Cat Cam Roams Seattle
December 6, 2008 4:01 PM   Subscribe

More catcam goodness (previously on Mefi). Cooper the cat roams his Seattle neighborhood. Via Phinneywood, an excellent neighborhood blog about the Greenwood and Phinney neighborhoods in Seattle. posted by rossination (31 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The photos are cool and all, but it really makes me nervous that he's outside and crossing the street. Don't mean to be a killjoy, but cats should stay indoors unless they live in a rural area.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:13 PM on December 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

I rather liked the comment 'The world is not a gated community': cats are outdoor animals, who we hold in relatively safe captivity. If they go outside, they live in a much more dangerous world, where their risks are probably a little closer to that of an animal in the wild.

I've not seen much evidence that outside cats are not as happy with their somewhat more dangerous world. That said, I'd let my kids run around a friendly neighborhood without supervision, too.
posted by LucretiusJones at 4:39 PM on December 6, 2008

It would be fun if the photos were tagged with GPS info.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:49 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Should attach a wifi sniffer and do cat-stumbling.
posted by acro at 5:07 PM on December 6, 2008

My cat thanks you for the intel on enemy cat within local area. No doubt this will be invaluable in the stuggle to come.
posted by Artw at 5:10 PM on December 6, 2008 [5 favorites]

Intel suggests enemy cat lives up around 81st, and so no action to neutralised will be required at this time.
posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on December 6, 2008

I love this more because I live in Seattle, don't I? Doesn't matter. Completely adorable.
posted by Shutter at 5:16 PM on December 6, 2008

Ha ha. Enemy cat is clearly no territorial threat if he allows himself to be subjected to this. Threat assesment: minimal.
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

My cat comes and goes thru a cat door. Still i think the intel I would gain would be on the order of:
bedroom ceiling•bedroom ceiling•bedroom ceiling•bedroom ceiling•water bowl•kitchen counter• sofa cushion• sofa cushion• sofa cushion• sofa cushion
posted by pointilist at 5:45 PM on December 6, 2008

...cats should stay indoors unless they live in a rural area.

Only if you want your cats to maximize the amount of time they have on Earth while unhappy.
posted by DU at 5:50 PM on December 6, 2008 [6 favorites]

Just like kids, cats seem happiest and healthiest to me when they're allowed outside to cross streets and poke around in bushes. IANAC.
posted by Shutter at 5:58 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cats are perfectly happy living indoors, and live longer. When I was a kid, we had outdoor cats, and all but one of them died horribly either under the wheels of a car or by being killed by a dog. After my parents's last cat had to be rushed to the vet with a broken spine, where the vet RAN DOWN THE HALL to euthanize him because he was in so much agony, I vowed that my cat would never set foot outside. She's 16 now and perfectly content to hang around inside, eat, sleep, play with her toys, and look out the window plotting the death of the squirrel that lives in our tree. Had she ever gone outside, I have no doubt she'd have been flattened by a car by now, or she'd have met up with a Griffith Park coyote like half the cats in my neighborhood.

All that being said, it is fun to see what other people's camera-wearing cats get up to.
posted by OolooKitty at 6:04 PM on December 6, 2008 [4 favorites]

Some Cats are perfectly happy living indoors...

FTFY. Our 3 cats had a serious case of cabin fever while they were indoors and it was getting worse. "Accidents" everywhere, fighting all the time, scratched everything. Then we started letting them outside. No more stress for them or us and much improved behavior.

Of the roughly 10-15 cats my wife and I have owned over the years, individually or together, only 1.5 have ever been killed by cars. (The .5 is one that just disappeared one day. Maybe killed, maybe just got tired of us.)
posted by DU at 6:20 PM on December 6, 2008

Cats are perfectly happy living indoors, and live longer.

"Cats" are no more a monolithic entity about whom blanket personality assumptions can be made than human beings are. I've known cats who would hate living their entire lives indoors.

But I can understand all too well the dangers cats face even in a relatively rural town with roads nearby.

I am aware of no practicable solution that accounts for both. Maybe a tether, but many cats would hate that. Maybe one of those ultrasonic fences?
posted by JHarris at 6:20 PM on December 6, 2008

This is something I've wanted to do ever since I had a rabbit when I was 12. Very cool, rossination!
posted by seagull.apollo at 6:20 PM on December 6, 2008

Cooper seems to be more of a loner than Mr. Lee (previously on MeFi). I think he could take or leave being outdoors. Some cats would hate being outdoors. I hope technology advances quickly so that catcams can be much smaller (the size of the current cam could be a serious handicap in certain situations).
posted by kindalike at 6:43 PM on December 6, 2008

OMFG! i had a cat that looked just like cooper BEFORE i became allergic to cats. cooper makes me want to have a cat even if it kills me. so cute! and grock, AWESOME IDEA. i wish i had thought of that :D
posted by liza at 6:51 PM on December 6, 2008

I like the cat-cam idea but its charm is that it's a novelty.

