Sunday, October 02, 2005

Operation Downpour

So we've got these two young cats--littermates, adopted last year from the Humane Society. Cuter than the dickens, but quite destructive. They're called Mei and Tsatsuki (after the sisters in My Neighbor Totoro).

Early on we let them be 'indoor/outdoor' cats, and even bought a cat door so they could come and go as they pleased. They really liked that, but poor Mei was soon hit by a car (necessitating ridiculously expensive surgery). So bye bye cat door.

Now, Suki was so destructive that she actually completely ruined our carpeting in several spots--clawing her way down to the padding underneath the carpet. Crazy. We couldn't tolerate that, and had her declawed. Regrettable, but so would bringing her back to the Humane society. So she's not so much a threat anymore.

Now Mei on the other hand still has some of the tools Mother Nature intended her to have. In her quest for freedom she has torn gaping holes in (or otherwise destroyed) no less than five window screens, in an effort to create a hole big enough for her to come and go as she pleases, like the good old days.

These are not wimpy fabric screens, mind you. Well, actually the first one was, but the first time I replaced it I used metal. She goes right through them. Not right away--but she's persistant.

So we've been trying like heck to keep them inside. This is a tad difficult b/c their litterboxes are in the garage (and we do *not* want them inside, thank you) and we keep our car in the garage, so we have to occasionally open and close the door. Mei's preference is to be out all night, until about 4am--just 30 minutes before I have to be up for work. Nice.

Now when Mei is outside and she wants in, she starts meowing and in short order, jumping up to claw at the window screen. Never mind that the window behind it is closed and that she could never actually enter the house this way in a million years. No, this is actually a good strategy because I, sleep-addled and fearing another screen job, hear her going after my baby and actually get up out of bed, go downstairs, and let her in. She's trained me well... Sigh.

But I am happy to report that I've gained the upper hand in this relationship. Or I think so at any rate.

It so happens that the screen in question is directly over our (2d-story) bedroom window. And it also happens that Laurel & I keep a small tub in the shower, to catch the shower water while we're waiting for it to get hot so it doesn't get wasted (L's such the environmentalist.). Can you see where I'm going here? Well, it's only slightly more effort for me to bring said tub of water over to my window, open it up, and slosh some out onto the cat than it is for me to trek downstairs and let the dear thing in. (She can wait a bloody half-hour.)

I've gone through 3 iterations of the sloshing, and am hopeful that this will finally break her of the screen-slashing. If it doesn't work, we're having her declawed.


No comments: