Well, M and I are kinda sad about our cats, PrettyBoy and Floyd. No, despite the title of this entry, they didn’t die… but we had to return them to their previous foster home. We really loved the furry beasts, and they were fun to have around. But they were clearly not happy about not being able to go outside to hunt; they are big cats with a strong hunting instinct, who clearly disdained proxy toys. They did do some indoor hunting… we quickly “trained” them (or vice versa) to exchange palmetto bugs (read: fancy name for giant cockroaches, a problem when your house is surrounded by woods) for kitty treats (though PrettyBoy objected strongly if I took away the prey too quickly). We tried to let them get a taste for the outside by putting in a cat door to our screened-in porch, but they tore through the screen to get out onto the back deck. The deck is high off the ground, and they seemed to be looking longingly over the edge… we were afraid they might try to jump off, especially in pursuit of a bird or squirrel. We had to stop putting birdseed in the feeder, which was a shame since I liked watching the variety of birds that fluttered around our deck. Despite occasional frustrations (some scratched-up furniture, a prodigious amount of waste product that seemed to exceed the amount of food we gave them, tearing up all our screens trying to get to bugs), the cats had really grown on us, so we were reluctant to give them up… but our upcoming trip to Japan sealed the deal. We knew they wanted to live somewhere they could roam outside, and it just didn’t make sense for us to keep them anymore. So we drove an hour to the home of their previous owner, who gladly took them back (the conflicting cat has since passed away), and offered us visitation rights. His reassurances made us feel much better, knowing that they were going to a place they knew and liked, and where they could hunt bigger game than bugs. We’ll miss them, but maybe we’ll get another cat that doesn’t mind staying inside. On a strange afternote, we stopped for drinks at a convenience store on the way back (near his house), and overheard a guy there who said that the name of the puppy in his arms was Prettyboy Floyd… what an odd coincidence!