It has always been my policy to keep a kitten indoors until it starts to fight me on the issue. Today Zoe decided she’s old enough to go outside with the others.
She did it with style, too. I’ve been working in the yard all day. Went in for lunch, didn’t see Zoe, and assumed she was napping in the loft. Went outside, into the chicken yard, and there was Zoe. Under the Lair, right against the chicken wire. She’d been watching the chickens.
Well, she must have snuck out around my feet, right? I caught her, brought her back inside. Went back out and collected eggs. Came out of the chicken yard and there was Zoe, frolicking around LB’s legs.
Okay. This, I’ve got to see. I grabbed her again, brought her inside, and pulled up a chair. She strutted up to the cat door. It’s been set to in-but-not-out ever since she got here. She snagged it with a claw, levered it open, and scooted right through.
So now it’s official: Zoe just declared herself part of the food chain. Which part, only time will tell. I’ve reset the door to in-and-out. Will she have sense enough to stay close, and come in at night? Stay tuned.
ETA: Before I could even finish typing this, Zoe came flying in through the cat door with her tail at full-fluff. So that’s a good sign. She knows the door works both ways, and she knows “inside” is safe. I’ve had cats who never figured out either of those things.