Our house is on a street (it’s called a “court,” but as it is not a cul de sac, that is an issue of constant mystery to me) that dead-ends into a wall that blocks much of the sound of a major freeway. Given this, and the fact that I am generally paranoid about the safety of our pet, Sydney is not allowed outside. But, oh! How he does dream of the outdoors. He’s not sure what exactly is out there, but he seems pretty convinced that it’s much better than what we’re offering him inside the house. When we’re hanging around the backyard, he can be counted on to be continuously yowling at a window, or at least generally looking wistful in some window or other. See?
Eventually, all the meowing was just too sad for us to deal with; we had to find a non-terrifying (for me) way to let the cat enjoy the outdoors, if only for our collective sanity. The solution, which I’m sure makes us look like crazy people, was a little kitty harness– now he knows that, if he wants to go outside, he has to have some supervision, as well as the harness, with which he has forged a tentative peace. (The first time I put it on him to get him used to it, he alternated between crouching and sprinting at top speed around the house. It was pretty hilarious for us, but probably not as much for him.) In order not to look like The Most Insane Pet Owners Ever, we only ever hang out with our harnessed kitty in the backyard, and he seems grateful for it.
He has managed to wriggle free from the bonds of the harness a couple times, much to my terror, but in general this seems the best way not to keep him completely incarcerated– you know, in a house in which he has free reign and no shortage of toys and other miscellany to play with/destroy. (Turns out cats are crazy. Who knew?)