Warning: long text for a short question, hehe.
It’s been over a year since we moved from a semi-detached house with a garden to an apartment building. Don’t get confused, we moved this spring again, but our current place is quite alike the former apartment house.
Kajsa hasn’t been outside ever since we left the single-family house. Why? Well, she never made it to the groundplan because she couldn’t make up her mind in the staircase (the house has no elevator). I admit that I often run short of patience; I normally waited for 15 minutes (felt like hours) before I gave up. However, lack of patience was not the reason we never got to the first floor. One day, we were for over an hour in the staircase, but then some neighbor came home and Kajsa fled to our apartment. It’s actually a miracle that we had the staircase for ourselves for over an hour. I figured that unless I go out with Kajsa in the middle of the night (when all neighbors are sleeping), we’ll never ever come to the next stop that requires heavy thinking: the front door. Sigh.
Tessa has been out with me several times, and Kajsa knows where we are because she watched us from the window. I was nevertheless uncertain whether she actually understands what is waiting for her beyond the d**** staircase. I carried her twice to the transparent front door, thinking that she may get out when she sees the park behind our house. Well. She was interested but her indecision required so much time that our neighbors decided for her: she runs in panic to our apartment as soon as someone else is in the staircase.
There’s another problem here: when she’s running up the stairs, she’s way faster than me which in turn multiplies her anxiety because the leash is stopping her. As a result, she’s now afraid of the leash. Sigh.
Some weeks ago, I decided to give it a last try: I carried her all the way out. Don’t get me wrong – it’s of course fine if Kajsa doesn’t want to go out. Thing is, she wants to go out, but her indecision makes it impossible to ever get to this point. She was really mad at me in the staircase, she hissed, tried to escape and started growling like a very dangerous dog. However, once we were in the park, she actually loved being outside.
She wasn’t hiding, but got up to have a better view. She was really exploring, went way longer than Tessa and tried to chase birds. After 1,5 hours (!) she took a break. Can’t really see a very unhappy panicky cat on this picture either.
So what to do with our Queen of Indecision? We had the same ride the next time we went out. A crazy cat fearing for her life in the staircase, and a very happy cat outside.
Now I’m the one with an indecision issue. Shall I continue forcing her out? I’m feeling like a very bad person in the staircase, but I also feel like doing the right thing once we’re in the park.
Summary: she’s very afraid and totally crazy while I carry her out. Once we’re outside, she’s very happy. We’ll never get to the point that she slowly gets herself out because she needs too much time: we’d need at least 5 hours until we’re outside, and we’ll never have the staircase to ourselves for such a long time. When a neighbor is in the staircase, she goes crazy. So there’s no other way than carrying her out.
What would you do?