Thursday, January 10, 2008

Closet Cats: Lemme In


Don't you agree that cats often show off their high degree of intelligence, especially when in pursuit of their goal with sufficient motivation? They rarely abandon their chosen target.

For example, we have a bi-fold mirrored door on our bedroom closet. It is located in our bathroom area. My Oriental Shorthair, Hush Puppy is fascinated by it and discovered a technique by which he was able to insert his paw under the bi- fold, tugging at it tirelessly until within 30 minutes, the closet door was open.

The two other cats would immediately follow him to find a cozy niche amongst the blankets stored on the floor. Now that in itself wouldn't have been so bad, however there are several wire shelves in the closet that are extremely tempting to a mischievious kitty hell-bent to climb.

Finding a pathway to the shelves, substituting the blankets for a ladder. allowed the cats to leap to the top of the closet which holds planters containing silk ivy. They discovered that they could view the entire bedroom vista using this lofty perch.They also learned that simultaneously they could amuse themselves by knocking clothing off the racks, making a huge mess, which of course would irritate their human parents. So much fun!

After several attempts to prevent this activity by installing different types of barriers at the bottom of the door, by shoving different types door stops ( one that was even attractively designed as a pet paw) but Puppy quickly learned a method which allowed him to push the doorstop aside, rendering it useless.

We finally were forced to employ a clever Mr. Fixit, Hank, who altered the closet door mechanism. making it difficult for even the most persistent pussycat to open.

For weeks on end, Puppy tried valiantly to open that door. He would walk by it, eying it carefully, testing it's strength to see if by some stoke of luck it had weakened. Maybe he thought by some powerful magic the door would bend to his will. After almost a year now he still will test it as he walks by. Of course he remains thwarted and often gets very upset and frustrated.

So for those folks that think cats have short attention spans I am here to tell you this is not true. And if I leave the door open even for a moment unattended, Puppy immediately seizes the opportunity to dash in and I swear I can hear him snicker at me.

The other two never gave a hoot about trying to open it. They would only run in once he liberated the closet and proceed to make as much mischief as possible.

By the way, Puppy is now scoping out an alternate route into the closet. He knows that there is no closet ceiling and that the ivy can be defeated by leaping from a ledge that separates the shower area from the closet. He has recently started to walk on top of the shower door with a great look of determination on his face. I am concerned about if he will learn how to get out.

Don't you just LOVE the creative mind of a motivated kitty and the challenges that it creates?


skylark said...

We have sliding doors to the closets, and Nick has learned to catch his paw in the indentation on the frame and slide the door open. Then he and his co-hort, Mrs. Minniver (aka Grace) can explore to their hearts' content.

Vicki said...

Cats hava always amazed me with their curiosity, and determination to get what they want. I could sit and watch for hours at a cat looking at themselves in a convenient mirror. I have seen them do the funniest things, even attacking their own image, or something that is as fake as a Three-dollar-bill, just having the time of their lives. They can be such entertaining little creatures.

Anonymous said...

That is one smart cat, Jo. I frequently hear "BANG!" ... one of the kitchen cabinet doors on the bar slamming shut. After a while, I go open the door to see who's in there. Surprisingly, it's usually Pirate!

I'm waiting for Mouse to figure out how to open the doors on the bottom of the microwave cabinet where the cat food and cat toys are. I used to have a tiny bungee cord that I'd use to keep the doors shut, but um, it's mysteriously...disappeared? Hmmmm.

Ragtime RagaMuffin Owen said...

enjoyed your stories, there are always plenty with cats. Rani mentioned your blog.

check us out when you have time