Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Poll: How do you open a door?


a) I push against the cross slats
b) I pick at the bottom of the corner
c) I hook a claw into the screen and pull sideways
d) I jump on the top screen and let my weight swing it open
e) I let the humans do it


Loco - A
Minina - B
Luna - C
Maya - D
Smokey - E

Yes folks, each animal other than the baby Smokey has learned a technique to open the front, the back, and the upstairs patio doors.

Loco is actually useful, he helps Miguel when his hands are full. Loco waits until breakfast is finished and watches the activities at the counter, knowing Miguel will come out with one or two plates loaded with scraps. That is his cue to run to the living room and on Miguel's command "Loco, open the door", he pushes his foot on a cross slat on the front screen door, and pops it open for Miguel.

Of course, Loco opens the door at other times too, sometimes to help out Minina who is waiting right there for the door to open so she can slip into the front garden. But Minina has her own technique should Loco not be available - she picks at the corner of the door and if it's at all loose, she manages to work it free so she can push it open and get outside. Thus the latch on both sides of the front screen door.

Luna's particular method of opening the patio screen doors was first discovered when Charlotte and Jim were staying with us and they woke up one morning to find Luna sleeping in the chair in their room. Luna stays outside some nights, but should she decide she wants to come in afterall, she knows how to do it long after everyone has gone to bed. Luna climbs to the roof of the house next door, jumps through a small opening in the wall to the second terrace, and with one swift movement, the screen door flies open and Luna waltzes in and makes herself comfortable. With mosquito season about to start, I need to find latches for these doors.

As a baby Maya was allergic to canned cat food, however, she adores it. Smokey, being a kitten, needed canned food, and so, to keep Maya from getting into Smokey's food, I put Maya in the kitchen while I fed Smokey on the back terrace. Maya is only 8 months old but she has grown into a big, heavy cat, and she has learned that she can jump onto the top screen of the back screen door and her weight will swing the door open. She rides the door and then jumps down into the back terrace and cries for canned food. I started giving her just a little taste, and since she seemed to handle it, she is now getting fed canned food twice a day, just like Smokey.

When none of the techniques A-D work, then all the animals resort to option E - let the humans do it. There are various ways of drawing attention to the need to open the door for someone to go out or come in, and they are all annoying enough that we comply to keep the peace. I think getting up and down to open the door is the most exercise I get in a day.


Islagringo said...

Too funny! You are such a good writer and weave a story like a fine Navaho blanket! One of my cats actually knocks at the back door when she wants in! The other one scratches and when I go to let him in, he just walks away! Grrr.

IslaZina said...

Great stuff, you know your household. For the record, Lora goes out like El Torro, slamming OPEN the screens. She will paw at a door and quit, content to be out. The carpenter put a door handle on the lower corner of the back door since she had been clawing at the screen. When I see her sitting there, waiting for me, I just yell "Abre" and she uses her handle.

Ann said...

That's great! Mine all just sit at the door & wait for someone to realize they're there because they want to go out--the dog sits with his nose pressed against the glass....

KfromMichigan said...

Oh too funny! I love your stories about the animals. Would love to see a video.

Bennie said...

What a great post Sue. Watching the animals has to be fun down there. Poor Maya is just like you. You are allergic to Mangos but love them and find a way to make it work. Maya is the same with her food.

Keep that exercise program going... That's the only exercise I get too is letting the cat and dog out.

Sue said...

Wayne - Luna will do that too - sit and gaze at us through the front screen door, but when we get up to let her in, she walks away. Maybe they're just checking on us. The smart one you've got knows how to knock - that is cute!

Zina - that is funny about Lora using her handle on command...painted a cute picture in my mind.

Ann - sounds like you need to send me your cats so they can learn from our crew. Although maybe they've actually got it figured out, because there is no effort at all on their part, and so, they are being true to being cats!

K - I wish I had a video camera, there are so many lost moments.

Bennie - you need to get back down so you can watch the antics. It's better than tv!