Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Christmas Tree, the Cat Door, the Nice Lady Who Seems to Be Losing Her Grip, and ADORABLE Cat Picture!

We put up our Christmas tree today. We also installed a cat door. We did a lot of other crazy stuff too, not the least of which was me getting pissed off at a clerk in a drug store.

My latent asshole gene was activated and manifesting itself.

I was foiled in my attempt to run an emergency last minute errand for my elderly mom.

After I was mean to the drug store clerk I apologized profusely. She, after all, had nothing to do with making stupid store policies.

See? Even when I am the asshole customer I come to my nice lady senses, own my bad behavior and apologize.

However, I digress. One day I'll write a story called The Nice Lady Who Acted Like an Asshole in the Drug Store Because the Cashier Could Not Would Not Go Into the Storeroom for the Correct Size and Brand of Adult Hygiene Product (not for the nice lady, but for the nice lady's elderly mother, remember that!) Even Though The Drug Store Has Them in Stock Because it is  Sunday and the Adult Hygiene and Other Medical Supplies Department is Closed on Sundays.

But not today.

Back to my original story, today my daughter and I decorated the Christmas tree while my husband and ten year old son installed a cat door.

I could write a book, A Boy and His Dad: Power Tools and Power Struggles, but that's for another day, too.
Our old house was built in 1880. Typical of houses built at this time in this part of New England, our house is a series of many small rooms separated by many doors.

Despite the fact that that house looks biggish on the outside, the arrangement of rooms and doors makes it feel cramped and claustrophobic on the inside. It's also cold and drafty.

We keep the door from the living room to the downstairs hallway closed to keep in the heat. Because we have two cats who like to go into and out of the living room several times every hour, someone has to stop what they're doing repeatedly throughout the day to open the door, allowing a whimsical cat entrance or egress.

I don't want to be doorman to the cats but it's no use trying to ignore them, they can sit and rattle a door for a long time. This is annoying.

So, a cat door was the answer to our problem. Cats come and go at will, the heat stays in the living room, I am not bothered, what could be simpler?

My husband spent the better part of an hour supervising a ten year old boy with an electric drill equipped with a bit called a hole saw bit. If you do not know what a hole saw bit looks like it looks like a biscuit cutter with shark teeth.

My son is a lovely beautiful boy, but that three quarters of an hour took years off my husband's life and maybe a couple of weeks off mine. I was, after all, not the hands on drill supervising parent. I was taking on the much less harrowing task of tree decoration. I just had to turn my back on the guys with the hole saw bit, sing Deck the Halls at full volume and pretend that everything was fine.

In the end, my husband and son both survived, they both still have all their fingers, and no stitches or skin grafts were required.

Cat door success!

Ah, but wait.

The cats are afraid to go through the cat door.

They approach the door, bat it tentatively with a little paw and when the flap moves they jump a foot in the air and run away.

My son even demonstrated the finer points of cat door operation using as much of his body as would fit through the door, but surprisingly, the cats did not find this reassuring.

So in an effort to get kitties through the cat door the kids and I had a brilliant idea; we put cat nip on the other side of  the door to lure them through.

After some coaxing the cats braved a hop through the door to the nip on the other side.

But after their nip fest they were all stoned and big eyed and weirded out and they just sat there in the cold hallway, staring at us through the hole in the door.
one of the kitties, big eyed, weirded out, looking at us through the cat door...

It then occurred to me that giving the cats drugs and then expecting them to perform a new and, to them, frightening task was a flawed plan.

My son took pity on their poor addled souls and opened the door to let them in.

Looks like my husband and son risked their lives to install a cat window not a cat door.

Looks like my days catering to the whims of cats are not over.

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