Monday, August 2, 2010

A house is not a home without a cat

This week we took the cats to our new casita for the very first time. It was also the first time they have been to the farm since October, when Mister escaped into the darkness and Shady pooped in the car on the way there. As you might expect, I was a tad nervous about it and so were the cats when we took the carriers out of the closet last Tuesday morning. They see those things and immediately must think, "VET!" But they were reasonably quiet on the way to the farm and even when the farm dogs came close to the car to say hi.

We have a little terrace off of our living room, so we decided this would be a great place to put the litter box (especially since our house is thimble-sized), but it needed to be screened and a door needed to be added to make it accessible for them. The screening process was surprisingly easy: We bought some chicken wire--no one here has regular bug screens right now, at least not the kind with mesh small enough to actually keep bugs out--and had it attached all around the porch in about an hour. Nick worked on the cat door while I started dinner and by the time we sat down to eat, the cats could roam in and out.

The problem is this: Our cats do not understand how to maneuver doors. That's not entirely true. They manage to get the bathroom door open whenever it's occupied without a problem. But a cat door? Perplexing! I showed them about 40 times that the flap swung in both directions, that they could push it and it would open, that it wouldn't bite them. No dice. In the end I ended up having to remove the flappy part, at which point they both ran in and out, in and out freely. As soon as I put the flap back on, they were petrified again. Sigh. So as of right now the flap remains off.

The cats LOVED the house, though. I think they loved being with us, being able to go outside again (it's been too cold at the apartment to open the balconies), the fire... Shady was content enough to just sit by the fire, but Mister kept trying to sniff the wood stove. I hope he has enough sense not to burn himself on it. The dogs came up by the house and the cats were even somewhat ok with them. There were some growling sessions, but there were just as many sniffing sessions, too.

When it was time to go back to the city this weekend, I sensed that they were disappointed to leave the house. We'll be back tomorrow, no fear (and we're getting TV tomorrow! still working on the internet problem, but how nice will it be to see the news or a movie or House or something!)... soon the cats will be able to drive themselves there and back!