Outdoor to Indoor Cat Part 2 – What Happened



in treeDear friends, 
With a heavy heart I’m sorry to say I’m dealing with a sudden, unexpected very sick  Ornji, who
had just seemed to do great becoming an indoor cat this past week…maybe too late (http:://favoritefurryfriends.info .  But doing best we can…
Seems he has a tumor on his liver. Being HIV positive he has always been at higher risk
with a weakened immune system, yet he has lived   outdoors (and in the basement)
with no problems the past three plus years.Then suddenly, just before his dental cleaning
10 days ago he started showing signs of slowing down, sleeping in the garage and not being  so animated at which time I used the opportunity of the dental cleaning and anestetic grogginess to bring him indoors to a quiet ‘cat room’ I had long anticipated for him or another cat. . Ornji’s  blood tests before the dental cleaning were pretty normal. but, we learn that a pet can have something else going on that doesn’t show in blood panel, thus the ultra sound is necessary- and that’s where they found the tumor. Now we’re waiting 3-5 days to learn more about that. 
Maybe worse is that Ornji is not eating except for what I force feed him (gently in small
amounts) thru a syringe. Im trying to be optimistic but it’s tough with a sick cat who’s
not eating.  I’m doing breathing exercises and listening to calming tapes for myself while
staying mostly at home to monitor Ornji and trying to keep him as comfortable as possible.. There’s not much else to do until we get the
biopsy results… 
Just wanted to share this so you’ll know if I seem distant it’s not intentional.
I’ve also had my own health issues last three months (neck and sinus pain), which I think and hope are controlled  but now this. Not asking for sympathy but a prayer or two wouldn’t hurt, if you
believe in that… or just some good thoughts.
Hope you and yours are doing well. This is all part of life and having gone thru it before
you’d think it would get easier. Not so sure about that…  But I will utilize what resources 
I can, including you, my friends, with much appreciation. 
Thanks for listening,
Burt  for Ornji (and Zack)
PS Don’t think Ornji’s becoming indoor had much to do with his getting sick. He was already
showing signs of slowing down, as noted, before the move, though the move could have
added some stress, though, in his condition he really needed to be indoors I believe.  Catch 22.
One bit of good news is that Ornji did seem slightly better this second morning after, Saturday
May 8, including moving around more and drinking some water on his own in addition to the small amount of food I gave him orally (which seems to have stayed down) thru a syringe.
Not getting hopes to high but glad to be able to hang onto any bit of hopeful news
ornji on deck 1
ornji nice large silhouette on deck railOrnji new indoor home-room


Ornji BEFORE new indoor/outdoor crate confirguration… so Ornji can still be outside, only feet away from where he was in the picture. See below new crate configuration

Outdoor to Indoor Cat Part 2 – What Happened

Today, Friday April 30 was a historical day. After sharing the same property for over three years – Ornji mostly outside and Zack inside- Ornji and Zack finally met face to face. After reviewing literature that suggested letting one cat visit the other cat’s room and vice versa, I figured why not today. Everything else has been set. They’ve both established residence – for Ornji at least in his room.

So, after each cat visited each other’s room in the morning of 4-30 it was time to let them meet the SMELL in person! How did it go? Well, Ornji was under a table and when Zack came near he gave Zack one big hiss, but that was it. Could have gone better but could have been worse so thought it time to separate them a little longer.Mid-day we tried it again and the two were more cordial with each other. In fact, this time Zack was more of the aggressor, but both cats stayed around to eat near each other. So, I guess one could consider it a success. I would then alternate letting one of the cats have the whole run of the house while the other was in his room and, later, vice versa. Dinner time we tried it again and things seemed to go o.k. though neither cat seemed expecially ready to got out of their way to be friendly. Back to the rooms.Later that night once again the cats seemed to tolerate each other.


Already during the day I was missing our outdoor outings together, Ornji and me, beginning with the morning coffee, plus Ornji had definitely showed great interest to go back outdoors, squalling ( if that’s a word) by the doors he instinctively knew led to the outside.  So, it came to me that some actually do let their cats out on a leash. If Ornji continued to be persistant I might try this. so, I did my due diligence, researching leashes and even found one ‘Pet Safe’ I had recently bought for our ill-fated RV trip. I brought it to the pet store for them to check out and show me how to put it on a cat.Turns out it was the top-rated leash-harness all-in-one . Bought some pet tags, in case both cats were to go out and returned home. I did make an attempt to put the leash-harness  (not collar) on Ornji. I did get the collar with name tag on him with little problem, but the harness was another issue. He had ZERO INTEREST in that; in fact, I was worried that it would make him run and hide from me, so I immediately stopped. It was getting late and Ornji wasn’t so insistent this time about going outside so I held off  leash outdoor experiment for now. And, glad I did…


After more research I learned how hard leashes /harnesses really are to: 1) even get on a cat (you may only succeed after being scratched to pieces, and I wasn’t ready for that) and 2) if you get it on them good luck controlling your cat outdoors. I may give it another try, first in the house, sometime, but I don’t expect much. The literature says to move slowly and test in the house a few days before venturing outside.

