Cat Buglary

Allow me to tell you about our Halloween CAT BURGLARY. Which it so say, the cat broke into our house.

When I got home the eve of Halloween, I opened the door to find Tara sitting nearby, seemingly drawn to the sound of the garage door and waiting on me. It was very overcast, but I could see her clearly. I set down my things and picked her up. 

Tyler wasn’t home yet. Tara has been staying on our screened porch when we aren’t home, full of toys and a 6-foot cat condo and her littler box and food and water. It’s kind of kitty heaven. But she had been getting rather cramped with only that one room to explore and run in, so whenever we’re home Tara has the option of being inside with us. So why was my sweet kitty in the house during the day instead of in her kitty kingdom watching squirrels?

I wondered if maybe Tyler forgot to put her out that morning, so I texted him to ask if he knew why she was inside. I let her out in case she needed to use her litter box. I fed her, as normal, and let her back in when she came to the door. 

The cat door between the living room and the porch is currently set so Tara can go out anytime but it won’t swing inward for her to come in from outside at her leisure. 

We’ve been working with her a lot to try to get it into her adorable noggin that she can go out whenever she wants. We’ve held it open for her, bodily pushed her through it (which worked with my roommate’s puppy), and tried to entice her with treats and toys. 

No dice. She refuses to put her head on the door and push it open. Instead, she stands on her back legs and leans against the glass, pawing at us and pulling at our heartstrings, then sits down and politely waits for us to open the French door as she’s used to. But she absolutely knows that her cat door is a magical portal to the Other Side. 

When Tyler texted that he’d definitely put her on the porch that morning, my best guess was that she’d been messing with the cat door, jimmied it open with her claws, and managed to slink inside. And if she managed it once, I felt sure she’d do so again.

We passed a fairly uninteresting All Hallow’s Eve. We watched both Atlanta United and the Nationals lose. Tara took a nap on the back of the sofa. We spent some more time trying to get her to push against the cat door so it would open as its supposed to. (She still didn’t get it. She pawed at the edges and pawed from a different angle, then sat up primly to wait for us to open the door.)

Eventually, we kissed Tara goodnight and put her on the back porch for her 11pm-1am zippies (like zoomies for a dog) and we went to bed. 

I woke up around 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep. Could not. I was thinking about free tampons in schools and tailoring business clothes and all sorts of odd things. My dear husband was laying so his arm was resting on my back. Not in a cute way. I rolled over, out from under his arm, but he just settled into the middle of the bed. The middle is not his side. Annoyed and uncomfortable, I tried to decide if I should shove him back over, which would wake him up, or if I can manage to sleep on the remaining 2/5ths of the bed. I noticed around this time (4:20 or so), that the door to the bedroom was rattling slightly. It does this when the AC cuts on or off, but this rattle was at an irregular rhythm. I sat up and looked at the door. I could see a shadow underneath, moving side to side.

“There’s a cat at our door,” I said aloud. Tyler didn’t move. He was probably asleep, I realized. When I touched his shoulder, he said, “I heard you.” We both sounded incredibly nonplussed about this situation. I got up, saying, “I guess we know how she got inside earlier.” I went to the door, knelt down, and eased the door open. Tara took her time walking in, and started purring as soon as I picked her up. 

I set her down on the bed so she could greet Tyler and he, her. She wasn’t scared. She hadn’t fled the porch in a panic. She was just awake. She had a cool new trick and she was awake, so she used it to come find us. But it was 4:25 in the morning, on Halloween by the way, so I took her back to her porch kingdom. She didn’t seem upset to be there. It wasn’t thundering or raining. Nothing had gotten in with her. She had food and water, which she sniffed. I shut the door and watched her walk to the cat door and start pulling at its edges with her tiny dagger claws (which we really need to clip). 

I adjusted the settings so the door was closed from both directions, and pushed at it to make sure. Then I stuffed a small towel, which we’d been using to take her on magic carpet rides, into the hole so she couldn’t see the light from inside anymore. This, I hoped, would be her “closed” sign. She tapped at the door, but she couldn’t open it. I said goodnight and went back to bed. 

In the morning, she was still on the porch and ready for breakfast. Cat burglary foiled!

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