Thursday, October 8, 2020

Gated Community

So now we have the baby gate back up.

It’s for the cat.

I wasn’t even sure we still had the gate to be honest, since the last time we used it was maybe 2005, but one should never underestimate the storage capacity of the American basement. Lauren has been after us to reduce that capacity since she got back from Europe, having acquired a minimalist streak there that clashes horribly with our Collect More Stuff ethos, but sometimes a maximalist habit comes in handy and one is constantly making exciting discoveries that way.

Mithra was not looking good earlier this week, so we took her to the vet. The vet poked, prodded, and did some blood work, and eventually called us back to tell us that she is old. We knew that already. We’ve always considered Labor Day to be her birthday and this year she turned 16, which admittedly pretty old for a cat. He told us to keep an eye on her, give her painkillers for a few days, and let him know if she wasn’t looking better by the weekend.

She is, in fact, looking better now.

This is not why we have the baby gate up.

No, we have the baby gate up because Midgie is completely freaked out by this situation. Ever since Mithra came home from the vet Midgie has been absolutely terrified of her. She hisses. She runs away. She puffs up and gets bigger, which is an interesting trick in a cat that could afford to lose about half her body weight despite eating nothing but diet food for the last several years.

She has spent the last several nights upstairs, hiding from Mithra (who has been sound asleep in the living room for most of that time, not particularly caring about Midgie’s whereabouts one way or the other). There are many things upstairs for Midgie to occupy her time with, notably human beings who are just trying to sleep and failing because she has the world’s loudest purr and is desperate to engage with us at four in the morning.

There is also one item that we did not think we needed to put upstairs during this troubled time. Which means that Midgie has had to find another place to take care of what usually happens in that sort of item. Which, in turn, was not a pleasant discovery.

So. Baby gate at the foot of the stairs.

She can’t fit through the openings, and if she can just be persuaded to stay downstairs and then go down to the basement to take care of her business there perhaps she won’t need to be locked in the basement all night, which is the backup plan.

She’s a sweet cat but a dim one, even as cats go.

And now I need to remember how to operate a baby gate, which as I recall was all in the wrist.


LucyInDisguise said...

Best laid plans ...


David said...

Priceless. :)

However, that cat is about half the width of Midgie, so I figure we're safe.

So far it's been working, though she did end up spending at least one night in the basement because she wouldn't stop growling at Mithra. Kim is mostly finished washing all of the things that could be washed and we got back from the dump about an hour ago after depositing some of the things that couldn't be washed (as well as a few other things that were part of the larger "clear out the basement" project, vide suprea).

I remember in college I had a friend who moved into a new house and on the first night one of her housemate's cats peed all over her pile of laundry. "How do I get rid of the smell?" she asked me. "Kerosene," I replied. "I rub them with kerosene?" "No, you take them out back, soak them in kerosene, set them on fire, and buy new clothes."

It's the only way to be sure.

David said...


LucyInDisguise said...

Better plan:



David said...

Effective, but too much collateral damage for me. At least in this case.

I can think of other situations where that level of destruction would be justified, though.

LucyInDisguise said...

We're talkin' 'bout cats here.

Collateral damage is their whole reason for existence.

"Too much" collateral damage isn't possible when cats are entered into the equation. Even when there is no possibility that they can create any more destruction - they find a way to break somethin' else ...


David said...

Yes, this we have discovered.

It turns out that Mithra was not feeling very inclined to go down to the basement to take care of her business and this is why Lauren no longer has any college mail. There is no salvaging that.

Fortunately Lauren has pretty much figured out where she wants to apply to and doesn't need the flyers anymore, but still. Rude.