truth, we were motivated by our neighbor who swaggers around the outside of his house with his cat, Wally, on a leash. He often (kind of braggingly) hollers to us across the street as we stare in envious amazement, "It's easy!"
So, feeling encouraged by Wally's achievements, we tried a small behavioral experiment with Holly, which involved standing outside our wide-open front door and enthusiastically calling to her, "Come out, you're free!" To our amazement, she stood right next to the open door dumbfounded, staring at the outdoors like it was something out of a horror film. After about 30 seconds of indulging us in our ridiculous antics, she anticlimactically flicked her tail and turned her back on us. Huh…I guess freedom is overrated.