Simon started as an indoor cat but became an outdoor cat
Simon started his life as an indoor cat, together with my other cat Zorro. Those two cats were the same age (Zorro a couple of weeks older). We bough two cats instead of one so that they should have the company of each other.
We thought that for indoor cats it was important with cat company. We did live in a house, but had decided to move into an apartment. So I did not let my cats become outdoor cats then. I thought they would like being outdoor cats. But I did not want them to get the taste for an outdoor life they would later be robbed of. So the cats were used only to an indoor life, where they could roam freely through the full house. And they had a lot of climbing and scratching places. We then moved on to live in the apartment as planned. We lived there for about 4 years, during which Simon and Zorro were indoor cats. In the apartment as well as in the house, they were allowed to roam freely, and they still had plenty of space, and lot of scratching places.
When we moved to a house again, the cats were allowed to become outdoor cats
When the cats were almost 4 years, we moved to a new house with a beautiful garden. Both cats were allowed to go out as much as they wanted. Zorro trusted in humans, and disappeared one day, so Simon became alone. Simon mourned Zorro for many weeks, calling for him day and night in same way as he called for me when I was missing. It was heartbreaking. Even worse for me since I did not know what had happened to Zorro myself, only that he was lost.
Simon was now living as an outdoor cat as much as he wanted. This meant different things depending on weather. In summer, it meant he was out most of the time, with the exception for going in to eat, and some social visits. In the winter time, it meant he was an indoor cat except when doing his nature needs and patrolling his area after the meals. When it was raining a lot, it meant I had to open the door a lot. He did want to go out, but not in too much rain. So he checked to see if it was getting good enough to go out. Simon had been living many years together with Zorro. So Simon was used to being around other cats. When Zorro died, Simon approached cats very nonchalantly, expecting them to be as used as him to live with other cats. He did after a while adopt to them not wanting to be together, but he did not consider cats as a threat until he got old. Specially if Simon saw black cats he did approach them, probably still missing Zorro, just like me.
Being an outdoor cat carries risks, yet I did not doubt Simon preferred that to being locked inside
When Simon became and outdoor cat, I got a lot of new worries to think of. He could be run over by a car (I still awaken by car running to fast in the street). He could be eaten or seriously hurt by a dog. This was true worries, no doubt, specially since Simon did not give way to dogs. Simon could be hurt by other cats, and that did happen at least two times. He could get infected. In fact, when he died, he had something giving him a fever. Yet, in spite of all these risks, there was no doubt in my mind what Simon wanted. As long as he did not know what being free outside was, he hopefully did not suffer from being an indoor cat with his mate Zorro. But from the moment he had started going out in freedom, this was worth so much for him. He went out often. He did get in often as well, to socialize, and in the beginning to sleep safely after a long night. Yet, it meant so much for him to be able to go out freely. He went out on his inspection walks, patrolling the area. He did get outdoor just to lie in the sun. He had a house full of Windows, yet he preferred the sun outdoors. He went out and followed us outside. He went out and rested under a bush somewhere. He sat and studied what happened on the street. He belonged outside. I do realize it is less safe for a cat. I do think the same thing goes for people. Yet we prefer the possibility to go out. So do cats. I know many people who has bought indoor cats, only to allow them later to become outdoor cats.
Simon was castrated. This was a decision we got forced to take, to stop him from fighting Zorro about who owned the house when they were pure indoor cats. Castration did not stop Simon from spraying, but it did likely still take in full. I hope it did not, Simon was so special that he definitely should have children of his own. I know he met with female cats, and I do hope he has offspring in the neighborhood.