Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Meow-in, Meow-out

The cats have their own ways of letting us know its time to let them in. Miss P likes to jump onto the horizontal bar of the screen door, making it thump, and letting us know she's there. Mr. S would prefer to hang on the screen of the window.

We've been thinking for a while of getting some sort of cat door.

The need is 2-fold:
1. Let the cats in/out to get food when we are out of town
2. let the cats let themselves out instead of waking us up at 5 am (when we could be sleeping in).

We had one all picked out and a location too. Just beside the back door. But when we asked our current handyman, he said it probably wouldn't work there because of the size of the space and the necessary studs.

So, on to plan B. We debated a cat door in the garage, but then that would mean needing a cat door also from the garage to the house.

We thought about a door through the wall or window in the basement... might work, but would be harder to train the cats, as they are not used to getting in down there.

For plan C, we found a company that makes a cat door for sliding doors/windows. AHA. Just what we need. Only, it takes 10-12 business days to make and we are going out of town before that. So, next thought - make a temporary cat door in the window, out of a board. We got a board, cut a hole in it and stuck in temporarily in the window.

Guess what? the cats knew immediately what it was for. Unfortunately the bugs came in too, so we lowered the blinds. No problem say the cats. They've already been in and out the window several times tonight, pushing aside the blind and hopping from window sill to deck railing. We're planning on adding a ledge outside the window, but the cats seem to manage fine without it.

Both cats seem to have gotten the hang of the door. Ms. P is trying out the door here.

I used duct tape to narrow the door a little (to the same dimensions the permanent door will be) and the cats did just fine. Then I added a flap of material to try to keep the bugs out a bit - and to make it closer to what the real door will be like.

We WILL be ordering a permanent door soon, so that it will arrive not long after we return from vacation. That way the cats can continue letting themselves in and out (and in and out, etc) without letting the heat and bugs in.

In the meantime, this should work to let the cats come in to eat, without leaving them stuck inside (and trying to escape when the neighbor comes to feed them).


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