We got up Sunday morning and discovered the window screen near the front door was tore to shreds at the corner near the door. We knew right away it was Frankie because he “picks” at the screen when he wants to go outside, and he wants to go outside a lot lately. It doesn’t help that he is an inside kitty and is not allowed outside because, unlike Chris, he is a runner.
Frankie has been picking at the screen for months and has not caused more damage than a couple of small holes, this seemed like an act of desperation. I made a mental note to try to put the harness and leash on him again. Last time he put up quite a fight and it was very difficult to get it on him. It is also just plain difficult to put on which may be part of the reason he fights it. Before I did that, I had work to do on the truck so Frankie would have to wait.
I brought all the tools I thought I would need to change the spark plugs and wires, but I needed a metric wrench and all the ones I brought outside were standard so I went inside to get the right size wrench. When I returned, I noticed the front door was slightly open. I thought, “Shoot, did I not close the door all the way?” I was hoping no cat got out but if one did, I hoped it was Chris.
I saw Frankie when I got outside and the chase was on… again. My neighbor was also outside working on his truck and helped me give chase. It took about five minutes but I was able to catch him quicker than ever before. As I was carrying him home, my other neighbor, the one who caught Frankie on another one of his adventures, had Chris in her hands so we both deposited our respective cat in the house and I went back to work.
A little while later I had a broken plug wire and needed a needle-nose pliers to try to pull it out. Of course, I did not bring that outside so back into the house I went. When I returned, the front door was open again and Chris and Frankie were outside. Fortunately I was able to get Frankie fairly quickly again and then I had to Chase Chris down who was not ready to go inside.
It occurred to me at some point that it was Chris who was opening doors. He is a fabulous door opener and I even have an old post called “Chris the Locksmith” that illustrates that. Most of the year it is pretty humid around here and the door swells enough for it to be hard to open and close. This time of year the door opens quite easy so if it is not locked, Chris can open it easily. It is almost always locked so I forgot about that problem while I was outside and had the door unlocked.
After both cats escaping twice, Rose locked the door to keep it from happening again. Unfortunately, I needed to clean a part so I rang the doorbell and asked her for some paper towels. She unlocked the door, handed me the towels and then shut the door, forgetting to re-lock it. It wasn’t long after that that she was yelling at me that the cats were out. Our neighbors must have thought we were a couple of buffoons that didn’t know how to keep indoor cats indoors.
After finally retrieving the cats for the third time, I got back to work on the truck. When I finished Rose and I went out for lunch because, with my mind off my task, I realized I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was starving. When we returned, the window screen was pulled off the window. This, after I secured it with a piece of electrical tape in each of the corners after the last time Frankie pulled the screen off.
I guess it was time to take Frankie outside. I found his harness and leash and with great difficulty, managed to put it on him. I opened the door and he and Chris immediately ran outside. I felt bad because Puck was left inside to watch for the fourth time in one day. Frankie is still not used to the leash and tends to drop to the ground when he encounters too much resistance but other than that, he seemed to enjoy his time outside.
I had to bring him in after a short time because I could not watch Frankie and Chris at the same time, and Chris was starting to wander around to the side of the house. It was safer at that point to have everyone inside. Now the problem is, how do we quell the desperation that Frankie has to go outside and what do I do about fixing the screen and keeping it fixed?