By this time Friday morning, we will be preparing to get on the road back to Florida so the cats are enjoying the catio as much as possible while it lasts.
We made a major decision on Saturday morning. I was lucky enough to be allowed to take two months off of work but it did not go well for my boss. They guy that was supposed to replace me got Covid and never came to work. Then my boss got Covid too. It was a mess. Needless to say taking another two months off next year seems like too much to ask so we concluded we would not come back next year.
Since we are not coming back we decided to rent the house. Rose listed it Saturday morning and by that afternoon we had a potential tenant. We listed it as four bedrooms instead of five so we could use one room to store personal stuff we can’t bring home. We then bought a bunch of boxes and have been separating our stuff between going and not going. I scheduled a Uhaul trailer but it seems our going pile has become quite large. I hope it fits in the trailer and I also hope it fits in our house.
I think our boys are really going to miss this big house and especially the catio but I know they will not miss the back and fourth car trips.
My wife and I were on the catio yesterday evening with the cats who were out there much of the day. Frankie, in particular, always wants to be out there.
We talked about what Frankie was going to do after we return to Florida in just over two weeks to our house with no catio. It will surely feel like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.
Even here, Frankie has become quite the pain. As we were getting ready to go upstairs last night to go to bed, Frankie was at the door crying to go out. This morning at 6 a.m., after eating only half his breakfast, he was again at the door crying to go out.
All we can do is let them enjoy it while it lasts. I quess I will have to start taking Frankie for a walk again when we return.
We went to Parkersburg yesterday morning and when we returned in the afternoon Chris was upstairs, as expected. I thought he would enjoy some catio time so I carried him downstairs, fed them first, and then opened the door to the catio. They were all happy about that.
I need to start making sure that Chris gets to enjoy quality time downstairs with everyone.
They stayed out there for three hours. I finally coaxed them inside with a can of wet food for dinner. Chris then sat between Rose and I on the sofa while we finished watching King Kong, a three hour and twenty minute movie that we started Friday.
When the movie was over I went upstairs while Rose watched a girlie show. After a short time she called me and said to come to the stairs. When I did I saw Chris on the landing. He had come up on his own. I was very happy to see that .
Our cats are finally starting to enjoy our catio after the interruption of our dog visitors. It took Floki until Wednesday but once out, he loved it.
Frankie goes out more often than Chris or Floki, not because he likes it more but because he is the one most likely to be hanging out near the back door when somebody goes outside.
The weather is starting to cool down here and I expect we will be outside more often which means the cats will be outside more often too. Its a win win.
As a side note, we had people over for dinner yesterday and later that evening we were sitting on the catio and a very cut grey kitten came up on the step and peeked in through the screen door. I believe I saw another cat walk by before I saw that kitten but it was dark. I put my hand against the screen and he smelled me and then walked over to the edge of the catio. I wanted to go get treats for him but considering our limited time here it is not wise to get them dependent on us. Fortunately, our cats were not on the catio at the time.
About five or six weeks ago my wife contacted a contractor here in West Virginia to see if it was possible to screen in our back porch. We wanted it to cut down on the bugs but we mostly just wanted a catio that our cats could enjoy in the nice weather.
Rose told the contractor that it needed to be done before we arrived, which was last Saturday. When we got there he still hadn’t finished. He was actually here until late Tuesday afternoon. I think he said he could do the job before realizing how difficult it was. The way the porch is built it is nearly impossible to keep the bugs out. He couldn’t put screaming all the way to the top because of the rafters so he decided to not screen all the way to the bottom so that the water would have a place to go when we washed down the porch.
The biggest problem was the doors. There is a large opening in the middle and a smaller opening on one side. The opening in the middle has two four by fours that are crooked both left to right and front to back. One of them is also twisted. It took a while to get the doors in so that they would slide back and forth easily without a gap too large for a cat to get through.
Wednesday morning I cleaned the mess left behind. I than fixed the doors a little better. I still needed to put up a panel to close the gap on one side (which I did this morning) but it was ready to test out that afternoon.
Frankie happened to be standing by the back door when Rose and I went out, so we decided to let him out onto the porch to see what he would do.
