Monday, March 3, 2014

Guess Who?

Guess who suddenly decided to teach himself how to open doors?

Well, the pronoun has already eliminated two of the suspects.  So you know it wasn't The Diva ...  
"Why bother to learn how to open a door?  That's what servants are for." 

And you know it wasn't The Flying Monkey ...

   "Who me?  I'm just laying here looking cute!  Please excuse my bedhead." 

So that just leaves the boys. 

But it wasn't The Paragon ...

"Nope, wasn't me either ... I am perfect, don't you read?"

And it also wasn't The Hunk ... 

"Door?  What door?  Yawn."

So by process of elimination, that only leaves ... yep, you guessed it.  It was The Baby.
"Yep, it was me.  What's my prize?"

I swear, as anyone reading this as my witness ... this cat is going to be the death of me.  As I have mentioned, his blog moniker could easily have been The Train Wreck or The Money Pit, but it could also easily have been Houdini.  He has yet to prove it, but I would lay odds he could walk on water or upside down on the ceiling if he chose to. And apparently sometime between yesterday and today, he has learned to open doors.  Which presents, as you might imagine, all sorts of possible issues.  I don't "think" he has the strength to open the heavier exterior doors (the front door, the door from the den to the garage, or from the den to the back door leading onto the patio).  But I am making a major mental note not to test that theory anytime soon.  All of those doors will remain securely locked.  But he most definitely can (as he proved twice in succession this evening) open the lighter interior doors at will unless they are locked.  

How do I know?  Well, it's like this.  This past summer, we moved from our previous abode to a 3 story townhouse with an attached one car garage.  As I hate to park in enclosed spaces (it brings out some sort of latent claustrophobia), the garage is used for storage, to house an extra fridge/freezer, to store the rolling trash and recycle bins, and it is also where the litter boxes are. We have three oversize boxes there, and another smaller one on the third floor in the master bath.  The door from the den to the garage was outfitted with a cat door when we moved in, one with a latch so that in the event we wanted to keep the cats in or out of the garage temporarily (shutting them all in the garage so we can Furminate, for example, or, as was my intention this evening, to keep them OUT of the garage so that I could raise the door to roll out the trash can without the cats escaping), such a thing would, in fact, be possible. 

Well, theoretically anyway.  Because the thing is .... The Baby does not enjoy being thwarted.  When he wants in, he wants in.  When he wants out, he wants out. And invariably, whatever side of any given door that he is on is ... you guessed it ... the wrong side.  Which is why the little sliding latch on the cat door was toast in about a week and a half. So now when I want to keep the cats in the garage or out of it, there is some finagling to be done.  

Tonight when I got home, it being the evening before garbage day, I slid the piece of particle board I have for this purpose between the cat door and the door-door to block The Diva and The Hunk from entering the garage until I had opened the garage door, rolled the trash bin out to the street, and shut the door again.  Yep, particle board.  Classy, right?  But see, there is no point in buying and installing another cat door, because I know The Baby.  Once he does something once, it becomes part of his repertoire, so I knew it would only be a matter of time (and not much time, either) before the latch on the new cat door was broken, too.  So I figured I would, in the interest of saving myself time, money, and aggravation, just skip the part where I bought and installed a new cat door, only to be in exactly the same predicament I'm in now.

I also know, unfortunately from past experience, that the particle board barrier might thwart The Diva and The Hunk, (because they are reasonably normal), but it is not going to stop The Baby.  See, when The Diva and The Hunk, again, being reasonably normal (reasonably being the operative word ... they ARE still cats, so normalcy is not really something that is high up on their list of priorities), encounter something like a piece of particle board that is blocking the door through which they usually pass, they treat it as a human might treat a locked door or a posted sign reading DO NOT ENTER.  In other words, they figure "Hey, Mom must be cleaning the latrines.  Better come back later." 

The Baby, on the other hand, does not view it that way at all.  If there is something between him and wherever it is he happens to want to go, he will simply do his level best to remove whatever impediment is in his way. Which is how, apparently, he taught himself to raise the particle board up enough with his paw to get his head under it and then shimmy the rest of his body under, and thereby bypass said impediment.  Which, therefore, makes it necessary, on garbage day (or evening), to lock him in the downstairs half bath off the den, and then slip the particle board barrier in front of the cat door to bar The Diva and The Hunk from entering the garage to use the facilities for the approximately ninety seconds during which the garage door is open to the outside.  

This system, while a bit of a PITA, has worked reliably now for some months.  Until this evening, when, as I was walking back into the garage (having just deposited the rolling trash bin in its position by the street) and was about to hit the button to bring down the door, I happened to hear a rattle of the particle board, and caught a glimpse of a little black paw.  The Baby was at the door, attempting to do his patented lift and shimmy move to gain access to the garage. 

 Whether he needed to use the litter box, or was just sick of waiting for dinner, I'm not sure, but there he was. So clearly, we will need to figure out another system of securing the perimeter against unauthorized escape by one very determined little black cat.  

Any ideas? 


  1. OMC a lock on the outside of the downstairs bathroom so he can't get out of there! Goodness you do have your hands full!
    Marty's mom

  2. Outsmarted by a cat. Been there, done that!

    Goof luck!

    --Purrs and woofs from Life with Dogs and Cats.

  3. LOL.. I'm kinda loving The Baby..

    a latch on the outside of the door?? Give him some nip to distract him from wanting to leave?

  4. Wow cats are so smart. Years ago our cat Baby opened a screen window when we lived in Brooklyn, this was when she was 1 so about 12 years ago. She was missing a week it was awful. We put fliers everwhere while searching for her I found two other lost cats and returne them to their owners. At the end of a week a women and her daughter found Baby. She got very sick two days later and nearly died, but again she pulled through. Since that time she has never ever tried to go outside and I never have our windows open with screens unless they are securely latched
    retro rover