I used to let my cats out (suburbs and city). I had a cat who got hit by a motor vehicle twice (the second incident killed him) and who was (in between the car accidents) bitten by a neighboring tomcat so badly he got infected and had to have a drain inserted. Had another cat disappear, too. One of my cats used to kill mice, shrews, and birds and leave them for me. Another one used to climb trees and sit and mew on a high branch; she dislocated a leg jumping down, finally.

My present cats live indoors and seem happy . . . and, too, I suspect a greater number of small wild animals are alive as a result.
posted by Peach at 6:56 PM on December 6, 2008

oh people please, cats are at their best outdoors. my perdi not only would prowl about town, he brought us one of his babies to raise with us.

i couldn't believe it when he came home with a baby male cat, hanging from his mouth.

he took his son out of a litter he had with an ... ahem ... indoor cat.

how did i know? i asked him to take to his girl and, sure enough, took me to the house where there was a cat with a new litter. prowler and a bachelor but a sweetie daddy at heart.

i miss my perdi and pastrami. yeah. i named his baby cat after a lunch meat. it's a long story :)
posted by liza at 6:58 PM on December 6, 2008

Anthropomorphize much?
posted by Peach at 7:03 PM on December 6, 2008

My felines are free-range. One lives out in the barn, hunts mercilessly, and never comes inside. One follows me around and only goes out if I supervise. The third is a self-styled troll who maintains a dog-scaring chokepoint at the bottom of the stairs and only goes outside by force. We have 15 acres of rural cat paradise, complete with pond for bird-watching. But 2 of 3 cats have voted for indoor life, much to my dismay. So I can't say whether indoor or outdoor is better, although I think that choice is best left to the cat.
posted by grounded at 8:17 PM on December 6, 2008

grounded : agreed. my cats were outtie/innies : they were mostly free-range but would hang out inside, especially during hurricane season or xmas which is traditionally a time of heavy cooking in P. R.
posted by liza at 8:25 PM on December 6, 2008

Our cat is 13 now, mostly an outdoor animal, only got lost once. We've done everything wrong; moved nearly every year since we've had her; she's lived in three states and innumerable houses, sometimes not even with us. Lots of cats would've bugged out by now, but she's just decided that so long as she has sunshine to laze in, she's fine.

I would feel sad to have an indoors-only cat, but I do understand the arguments for it. Still, if I had super acute senses of smell, sight, and hearing, I would hate not to get outside and use them on occasion. I've seen some people build cat enclosures that are basically giant cat cages outside, with climbing logs and such; that would be better than a windowsill, at least they'd get fresh air.
posted by emjaybee at 8:37 PM on December 6, 2008

My cat once brought home half a tuna sandwich and a whole cigarette. A cat-cam would have answered many questions.
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 PM on December 6, 2008 [4 favorites]

I happened to see frozen pizzas being made on TV tonight, but I missed the Cats 101 special. Did anybody manage to see it? I find these images absolutely captivating. Cats have such interesting attention models: intense focus, coupled with complete disregard. Incredible animals...
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 9:50 PM on December 6, 2008

Indoor or outdoor cats aside, I think the photo evidence clearly shows lawn ornaments are designed to fuck with cats.
posted by pwnguin at 10:20 PM on December 6, 2008

My parents have two outdoor-only cats, Lulu and Avatar. One came with the house, and one just started hanging around when he was a kitten. He got along with the other one and the dogs, so we just kept feeding him. One of them lived around 15 years, the other one is still alive (though he's probably only about 11 years old.) We neutered\spayed them, and got them their shots, and they've always seemed to do well. I can't really imagine either one as an indoor cat, as they were both born to outdoor cats and have pretty wide ranges.

My parents also have a pretty large tract of land, though. I live in the city now, and if I got a cat, I really don't know what I'd do. Having always had a lot of land, I feel weird confining animals to my house (even though I know it's common, it just feels unaccustomed).
posted by !Jim at 12:01 AM on December 7, 2008 is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:04 AM on December 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

It would be wrong, but somehow ironic, if this cat were run over by the Google Street View truck.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:17 AM on December 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

i think i'll wait until catcams can fit unobtrusively on the tag.

and i have to say that i've had indoor cats for many years, but now that i live where we have a yard with good places to be a kitty, i've never seen my male cat so happy. the female we brought home from the shelter was very decidedly against being kept indoors, to the point of literally climbing the walls. she is now exuberantly joyous in indoor/outdoor life.

yes, it can be recognized that outdoor cats can live shorter lives. there is more risk. there is also more risk in going outside my own self. i'll take the risk. and i'll allow my cats to make their own choice there as well.
posted by RedEmma at 9:55 AM on December 8, 2008

Just to add a factoid from the Humane Society: they say that the average outdoor cat lives 3 years, the average indoor cat lives 15-20 years.

So there's that.

I would agree, based on my own experiences, that it's hard to turn a feral cat into a totally indoor cat. Depends on the cat and its level of security/comfort. My own cat came from the shelter and has never set foot outside since, and never will if I can help it -- but again, I live on a VERY BUSY STREET and I hold little hope that the cat would last more than a day before becoming a pancake.
posted by OolooKitty at 11:34 PM on December 8, 2008

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