During the 1990's we had a Siamese cat called Castor who went gradually blind over a period of two years. As a fully-sighted cat he had enjoyed going out during the day. Once he began to lose his sight, we knew he would only be happy if he could continue to go out.
Therefore, we made plans to make our garden cat-escape proof. While waiting for the work to be done, we allowed Castor to go out several times during daylight hours for fifteen minutes at a time. We did not want him out any longer than fifteen minutes for fear that he might stray into unfamiliar territory from which he would be unable to find his way home.
Castor often liked to visit the small sheltered housing development that is situated in a virtually car-free close off the quiet residential street that is next to ours. Knowing it to be a very tranquil place, I can understand why he so enjoyed spending time there. The bungalows and flats are set in a communal garden which has a wide lawn, flower beds and mature trees. On warm days, the residents sit out on high-backed wooden seats built for three and listen to birdsong, watch squirrels and gossip. The residents are not allowed to keep pets such as cats and therefore those who loved cats were always very pleased to see and make a fuss of Castor. Castor could easily get to visit the sheltered housing development by crossing our quiet, narrow, cul- de-sac - under supervision of course - and walking through a neighbour's garden.
When it was time for Castor's visit to his friends in the close to end, I would let him know by getting out the car and going and picking him up. As soon as he heard the car pull up, Castor would come running. He would then stand patiently by it waiting for me to get out, open the front passenger door and let him climb onto his seat. I often wonder what people who saw us drive off thought of Castor's taxi service.