17 January 2012

One Step Closer

In the rush to vacate our home in anticipation of our adventure to Texas, I created an impossibly long list of tasks to be accomplished.  I wanted to insulate the front room, put up the drywall, repair the steps to the cellar and, among other things, install a cat door.
Hercules already regretting his decision to nap on our bed.
A cat door?  Though the thought makes me sound like I'm taking one step closer to becoming a crazy cat lady, I did have some rational behind my ludicrous idea.  The cats, spoiled as they are, are primarily outdoor critters.  They were born on a farm and when they came to us, were intended to be employed as vermin control.  While they do an excellent job, I also do have a heart.  Sometimes they'll sneak inside and curl up on my bed--something they know I don't tolerate.  They ultimately end up regretting their transgression when the girls get a hold of them.  Otherwise, they prefer to snuggle up in the hay loft.  Should they choose to sleep downstairs on the heating ducts, I allow it.  Their very own door would give them the freedom to come and go as they pleased.

I followed the instructions precisely and meticulously measured and traced the square where the swinging feline door was destined to be.  After all, this project wasn't like accidentally screwing some drywall in the wrong place; I was about to cut a navel in my back door and no amount of putty would fix it.
Real commitment
I grabbed the reciprocating saw (a must for every serious do-it-yourselfer), put in a new metal-cutting blade and hung on for dear life.

In case you're wondering, it is suprisingly hard to cut through a thin metal door insulated with foam.  The saw bucked like a fearsome bronco but in the end, I was victorious . . . even if my lines weren't particularly straight.
There's no going back after you've got a hole in your door.
It took me over an hour to pound, beg and jimmy the door into place.  Realizing how long it took me, I decided to take a breather and get dinner started.  After my frustration subsided, I carefully caulked around the edges to make the look complete.
I imagined the cats would slink through the door with a rumbling purr.  Nope.  After all my hard work, they refused to use it.  I really should have known.  It's not exactly in any of their natures to shove their head into something that appears solid just to see if it'll open.  With a lot of coaxing and treats (and some well-timed shoves), they got more comfortable with the idea.
I have to give most of the credit to Claire though.  She was enthralled with the idea of cats pouring in through the door and sat patiently holding it open so they could see where it lead.  She smiled on the other end, helping them enter then sat blocking the way out.
It was really a poorly disguised trap the cats fell for more than once.  By the time she was finished with them, they darted out their new door without hesitation.  I was just happy it was being used.

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