OUTDOOR EXTENSION CRATE FROM INDOORSWhen  patio door is opened Ornji/cat goes directly from home to outdoors without escaping, unless he’s Houdini (and my first cat WAS Houdini, but this updated crate is more secure than the one 20 years ago.




I’m not sure I’m doing this more for me or Ornji, but I thought of another idea for still having an outdoor cat part-time.That would be by positioning the big wire pen I bought adjacent to the patio door so Ornji could walk directly from the house into the pen/crate without directly with little chance of escaping because of the seemless(?) connection of crate against patio door – unless Ornji was able to climb up and over the crate and escape outside (I had tried a similar thing with a much inferior pen about 20 years ago with my first cat, Juicy) and this DID NOT WORK. Juicy, God bless him, was strong and able to climb  the wire crate. (I did get him back).  But, again, this crate is much more secure than what I had before and , if Ornji did escape, he’s familiar with the outdoor turn and should come back. But, we’ll see. Just a possiblity. So, not 100% sure I will try this outdoor extension crate idea. No research on it, but late after noon I did run into one of my great vets -another real spoiler-who thought it a good idea to give Ornji this extra pleasure of being outside while contained. With her positive words I made up my mind I would give the outdoor extension a go this night or tomorrow. SEE BELOW FOR RESULTS….


This morning , Ornji was making noises after only 5 hours of sleep, so I let him out of his room after delaying it about an hour (7 am). He and Zack came and had breakfast fairly close to each other, which is what you’re supposed to do, according to the literature.  Then Zack and I went back to the bedroom to finish sleeping but when Ornji came down the hall it was Zack’s turn to hiss as Ornji approached ‘his’  turf. So, I closed the bedroom door, and this way Ornji could have the run of the house, except the closed off bedroom where Zack was with me and wouldn’t disturb Ornji. I think Ornji enjoyed mostly staying in the open hall closet before later returning to his room for some hard kibbles (he only had wet food in the morning).



So, I think, gradually, its’ working out. I’ve gone out of my way to try to make the indoors like the outdoors for Ornji – with real grass, catnip, toys all over, scratching posts all over, water everywhere and even a few food dishes around .  Also, I have just about every interactive toy but Ornji never was a big toy player nor tree climber. (We do have several cat trees including two in his room, plus litter boxes in his room and three more around the house. There are lots of hiding places and we have interactive toys, but Ornji has not been big on those lately. We try but, maybe later.  Best of all ,there are windows everywhere for Ornji to look out – he tried to scratch out the small screen opening in window above my desk overlooking the patio before I could close the main window, fully. And, in Ornji’s room he has a big window he has to jump up to and seems to enjoy that ‘perch’ within his open wire crate that includes a litter box  on one side, carrier on the other and grass and toys and water in the middle. What more is left to do to make Ornji comfortable?I think I’ve got that covered, so, hopefully things will just get better… but I will still miss out outdoor adventures together, including going down by the creek in backyard. But, lots of fun stuff to do inside, I guess and I will spend more time indoors with cats , or I might get too sad alone outside.




Got up early this Monday morning (6 am) as dawn broke to try out the new ‘Indoor-Outdoor Extension Crate’ with Ornji. The crate fit exactly as I had envisioned (as above), leaving a crate ‘door’opening whereby Ornji could go directly from house to, literally, OUTDOORS. I included a fencing extension ABOVE the crate so that Ornji couldn’t climb over the crate as  Juicy did 20 years ago.

So, as Ornji did one of his plaintiff ‘I wanna go outside’ calls, I opened the patio door carefully and Ornji proceeded to walk into the crate, looked around including trying to climb on the inner carrier to somehow escape through the roof. but, no luck Ornji.  He shortly came back in and a few moments later tried out his new outdoor extension again.  Later, in the morning he went out several more times. I was worried he might try to stay out there in the crate , but, fortunately, it was warm and I think he like the cooler house, but , no doubt, Ornji enjoyed feeling the outdoor air and sun for the first time in almost a week. I’ve set it up so if Ornji wants to stay out longer I can put my chair right next to his like the old times…

So, if you ever transition an outdoor cat to inside, I think this is a great way to keep your cat happy as an outdoor nee indoor cat.



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