For the comfort of our guests here at Dentro del Jardin we had a carpenter make accordion doors so we could close off the staircase from the kitchen and provide privacy for the guests upstairs. We also want to keep the cats and Loco downstairs so they don't bother our guests by knocking on their door in the middle of the night (don't laugh, they do it to us!).
The carpenter who made the doors seemed to know his stuff when he talked to us. He even had a couple of books with different designs and said he would make any model we chose. So we chose a simple set of doors - 5 panels, and in a couple of weeks the carpenter came and installed the doors.
However, the doors did not slide along the track, they just hung there and would not move. At the end of our patience with the carpenter, we called in the reserves. An aluminum door craftsman who has done a lot of work for us at the house. I figured if he could make aluminum hurricane curtains slide along a track that he would be able to fix our wooden doors.
The owner of the aluminum shop came over, studied the doors and scratched his head a few times. I started to worry that he was truly puzzled, but actually - he was recognizing the materials used in the construction of the doors and putting two and two together. Seems the carpenter had gone to his shop for the track material, saying it was for his closet, and obviously it was not true, it was for our doors. Why the carpenter would have made up that story I don't know, but I'm sure? he had his reasons.
It was clear that the owner of the shop did not know how to quote us the cost of repairing the doors - he just kept scratching his head and muttering. Finally I just told him not to worry about giving me a cost, just fix the doors and tell me the cost later. This is not our normal way of doing business, but we've done a lot of business with this guy and he has always been very fair with us, and we've always been very fair with him. Since this was not his project originally and he was just taking it over at the end, he really didn't know what would need to be done in order to fix the doors and thus, did not want to quote too low.
Relieved of having to come up with a fair quote, the owner heaved a sigh of relief and the doors were removed to take to the shop for repair. Only problem was that this was just before Christmas, and the person who would do the repair went away for the holidays. So we have no door. And we have guests upstairs.
I tried to put up curtains with a spring rod - something to separate the kitchen from the stairs and maybe discourage the cats from remembering the staircase. But Maya thought it was great fun to tug on the bottom of the curtains, and since I'm afraid she'll yank the whole thing down and get knocked on the head, I have given up on that idea.
So now we've been putting all the cats out on the back terrace during the day. Normally the cats are more than happy to rush out the door (when you don't want them to), but because it has become their obligation to be out there, suddenly they do not want to be there. They have food, water, litter, beds, blankets. They have lizards to chase, naps to take. They have the life I wish I had. But it's not enough...
Yesterday I went out on the terrace to hang up the laundry. Luna was up on the shelf under the kitchen window. Maya and Minina were each in a camp chair napping. But as soon as I showed up, the whining started. First Luna started crying. Then Maya came over and tried to climb my leg and started crying. Finally Minina lifted her head in my direction and started crying too. Three cats all crying, just because they had to sleep on the back terrace instead of the preferred piece of furniture of the week inside the house.
Luckily Chris and Christy, our guests, are good sports. And our animals really are not showing much interest in going upstairs anyway - I think they really want to be where we are just so they can torment us with their demands for attention. But I'll be glad when the door gets installed, just one less thing I have to try to control.