My suave debonaire partner can be caught showing off pet pics! Yes… we are completely in her spell – hook, line & sinker.
We even ‘cat proofed’ our home with pigeon netting so she could play in the plants, bask in the sunshine, feel connected with the outside without the perils of actually getting out.
Or so we thought…
Except she is a remarkable little escape artist.
First time she showed off her climbing abilities we thought “Aw… how cute!” Little knowing this would lead to creative ways of escaping!
I was working at home and noticed she wasn’t keeping me company. Generally she curls up in the chair across from me… but was no where to be found.
I called out and faintly heard panicked howls…. outside our home!!
Ran downstairs called out all around the building til I spotted her a full floor above, stuck on the balcony grill of our upstairs neighbour, their windows tightly shut. She could neither figure out how to go down or get in.
Grabbed her cat carry case, dashed upstairs to beg our bewildered neighbours to let me in and rescue our munchkin.
She was completely traumatised. As was I.
Thinking this was a one-time, lesson-learned type of scenario we didn’t yet take seriously her capacity for climbing.
Sure enough… She managed to get out… again! This time no trauma, just sauntered around, pleased with her abilities to conquer the outdoor world.
Again, had to knock on our upstairs neighbour’s door to drag our cat in.
This time we figured how she escaped – wriggled through a small gap in the netting of one balcony then must have leapt from there, scrambling up the A/C to jump across to the upstairs balcony railing.
Neatly closed the gap, giant sigh of relief… confident we would no longer need to disturb our neighbours and could keep our adventurous kitten safely at home.
Oh yes… there was another time. Different balcony, different exit…
This time it was to a ledge below our balcony which offered a fabulous unobstructed view of her universe.
This time she could easily hop in and out of her little hatch between the planter and wall… on her own… quite proud of her accomplishment.
That spot also was tightly closed off.
She was rather miffed with us – not pleased her secret route was shut.
We looked with now very educated eyes at all possible exits. Knowing we have a talented escape artist on our hands.
Closed all potential avenues. Practically a gazzilion twist ties later every possible way to get out completely shut. We thought…
Then along came scaffolding. You see… a year after the building repairs commenced, it is finally time to do the external painting.
Smart pet slaves that we have become, we re-inspected all potential avenues of escape. To realise we will have to keep our living room windows shut as the scaffolding has pushed into the pigeon netting and there may be a possible way to get out.
Went to sleep, secure in the knowledge that we are responsible pet parents.
Woke up… without a kitten gently patting us awake.
Yes… she really did get out… again.
You see the scaffolding created a giant jungle gym! And those pesky pigeons need to be chased… our little darling found another secret way out.
Except this time she was stuck. On the scaffolding. Between balconies. Being taunted by a cluster of crows.
Panicked howls for rescue… three stories up!
Knock! Knock! By now our neighbours have lost their tolerance for our wayward cat. It took a half hour of coaxing, encouraging, begging and pleading to get our wee rascal to inch her way along the scaffolding, brave the cawing crows, to come closer to a possible re-entry point.
Not so easy to come inside, it took two of us to bridge the gap between scaffolding and window grill to somehow drag her in.
Neighbours gruffly informed us we must keep all our windows shut. 3rd strike. Our kitten rescue escapades will not be tolerated again. I don’t blame them. Who knew we would have a Houdini cat?
The exterior painting is supposed to take 45 days (translation 90 days…. minimum!). So scaffolding will be in place for a couple of months.
And us? We will be tightly shut in as our adorable adventuress is clearly a clever brat… I mean cat!