“The trouble with a kitten is that it eventually becomes a cat.”–Ogden Nash
Pet doors are a wonderful thing. They allow your pets the joy of repeatedly going in and out without having to constantly bug you to accommodate them.
Pet doors are an awful thing. They allow all manner of unwanted vermin to come in (mostly) and out along with your pets. Or in many cases, to be dragged in by your pets. Here are some examples.
Awful thing example #1: While you expect cats and dogs to freely use the pet door, you don’t really think a pet chicken would use the pet door. Think again. We had one that did, and it not only came in the house quite unexpectedly, but it joined Cheryl in the shower. That’s a horror story even Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t have imagined. Eat your heart out, Norman Bates.
Awful thing example #2: While our cats have frequently brought dead mice or chipmunks into the house and disemboweled them in the dining room (ick!), that is not the worst of it. They bring live ones in and let them go. The most notable example? We had a living room full of guests for a tea for a local political candidate. Just as the proceedings were about to begin, our cat, Velcro, dropped a live mouse by the side of a rather full couch. The critter ran across the feet of about three people and hid under the coffee table as everyone scattered. Cheryl caught it as the cat looked on with amusement. The dogs were worthless.
Awful thing example #3: While we are on the subject of the cat sitting back and watching in amusement as we and the dogs chased a live rodent, I present you with the case of the chipmunk in the laundry room. Did you ever watch one of those Donald Duck cartoons where he tries to catch Chip and Dale? Where he winds up destroying his house, his R.V., his camp site, or whatever? It felt like we were in a Donald Duck cartoon. The chipmunk was behind the washing machine. The dogs went nuts; but the chip was gone by the time we pulled the washing machine out from the wall. By then, the chip was behind a pile of laundry. Then it was in the pile of laundry. Then it was behind the drier. Then it was under the washing machine. The dogs were always one hiding place behind it. Cheryl finally caught the thing–I swear she must have been a cat in a previous lifetime. And our laundry room? It looked like Donald Duck’s living room after a few minutes of chasing Chip and Dale.
Awful thing example #4: This one takes the cake. Cheryl and I were sitting in our home office late one evening, clicking away at our computers. Why, it was the very room I am sitting in as I write this tale. I glanced in back of me. Our three dogs were all lying there contented to be in the same room with us. And sitting right in the middle of them was what I, for a split second, took to be a rather large stuffed animal doggy toy. For a split second. But it wasn’t a toy. Good grief, it was a live possum, apparently playing possum! We have no idea how it could have gotten in there without the dogs going nuts. We can only guess that the one dog large enough to drag it in, must have done so. Cheryl picked it up by the tail, dropped it outside the front door, and it sprung to life and dashed off.
Which finally brings us to Awful thing example #5: There is a rodent in this office, right now, as I write this post. I saw it dash off the top of my desk and hide behind the file cabinet just as I walked in. The fleeting glance I got of it was too brief to tell if it was a mouse or a chipmunk. But it has eluded me. Don’t worry though, Cheryl will be home from the clinic with the dogs (they go to work with her every day.) The dogs will, of course be useless, and the cat will sit back and watch in amusement as Cheryl, as always, catches the thing.
Oh, and this one didn’t happen to us, but Awful thing example#6, below, illustrates the further dangers of pet doors in the wild. Stay safe, my friends.
Be sure to check out my new (second) blog, Seeking Delphi.