Of course, Frankie is our little investigator so he spent some time investigating.
I found Chris waiting by the back door to see what was going on so I let him out too.
I called floki but he was nowhere in sight. He was probably upstairs and not interested in what we were doing.
So far it has met with the approval of Chris and Frankie. I don’t trust that one or both of them won’t scratch a hole in the screen and escape so I think we will only let them out there when one of us is out there with them.
Today I pressure washed the catio in addition to closing the gap by the door. Later I may try to get Flokil out there to see if it meets with a unanimous approval.
I was working at my computer the other day, which happens to be in our Florida room, when I noticed that Frankie was excited and interested in something just outside the window. I got up to see what he was looking at and there was the face of a gold cat just inches from Frankie’s face. My first thought was, “Wow, we have another stray in the neighborhood” but it was only a second later that I noticed that the “stray” was Chris.
I opened the door to let him in, of course, but was left wondering how he got out. I checked the catio door and it was shut and no screens were ripped. I then noticed that the back door out of the catio was open a crack. That door is only used when I take the trash out and it has a sliding latch that is difficult to engage sometimes. I guess I just didn’t lock it good enough.
I don’t know how long he was outside but I glad he came back. I also think it is funny how he got Frankie’s attention to get back in the house.
Last week I took out the trash which can be a pain sometimes if a cat is outside on the catio. Our garbage cans are outside the back door of the catio and opening that door will cause Chris and Frankie to immediately run toward the door to try to get outside. Sometimes I quickly throw the trash on top of the can and close the door with the intention of putting it in the can later when it is safe. On this day I saw no cats so I thought I had time to open the door and put the trash inside the can. While I was doing that, Chris and Frankie bolted out the door at the same time. I either didn’t see them on the catio or I didn’t fully shut the door to the house.
I ran back inside to put my shoes on and when I returned both cats were still hanging out in the backyard.
Of course, as soon as I tried to pick up Frankie, he was gone. I pursued him and almost caught him when he was distracted by a lizard but he was too quick for me.
I brought Chris inside when I lost track of Frankie and stayed home thinking he would return. After waiting a fairly long time, I went out looking for him. I walked around the area for ten or fifteen minutes and became concerned after not seeing him so I returned home to see if he had showed up there yet.
When I got home Frankie was on the catio. I was puzzled. How did he get back inside? I was pretty sure he couldn’t open the door. That was Chris’s specialty.
I decided that was a mystery that couldn’t be solved until my wife got a text message from our neighbor saying she found Frankie and put him inside. Mystery solved. I just want to know why he let her pick him up and not me.
Last week we had an incident that I can’t really explain. We had the door open to the new catio just enough for a cat to get through. Chris was lying inside looking out the door and growling. It was that growl that you sometimes hear when a cat encounters an unknown cat. I looked out to see what the problem was and saw he was directing that growl at Frankie. When Frankie saw me he tried to come inside and Chris attacked him. I had to break it up and for a long time afterward, we had to keep them separated.
Rose thought an outside cat had sprayed Frankie through the screen but I never heard of a cat spraying another cat. Besides, there was no sign of a wet spot on the screens. I assumed he got into something that made him smell different but a quick inspection of the catio revealed nothing unusual.
What was unusual was that his ears were twitching and he was scratching himself. Rose checked him for fleas but nothing was obvious so I brought her the flea comb and she tried again. This time she combed out at least three live fleas.
Since they were due for their flea medication we put it on Frankie and on Floki, which wasn’t easy, at least for Floki. Chris had a three-month flea med put on him a couple of months ago so he wasn’t due yet. Rose also said she didn’t want them going outside anymore, but that didn’t last.
The next morning Chris and Frankie were getting along and nobody was scratching themselves. I put some diatomaceous earth down in the house to help control any stray fleas and I plan on getting a flea spray to put around the perimeter of the house. I am told there are environmentally friendly sprays out there so I will be looking for that today.
As far as what happened to Frankie that got Chris so upset, I still don’t have a clue.
One other issue I noticed, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, is that everyone seems to have a hard time deciding on what side of the door they want to be on.
When they do make a decision, they change their minds as soon as the door is closed.