Tom Tom, my cat, shares the same name as a popular vehicle navigation system, the Tom Tom GPS.
Naturally, Tom Tom likes to explore.
Fortunately, he’s got a microchip to make sure we can find him if he gets lost.
But his microchip was long overdue. I placed it in him just a few weeks ago.
I know, I know. I’m a vet. I should have done this the day we adopted him. What was I thinking? (Or was I thinking at all?)When Santa brought Tom Tom Kitty Cat to our home on Christmas 2009, he was a wee kitty, only 4 months old. We admired his soft, fluffy fur and the unique one-inch, white tip on his otherwise all-black coat. Santa knows cats!
His youth pretty much dictated that Tom Tom would be an indoor cat.
But Tom Tom got bigger. And the weather got better.
It became quite evident that he had been raised outdoors by a skilled queen (his momma). Queens teach their kittens to hunt. And the way Tom would watch the birds outside our window reminded me of a kid in a candy store.
We remained firm in our decision that he would stay inside. There were too many dangers in the outdoor world to risk his health or his life.
But Tom was incredibly unhappy. He started to bolt outside, and we would scramble to catch him. It was rather inconvenient to race after him on a rainy morning when the kids were due at the bus stop in 3 minutes — or to catch him when we were fixin’ to be gone for the day. But we did it.
He probably let out a huge sigh under his little kitty whiskers each time that happened.
Then one day — I think it was Mother’s Day — he got out and scrambled so quickly in to the woods that I couldn’t find him. Panic set in. We live on a dead end street, at the end of a cul de sac, so it’s rather quiet here. But as a vet, I’ve seen too many tragedies to give me a false sense of security.
I nervously checked from our deck above — nope, couldn’t see him. Every 30 minutes I would open the door and call out to him. NOTHING.
I looked at his food dish. It was empty and so was my heart.
I opened the door and rattled the food container.
I heard the leaves rustle, and Tom Tom raced toward me, his tail high in the air. He had burrs and leaves stuck in his fur, but he was FINE. And he was happy.As time went on, we started letting him out a little more. I made a point to do it only when the food dish was empty. I figured a grumbling belly would drive him home. And it worked.
Now Tom Tom goes out first thing in the morning. And he is almost ALWAYS home for the night. I really don’t like taking a chance on him being out all night. He does have a curfew. but, being an adolescent kitty, he has been known to test it.
I breathe a big sigh of relief every time he comes home safe and happy, I realize life outside is risky for a kitty, and if we lived on a busy street it would not happen.
Either way, I’d still have him microchipped. Did you see the story about the cat that was found in New York City? She had somehow ended up there from Colorado — only she knows how — but she was found and reunited with her family.
Good for them for planning for the unexpected.
Have any of you microchipped your pets?