When we had a new backdoor in the House of Chaos installed Grumpy Man faced a tough decision: mar the beautiful new white plastic door and pick up drill and saw in order to make a hole for the cat-flap ? Or pick up hammer and chisel and create a whole new orifice in the wall for the cats to enter and exit from ?
After throwing one more loving glance at the shiny new door he decided for the latter and set Bouncing Psycho loose on the innocent unsuspecting wall. The result was a nice hole perfectly shaped for fitting a new cat-flap.
50 centimeters above ground-level.
Now, for the adult cats this was not a height that was out of reach. They could jump, breach the flap, and climb in without much ado and with their usual impeccable feline gracefulness. Even Bean Sidhe, with his massive form and his equally massive dislike of having to jump and haul said massive form up, managed the feat with smooth yet grumpy efficiency. But then Hrimnir came into our lives and the House of Chaos and we were facing a new problem: he couldn’t yet jump that high AND breach the cat-flap at the same time. The tyke simply didn’t have the strength.
What to do ?
The Mistress did what every self-respecting Cat-Mother would do when facing such a conundrum: she picked up a few stray bricks, an empty jerrycan and a wooden box and proceeded to produce a nice comfortable cat-stairs. Which you can admire in the pictures below. A nifty -dare I say genius ?- solution indeed ! Yet it had one drawback… You see, the new cat-stairs are located directly upon a small grate which connects with a drain. When Cleaning Scourge has to empty her buckets of filthy cleaning-water she has to do so in the Garden of Chaos and for exactly that purpose we had this tiny grate which connects with a drain. Which is now covered with cat-stairs. Hmpf !
Fortunately the solution is a temporary one. When Hrimnir has reached a suitable size, and would therefore be perfectly capable of entering the cat-flap all on his own and without the aid of the cat-stairs, said cat-stairs will have to go. The Mistress is a firm believer in the adage of “a sound mind in a sound body” and the sooner the tyke is capable of the incredible gymnastics the 50 cm-high cat-flap demands of our feline denizens the better.
There is an added bonus to having a cat-flap that high and without cat-stairs… Because it is such a bother to negotiate it our dearly beloved furry friends are forced to restrict their daily ins-and-outs to a strict minimum. During Summer, and the warmer days of Spring and Fall, the backdoor usually stands open in order to let in the nice clean air and the free heat of the sun. (So far the Belgian Government has failed to tax us for that free heat and I sincerely and devoutly hope they will never stumble upon the idea. You think I’m over-suspicious ? The Belgian Government IS taxing us for the rainwater that runs off our rooftops. No kidding.) With the backdoor open at nearly all times our furry friends are free to wander in and out at leisure. And as long as we are having dry weather the pitter-patter of tiny velvety paws is not accompanied by tiny dirt-encrusted paw-stamps all over the floor. But when it rains… oh boy… There is a copious amount of mud in the neighbourhood and our feline denizens seem determined to bring all of it in.
It was worse when we still had our giant 40-kilo German Shepherd, but that’s another story, and the reason why I still have a pile of old towels on the washing-machine near the backdoor.
But when the door is closed the cats are forced to use the cat-flap and it tends to annoy them half of the time so they restrict their movements and that is fine by me.
Another added bonus, and one we hadn’t foreseen but are now perfectly happy with, is that the other cats in the neighbourhood don’t know yet what this cat-flap is for and how to enter through it. You-Ling, our fleeting Lady Ghost, has the nasty habit of relieving herself on Bouncing Psycho’s clean bed-linens. With the backdoor closed she can’t come in in order to do her dirty job. And to say the truth, I really don’t want to feed the entire feline neighbourhood as well. It’s expensive enough as it is having 4 furry friends with ravenous appetites. But we currently have 3 or 4 kittens (the count is still unsure) and one adult visiting the Garden of Chaos at a regular basis and despite throwing them some titbits from time to time I don’t intend on feeding them wholesale. They have owners. Let them pay for it.
And then there is the second cat-flap in the Kitchen-of-Chaos-door. *NASTY EVIL GRIN* This one is a beaut. ‘Coz it’s a tricky one. It sticks. It wedges. It lodges. It even jams. You have to butt your head really hard against it in order to get it to open. You have to wring your body through it with force. And if you aren’t fast and fleet enough it catches the tip of your tail. But it teaches our feline overlords that -even though they may have a Masters’ Entrance- they still have to negotiate it with care. And for a price.
Behold the magnificent Cat-Stairs !!
And Hrimnir deciding he didn’t want to go in anyway. Usually they do that standing in the door you are holding open for them, thus… triumph !
PS: We are celebrating Animals’ Day today !! YAY !! Stinky Goodness from Pouches for all of our feline denizens !!
But tomorrow we will be in sad remembrance of Critter, our beloved woofie, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on October 5th 2006.
There will be a tribute for her tomorrow.
Hmm… would they have cat-flaps on the Friday Ark ? Don’t tell me all those hydrophobe felines have to negotiate a boarding plank… *shiver* The horror !!