When Dad was sick, I would come to the house every day and Vinny would saunter over from the neighbor's and flop over for a belly rub. After a while, he started leaving me dead mice and I knew it was love.
I had to transition him to an indoor cat, which was no easy feat. When we moved back to his old stompin' ground here at my parents house, I was worried that he would want to go out again so I carried him around outside to calm his wandering ways. He seemed content to sit on my lap without trying to jump down so I let him loose one day and he just hovered around the front yard.
We did that a little bit each day and then I let him out in the backyard last Saturday.
I watched him walk away and went inside to try not to worry about him. I felt like I was sending my child off to kindergarten.
Will he get into a fight?
Will he get hit by a car crossing the street?
I didn't expect the reaction that Dino had. He cried and barked and ran from window to window trying to find Vinny.
I went outside a little while later and heard someone a few doors down shout out, "Vinny! Hey, buddy, where have you been?" Everyone knows him from before so everyone keeps an eye on him. I only let him out when I come home from work because I'm not comfortable with leaving him out all day yet.
He's showing his appreciation by leaving me little gifts every day; a mole today, a bird tomorrow. He's quite a good little hunter. They never look hurt at all. They just look like they're sleeping.
"That's it. Go to sleep, my li'l frien...."
He seems more content and since he doesn't wander very far, I think I've done the right thing for him.