The family cat will whine, not meow, but a short abrupt sound stating he wants to go out. When questioned, of course he doesn’t answer but runs to the door and sits. If he is not followed he continues to whine. Once out, he enjoys the woods for about an hour. Many times he meows when he wants in, or will come when called. I am comfortable with this behavior, but others in the household are not.
The cat being a cat, does not always respond to his name. The calls become more desperate, with one of us going out and hunting for him. Anxiety over the ‘lost’ cat increases. With the fear that he may be lost, injured and unable to return our anxiety and growing frustration of not knowing result in the “why did you let the cat out?” The blaming anger towards another in a situation where we have no control.
Our increasing anxiety can be controlled. We can learn to identify tiggers, the situations that seem to increase our feelings of anxiety, fear, and how we react. We can learn how to control ourselves, our reactions to stressful, anxious moments. The most important part of learning how to control anxiety is to be able to identify what may cause an increase in these feelings.
The anxiety that comes with any action can affect how we respond to that situation in the future. We can shy away, decide not to let the cat out ever again, but listen to the meow’s and use earplugs.
Until we figure out what we can tolerate, what level of being uncertain, taking that risk is tolerable, that cat might just have to stay in.