You may recall I did a blog entry on the cat door I installed instead of going diving one Sunday afternoon. I've had a few people I've seen out and about ask me how it's been working out, and if the cats are actually using it. I'm sure this won't come as a total shock, but there is actually a bit of a story here. First of all, let me allay the fears some of you had about rats coming in through the door instead of the cats. So far I haven't seen any rats even remotely close to our house. Alex, our old cat is quite the rat killer, and I'm sure his reputation has spread quickly among the rat community. And the cat door is too high for shrews to come in, so no worries there either.
At first we kept pushing the cats out the door, pulling them really didn't work out too well for any of us concerned. It's amazing how wide cats can spread their legs and how sharp those claws are. So after pushing them through the door a couple dozen times, they finally started getting the message that this was some sort of mysterious thing that magically transported them from the house to outside. So they would go up to it, and bat it with their paws or just stand there waiting for the rubber door to swing up. So then we started lifting the flap for them, and they were more than happy to walk through it. But of course that didn't really solve the problem. We really didn't want to get up at 3 am to hold the flap up for them either.
But now there is good news and bad news. The good news is that both cats have figured out the mystery behind the door, and are actually pushing it open themselves and coming and going freely. They both seem to really enjoy this newfound freedom. It's kind of like when a teenager turns 16 and gets their drivers license. It opens up this whole new world to them full of all kinds of freedoms and new adventures. I think that's kind of how they feel, being able to go out whenever they feel like it, and more importantly, being able to come back in whenever they feel like it. We haven't been woke up at night to let cats out in a couple weeks now, so that's real progress. And I'm not a cat psychologist or anything, but it truly seems like the cats are happier and more content now too.
But then there is the bad news, and lucky for you I didn't happen to catch it with my camera. Alex, the cat pictured, is our oldest and most loyal cat. My son found him in the jungle when he was clearing an area for paintball about 8 or 9 years ago. He was a newborn and didn't even have his eyes open yet. His mother had abandoned him and he was covered in ants. So Josh brought him home, we had a neighbors cat who just had kittens nurse him and then we hand fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own. We always wondered though if somewhere in that whole process he sustained some brain damage. He always has this kind of vacant look in his big eyes, and frankly, hasn't always been the sharpest tool in the shed. But then he'll surprise you and show some real smarts at other times. When he would be shut in the house for too long and couldn't get anyone to let him out to go to the bathroom, he would always go in the bathtub. Now I agree it would have been more considerate if he would have used the toilet, but at least it was easy to clean up and spray out of the bathtub, and it sure beat him doing it on the carpet. So we were always happy that Alex at least had that much on the ball.
But now that Alex has a cat door, and can go out anytime he pleases, for 2 days in a row he decided to take a dump in Sarah's shower. Is it because he's just getting senile? Is that where we're all eventually headed in a few years? Is it because he's upset about something? Did we run out of his wet chow and he's trying to show his disapproval? Did he just forget about his cat door when mother nature came calling? Honestly I don't know the answer, and I'm not terribly concerned about it. After all, it's not in my shower and I don't have to clean it up. So as far as I'm concerned, I did my part and put the cat door in and the cats are using it, and I'm not exposed to any nasty cat mess in the morning, so life is good!
What do you say, are you ready for another virtual dive tomorrow and some more dive pics? See, I thought you'd appreciate my dive stories much more after a story like this. My apologies to those of you who read this over breakfast.