I had to get my carers to cover the bottom half of my lounge door with double-sided sticky tape when KitKat figured out how to open it by rearing up on her hind legs like a meerkat and bouncing off the door until she could get her claws in the gap.
These are sliding doors, by the way, and they’re extra wide to accommodate my bariatric wheelchair, so they’re quite heavy (and stiff because the joiners and council repairmen apparently don’t understand how to do their jobs properly). The fact that a cat that currently weighs just four kilograms can snake a paw in and pull them open, even just a couple of inches so she can squeeze her super floofy body through, kind of astonishes me, to be honest, especially since even I can’t open the damned things without some effort.
(Maybe “astonishes” is the wrong word. Maybe I mean “makes me jealous”.)
Anyway, she just happened to figure this all out on a day when I’d had a beef casserole made in my glorious slow cooker so the carers had left three uncovered plastic boxes of the stuff on the kitchen counter to cool. They swear blind that KitKat didn’t touch said casserole, but how would they know? She has two modes of eating: super dainty licks and super “I want to share this with the wooooooorld!” She loves gravy, and she loves cooked beef covered in gravy even though she hates any other form of beef, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find she’s snuck in a nibble or two.
(It’s not like I mind eating something that’s had cat tongue on it, but I’m trying to manage her weight properly now that she’s filled out from the malnourished post-natal mama figure she had when I adopted her. Giving her free reign in the kitchen is probably not going to help with that.)
So: sticky tape on the living room door. I had to harden my heart a little when she started crying a few times a day to get in there, but I made sure to grant access when my dad and the carers were here so she could at least enjoy some sunshine and the view of the street from the lounge window. She gave up fairly quickly once she realised she hadn’t been barred altogether and that the tape smells funny to her dainty little nose.
Then my dad left the door open to the spare bedroom while he was in and out looking for tools, and KitKat got a taste of kitty heaven. It’s basically the junk room where all things not already destined for the shed and outhouse go to die a slow and painful death of forgetfulness.
I don’t think KitKat ever realised it was there before. Several of my carers have said, “I didn’t even know you had a spare room,” because it’s hidden behind my bedroom door most of the time. KitKat probably just assumed it was just another wall or something — until my dad showed her the way.
So one day, I hear her doing the meerkat bounce routine on the spare room door. She tried it a few times a day for several days, and then I heard a far more frightening noise as she jumped up onto the windowsill in there. KitKat was not only in the spare room, but had braved the unknown dangers of all those boxes and vaulted like a gymnast onto a window I’m pretty sure is unreachable to anyone else.
Cue more tape in an effort to save her from the terrifying unknown, and more yelling to be granted access to a room that could easily kill her if she dislodged a single item in a never-ending pile of crap I really need to sort out.
It took much longer for her to stop crying about the spare room. Of course, she only gets access to it when my dad is here so she can’t poke around as much as she can in the lounge. It’s still enough for her to want in any chance she gets, even though it’s the exact same view as the one from my bedroom.
Fortunately, my doors are white and the sticky tape is mostly invisible, so it’s not like it ruins the decor. (I also had plenty in stock courtesy of my obsession with stockpiling craft supplies I’m not likely to get through in this lifetime.) I still feel mean for putting it there, but better that than risk burned feet on a cat who really doesn’t understand the concept of “hot stove” or “buried alive”.