Mr. Jones, A Rescue Cat Success Story

Mr. Jones, A Rescue Cat Success Story

Mr. Jones is a rescue cat with questionable provenance, coming to me from Lethbridge, where he’d had a life as an outdoor stray, been adopted, and then returned by a family. Mr. Jones had been living outdoors for some time, and was used to being a tom on the prowl. I kept him indoors throughout the summer, but it became clear that he wanted desperately to go outside. We have magpies in Alberta that are quite cheeky (think a Blue Jay with twenty times the attitude) and they come to the balcony to look at him.

I live on a third floor walkup, and have a nice balcony. But Mr. Jones is a *big* cat, and not very graceful when he jumps and leaps. I was worried that he’d go over the railing if the magpies came to tease him. I purchased a halter and a leash, and set about training him.

He could only take the halter in two minute intervals at first — he went quite wild with it, and it was hard to get it OFF him when he’d had enough. But I was gradually able to build up the time he would tolerate it, and when I could get it off him without having to worry about being bitten, I started letting him head outdoors.

He’s very happy to be let outside. Mr. Jones enjoys watching the neighbours, traffic, and those magpies. He’ll now step into the harness — somewhat absent-mindedly, because he’s already so focused on going out. I can leave him out there without worrying about him jumping, and the sparrows and magpies are safe from his murderous intentions.

Heather Clitheroe