The empty bowl
The first sign something was wrong was the empty cat food bowl. His Royal Fluffiness (HRF) never cleans his bowl to the bedrock, and yet there both bowls were, sparkling clean.
I didn’t catch on at that stage, though I should have.
The next day I was in the living room with HRF and I heard a crash in the kitchen. It wasn’t the sort of crash you get when a breeze knocks over the paper towel roll, but more the kind of crash you get when an over excited feline spars with a bowl of cat food.
I jumped up and heard the thump thump thump of the cat flap. By the time I arrived in the kitchen it was empty and so was the cat food bowl.
In the living room some time later, I heard a kerfuffle in the kitchen involving a great deal of hissing.
Cat language is hard to convey in letters, so allow me to translate.
HRF: Get out of my kitchen, you foul devil spawn!
Unknown creature: I found food. I found food. La la la la I found food.
HRF: I said, out!
Cat flap: Thump thump thump.
I ran to the front door where HRF was glaring out through the glass and saw on the driveway the creature that had been feasting on his food. It looked shocked and indignant at being chased from its dinner, and a touch smug.
It was a lion. Let me elaborate on that. It was a long-haired ginger cat that had been shaved to look like a lion, with a full mane and a tuft of fur on the tip of its tail.
When I recovered from my surprise, I laughed. That was too much for lion cat, who took off into the bushes. I ran outside and made a lot of noise, trying to register “must not go back to that place, too scary” in lion cat’s brain.
Alas, it was not to be.
Come evening, I topped up HRF’s bowl and blocked the cat flap with a sizeable box.
I was in the other room with my husband…
H: Did you hear that noise?
Me: What kind of noise?
H: Like a lion cat pushed a box out of the way to get in a cat flap.
It was. He had. More serious measures would be required.
The tunnel of death
I called the cat flap company. Yes, they could install an electronic cat flap that would only open if it sensed HRF’s microchip. They were very efficient, and $350 later we were the proud owners of an electronic cat flap.
We held it open to show HRF. The conversation went something like this.
Us: Look! It’s a nice new cat flap that you can use but evil lion cat won’t be able to get through.
HRF: That’s not a cat flap.
Us: Yes it is. Just put your head here.
HRF: Back off.
Us: See, it’s easy. Can’t you smell the outside air?
HRF: Of course I can, but if you think I going through that Tunnel of Death you can sod off and lick my bum fluff.
Us: We’re not going to let you out. You’ll have to learn to use the new cat flap.
HRF: Then I will sit by the front door–the human door–and wail piteously. I will wail piteously all night and all day if that’s what it takes to get you to open the door for me.
The stubbornness of a cat
The next day we went to work and left HRF inside. When we arrived home he had some things to say to us.
HRF: You are evil people. You left me locked inside all day. You’re lucky I didn’t pee on the couch.
Us: If you wanted to go outside you could have used the cat flap.
HRF: Are you stupid? It’s not a cat flap. It’s a tunnel of death and I refuse to go near it.
A week and a half on, he still won’t go near the new cat flap. It keeps out lion cat and keeps in HRF. We’ve ended up with a $350 new piece of wall.
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