Things don’t always go the way you plan. This is a tale of that very lesson.
We have two cats: Lily and Meeker. Lily is small and sweet and afraid of everything. Meeker is big, in charge, and loves to go outside.
Meeker loves going outside so much that he doesn’t care who he has to bother or what time he has to bother them to get there. If it’s 4AM and we’re all sound asleep, well that’s just too darn bad.
Me: *stirs, rolls over* 😴
(Repeat for about twenty minutes)
Meeker: MEOW MEOW *scratches carpet*
Me: *blearily admits defeat and lets him out*
This arrangement got old and irritating. So in early June, we installed a cat door, hoping that Meeker would let himself in and out without bothering us.
It worked great for a little while. Meeker no longer interrupted our sleep. And then, the small visitors started arriving.
Bunnies sure are cute, aren’t they? I’ll tell you something else about them: they aren’t fast.
Not fast enough to stay away from my cat’s mouth, anyway.
Meeker soon discovered it was great fun to catch bunnies and bring them inside through the cat door. He didn’t kill them. He liked to let them loose in various rooms and chase them as they jumped around.
I read that cats do this because they think we’re stupid kittens who don’t know how to hunt. He must have thought we were especially stupid because one night he brought in four bunnies.
I got really good at catching bunnies.
Meeker must have emptied all the nests he found because the bunnies eventually stopped arriving. But our animal troubles weren’t over.
A couple of weeks ago we went camping, comfortable with leaving the cats alone for a few nights. I grew tired of smelling like nature before the rest of my family, so I left early and headed home. I knew something was wrong as soon as I entered the house.
Our cats, who usually hate each other, were standing together at the top of the stairs, I believe in solidarity. The looks on their faces along with their meows said you won’t believe what happened.
I ventured into the dining room, where we set up the cats’ food. And my suspicions that something was wrong were confirmed. Their feeder had been ripped apart, the canister was missing, their extra bowl was completely empty, and their water was spilled.
The cats were orbiting my legs so I refilled their food and water and went in search of the canister, which I found in the back yard.
That was our first “encounter” with the raccoons, which I affectionately named Bonnie and Clyde.
Clyde is a huge raccoon (too big to fit through the cat door), so I imagine he sent Bonnie inside to do the dirty work, bringing out the canister for him. They ate every single bit of a week’s worth of cat food in one night.
So we had to start locking the cat door at night, which meant two things: 1. Meeker would start waking us up again, and 2. Bonnie and Clyde would get pissed over their new lack of access.
When they tried to get in the first night the door was locked, they flipped over a water bowl I keep out there for Meeker. Petty jerks.
That routine went on until two nights ago, when I forgot to lock the cat door.
I got up around 3AM to see if Meeker wanted to come in, and I realized my mistake but didn’t worry. Surely, Bonnie and Clyde would not still be checking if the door was locked, right?
I must have scared Bonnie mid-caper because there was cat food all over the floor and the canister was detached from the feeder but still in the house.
Annoyed, I went to lock the cat door, which isn’t easy to do. You have to position it just right to get both locks to engage or it will still open one way. I usually had to go in and out to get it.
Only I wasn’t going out, because Bonnie and Clyde were still on the deck. Staring at me. With their burglar stares.
I yelled at them and banged on the window, but their little raccoon faces said we don’t GAF. And then Bonnie started creeping up on me like:
And I was all:
I couldn’t get the door locked from the inside, so I did the next best thing–I ripped out the cat door, shut the window, and locked it in Bonnie and Clyde’s jerk faces. Which is how the door came to be where it is now.
To show their appreciation, they tipped the water over on their way off the deck.
So the cat door lasted about two and half months. We may or may not put it back at some point, depending on how long raccoons live and how long we can tolerate Meeker waking us up.