Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Cat Door and Abrupt Climate Change

Cats as they say always seem to be on the wrong side of the door wanting in or out depending on which they are not at present.

 I've felt a little the same way during the always nerve jangling May/June transition back away from full time office work and onto the water. I felt as though the good weather only happened when I needed to be inshore for business and once I finally got to the island, some urgent business inevitably popped up on the mainland.

I also maintained an umblemished record of only showing up on Matinicus when it was unusually cold and damp. April was cold gray windy and sour and lasted until the second week in June.

When the weather finally snapped, we went from putting on 4 or 5 layers before even thinking about going out on the boat and needing a fire every night to panting in the heat on the water at 7 a.m.. There was no transition during which to acclimate- somewhat like getting helicoptered into base camp and wondering if there just isn't very much air this far up.

Loading and trucking five pickup loads of traps, rope and buoys to the wharf and I was dehydrated like jerky. Then the gear gets stacked on the boat. Then it's time to actually go to work.

It's been a dismal slow start to the lobster season, so being behind schedule is in hindsight not such a problem

Back to the cat. Seamus does not care for traveling. He does not enjoy being menaced by other cats out here either. Last year, it was "Crazy Eyes," so named by Megan loosely after an Orange is the New Black Character. Crazy Eyes is a siamese with divergent or overly convergent visual fields for each eye, and who was found sleeping on our bed one day, and on another occasion chased our cat through our house, hissing and slashing. My super soaker eventually connected enough times to get the hint across. This year a large orange cat and a fluffy black one are intruding on our peaceful enjoyment of the manor.

In the old days, during which I would've lasted about five minutes here, I expect a menacing cat's owner might get one conversational attempt at settlement before the animal would be stapled to the owner's shed door. Seamus and I, both being fairly timid souls, haven't figured this out beyond keeping the supersoaker- as is our sacred 2nd Amendment right- loaded with the safety off next to the door.

The next idea is a cat door where he can let himself in, and where I hope other cats do not invite themselves in. This way, he can stay here on his own when we have to be inshore and can come and go as he likes. Without thinking it through too much, I picked such a door up at the hardware store and opened the package to discover that it was designed to be embedded in a people door, not installed in a wall. The hardware, specifically screws, were not going to make it work where I wanted it to.

After a little Matinicus problem solving with surprisingly little profanity and drilling my own holes in the pet door frame and screwing each piece onto either side of the wall, it was time to introduce Seamus to his new portal of independence. I put a dish of his favorite treat on the outside and showed him. He walked right through and paid no attention to the dish.

Hearing strange noises upstairs a half hour later, I encountered Big Orange coming down the stairs and hurrying out, having already memorized the location of the cat door which was not intended for his benefit. Now what?