26 February 2021

Cat flaps sorted: cat outside

The second weekend the cat had lived here I had removed the old cat flap from the kitchen door. That's as far as I managed to get! So the third weekend it was time to make more progress. I could tell she was keen to go outside. And after two weeks she probably would feel sufficiently at home here to not immediately run away. I was a bit nervous; what if she did run away after all? What if something would spook her, and she just ran away in an arbitrary direction, only to not find her way back? But I had to take the risk. I couldn't keep her indoors forever.

On the Saturday, it was atrocious weather. Fine weather to sort out the catflap in the door to the conservatory. So I started on that. I cut a hole in the door, and try to fit the old catflap I had removed from the kitchen door in. It was a bit of a precision job. The screws with which you are supposed to attach it are about 2 mm from the hole, if that, so while if the hole is not big enough the catflap doesn't work, if you make it only marginally bigger, you can fix it to the door any more. So that was a bit of a faff. But I got it done! And there soon as the hole was in the door, the cat realised what this was for and started hopping through it. When the catflap was in place, that did not deter her; even though it was a bit frictional, she just pushed through. She clearly knew the concept.

I did start drilling holes in the plastic panel of the conservatory, and I started a little bit with the sawing, but I didn't continue as I knew that in order to finish the work I would have to be outside as well. And I didn't want to do in that weather! So that was postponed until the Sunday, which was supposed to be a lot nicer.

On the Sunday, after breakfast, I set to work. I started sawing away. I remained undisturbed, as sawing in a PVC panel with thermal insulation in it makes a terrible racket. The cat didn't like that.

I had to do a bit of filing to make the catflap fit through. But it was good it was a bit tight! That meant the thermal insulation hadn't been too much compromised.

Before I had installed it, I had put batteries in it and bribed the cat with cheese to stick her head in. It was one of those with a chip detector. Given how brazen the neighbourhood cats poo in my garden, I figured they might also brazenly stomp into my house if I would give them the chance. So this catflap only lets Mevrouw Moor in!

By the time I was installing it I had stopped making a lot of noise, so the cat came to have a look what was on. And out she went! I wasn't even finished and she was already at it. I dropped my tools and went with her.

She was careful! She didn't start running away. She just carefully checked out the environment. And after a while, she carefully went down the stairs. I followed. She explored in the direction of the apple tree. I followed. And then the neighbour's dog noticed I was in the garden! That always inspires him to come barking to the fence. That's his way of demanding cuddles! But the barking spooked the cat. She was back up the stairs in a flash.

I was very relieved to see her behind the conservatory door when I came up too! She was a sensible cat, and she had run straight back into the house when she was scared. Excellent!

She didn't stay inside for long, though. She was out again in no time! And she explored the garden of a neighbour, and the area in front of the house. She is the explorer type!

I noticed she never stayed outside very long. Maybe she just wanted to stay close to me! Or maybe she still found it a bit scary. I'm sure she'll make bigger forays later in spring, when I am outside a bit more myself. But the first day was a success. I'm glad!

How it started


I wasn't even done installing it!

Sawing a hole in one's house

Ready for the catflap!

Again; before I was really finished installing

Out exploring!

No comments: