A few weeks ago, my indoor/outdoor cat used up one of his 9 lives. We are not quite sure just how many lives he's got left so after he survived getting hit by a car, we made the painful decision that he will now be an indoor-only cat.

Poor Pokey. People in my neighborhood know him by name. He took it upon himself to be the Neighborhood Watch cat and he took his "job" very seriously.

He randomly would go after innocent dogs whose owners just happened to be walking down our street, even attacking (and causing blood to shed) a Doberman who lives down the street.

There were some dogs he wouldn't bother because he "knew" them.

My neighbors didn't mind him coming to visit and some even remarked that the squirrels were more under control because of Pokey.

That Friday afternoon when Pokey got hit by a car changed it all. He was lucky. He had to have his tail amputated but he was still alive.

So now he is adjusting to life on the inside.

Pokey was very happy to run freely outside and spend his nights indoors. Now his life has drastically changed. He still has the urge to go outdoors. He seems to have gotten over losing his tail; the first week was sad watching him go to lick the tail that was no longer there.

I feel badly for Pokey. He did love the outdoors but for his safety, his life had to change.

What made him so happy would probably have shortened his life had we given in and allowed him to return to his routine.

I believe in time he will be happy again. He now has to adjust to life with 3 other cats (who were always indoors). Outside he was king but inside he is one of 4.

Being a responsible pet owner is tough sometimes. We need to do what is best for him and although he protests; we have to stand firm.

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