June 7, 2014

For Laughs: The Kitty Conundrum

After years of begging and pleading (on my part - my husband was dead set against a cat) followed by weeks of research and perusing the classifieds, my boys finally have a pet - a sweet kitty named Grayson.

We picked him up on Memorial Day and my boys are in love with him.  He's snuggly, loving, and really good with my boys.  They chase him and put toys on him and not-so-gently pet him.  With their feet.  And he puts up with it.  He's possibly the most perfect cat.

My new baby.  Isn't he sweet?

Grayson seems to fit right in with my crazy, quirky, sweet bunch.  Hardly any problems and oh, so easy to care for.

Until Wednesday morning.

Tuesday night, Grayson decided scratching at and pulling up the carpet by my bedroom door was a good idea.  Since it was late and I didn't want to figure out a solution using my sleep-fogged brain, I followed my husband's suggestion to put Grayson in the bathroom overnight.

Being the nice kitty momma I am, I made sure to put the essentials in there for him - litter box, bed and blanket, etc. - before shutting the door and going to bed.

Wednesday morning, I learned something.

Grayson can open drawers.

Not a big deal until this happens -

That is the open drawer against the closed door.  On the inside of the bathroom.

This is how we took the photo.

Because we were on the OUTSIDE.

And this is how far we could open the door.

To make matters worse, Grayson decided the drawer was a fantastic place to curl up and relax.

It was like one of those locked room mysteries.  The kind where you have to escape using only the tools on hand - a piece of rope, a screwdriver, and a piece of gum.

I documented the whole thing on Facebook.  Because that's how I roll.

The original post:

Nothing like waking up to a problem that requires some creative problem solving.

Here's what's happening - our kitty is trapped in the bathroom.

Apparently, he knows how to open drawers.

Normally, that wouldn't be a problem since we don't keep a whole lot in those drawers. However, the drawer he chose to open is right next to the door. The door was closed when he opened the drawer and now we can't get the door to open more than a fraction of an inch. He keeps sitting in the drawer, which adds to the problem because we can't close it while he's in there.

There is a window, but it is securely latched.

I've set my future engineer, [my 12yo], to come up with a solution. I'll work on one as well. I'll keep you informed on our progress.

What a way to start the day!

In the comments, I apprised people of the situation as it developed.

  This is how far it will open. I'm now dealing the the not-so-unexpected problem of the kitty grabbing at things I stick under the door and through the crack.
Yep.  It's the same picture as above.  Posting it in order this time.

Attempt #1 - wire hanger bent, attempted to push the drawer shut. Attempt failed and I nearly lost the hanger to the kitty.
 Attempt #2 - grippy drawer liner on the tip of a chopstick. Attempted to scoot the drawer shut. Not enough grip.

Used red electrical tape because...well, just because.

 Attempt #3 - tried to open the window from the outside. Securely locked. Dang it. We're too good at that.
Attempt #4 - handle on my pliers. Enough grip, but as we closed the drawer, we ran into another problem.

 The more the drawer closes, the less the door opens. So I have less room to maneuver and my pliers no longer fit through the opening.
Reusing pictures again.  Keeps the story flowing smoothly.

This is when we started getting creative.

 Attempt #5 - pliers taped to the wire hanger. Heavy enough to push the drawer closed. But when pushed under the door, the wire hanger isn't strong enough to support the pliers. Can't raise them into position.
Those are my toes.  Aren't they lovely?

My 12yo decided to get in on the action.

Attempt #6 - [12yo] tried luring the kitty to close the drawer using a kitty treat on the end of a stick. The kitty stole the treat. Drawer is still open.
Not sure what's in his hair.  He's a kid.  It happens.

Attempt #7 - taped a sturdy length of wood (aka stick) to my contraption. Now it's too thick to go under the door. Sigh.

At this point, I had been working on the problem for almost an hour.  I hadn't had breakfast, by 2yo was climbing on me, and Grayson was meowing pitifully.  Quite discouraging.

A well-meaning friend commented on my status:

  Ours did the same thing when he was little. Had to pop the hinges off the door and tape the drawer shut with blue paint tape so it doesn't mess up the wood! Good luck!
That was encouraging.  Okay, no.  No, it wasn't.  All I could picture was my husband having to repair the damage, grumbling about how much he hates cats while giving me the evil eye.

I hate getting the evil eye.

Continuing on...

 Attempt #8 - removed the pliers, kept the wire hanger and stick. Sturdy enough, but I need more weight on the end or better leverage to get the drawer to close.

My toes again.  I know you love seeing them.
 I was getting frustrated.  It seemed NOTHING was going to get that kitty out without incurring costly property damage.  So I blew off some steam by doing a selfie.

So lovely.
Then I tried a little recon.  I slid my phone under the door and snapped a picture.  Had to do it quick before my sweet kitty decided it was a new toy and pulled it under.  That would have been bad.

Do you see how close it was?!  And yet, I couldn't get it open.  I may have cried out in frustration - a combination of a growl and scream of rage.  GAAAAHHHH!!!

Seeing how close it was, I had to try just one more time before giving up.

I shoved my wire hanger/stick contraption thingy under the door and jiggled it in the direction of the drawer.  It didn't feel like it did anything except entice the cat to sit on it.

Which he did.

Several times.

My heart sank.  That was it.  I had no more ideas.  I was in store for the biggest "I told you so" from my husband who claimed cats were more trouble than they were worth.

Just for kicks, I tried the door.

It opened.

I screeched with joy, snapped a picture, and hugged that darn cat before singing my own praise on Facebook.

SUCCESS!!! I deserve some sort of a medal or something.
Attempt #8 worked. Eventually. It just took a bunch of tries and the kitty pushing down on the stick to provide the necessary leverage. Yay!!!

I saved the day!  Grayson was freed, nothing was damaged except my pride, and I wasn't going to get the evil eye!  Hooray!

Grayson rewarded me with a sweet kitty lap snuggle while I tried to gather the drawer-closing, door-opening supplies.  He was quite grateful.  And in the way.  Of course.

So, with that incredibly frustrating event, Grayson was officially initiated into our family of crazy mischief-making, sweeter-than-chocolate, can't-live-without boys.

And I'm still outnumbered as the only girl.

I love it.

~ Lysandra

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