The New Door Horror...
Just when I think I know my cats they go and do something that throws me off. I usually like to write my blog on Friday, but we had a new front door installed yesterday and it created quite a cat stir so I decided to post early. Since my guys are indoor cats I thought it best to put them all in an upstairs bedroom while the men were here working because once they removed the old door there was just a big open hole in the wall for hours. I thought Ben would most likely have bolted upstairs or downstairs once the workers arrived and Casper would probably have just watched with interest, but Archie would definitely have made a run for the great outdoors so just to be safe I deposited them in the cat room. I didn’t think this would be a problem given that they sleep together in that room every day basking in the afternoon sun, and there was a litterbox and food and water in there for them. I figured if Ben and Archie were nervous (due to all the construction sounds), Casper's usual nonchalance would keep the tone casual up there. But the second I closed the door Casper was not happy. From downstairs I could hear him yowling and scratching at the door. I left them for a little while to settle down while the work began. Pounding, sawing and drilling ensued for hours; we live in an old house so of course the door that was made did not fit into the existing frame. I know Casper is deaf and could not hear these noises, but the other two must have listened to the strangeness happening outside the bedroom and were glad of their sanctuary. Casper however was not comforted even though I’m certain he could feel the vibrations and the banging. I went into the room to spend some time with them hoping this would help Casper to calm down, but he would not be soothed. He slunk around the room like a caged animal (which technically he was) and darted in and out from under the bed. This broke my heart so I thought maybe I would try letting him out so he could see what was happening in the house. I opened the door, surprisingly the other two just lay on the bed unruffled and watched while Casper poked his nose around the corner (belly low to the ground). From the top of the stairs there is a clear view straight down to the front entrance, but once Casper saw the hole in the wall where the old door used to be he dashed back into the bedroom and went under the bed. Most of the time he is so bold and friendly and relaxed, I can’t figure out why this was such a big deal for him. Perhaps it had something to do with being shut in a room, even a familiar and cozy room. I think the people who had Casper before I adopted him must have shut him up a lot. They gave him up because they thought he was too hyper, so it makes sense (albeit cruel sense) that they might have confined him to one room when they felt he was getting out of hand. So I probably reactivated some kittenhood trauma by closing him in the bedroom, even though he had his brothers with him for company. Believe me when I tell you this was equally, if not more, traumatic for me! I try to create the best environment for my babies that I can to ensure happy well-adjusted cats, so the fact that I brought something scary into Casper’s world makes me sad. When I went in a second time to check on everyone, Ben and Archie were happily snoozing on the bed together but Casper was under the bed again in the farthest corner against the wall. I was heartsick, but felt it best to leave him there until the work was finished (I also needed to do some clean-up since sawdust had landed EVERYWHERE). Once things were back to normal and the workers had left, I released the boys from the bedroom all at the same time.
Casper came downstairs first but dashed behind the sofa in the living room. Archie had no interest in coming downstairs because a fly got in the house when the door was off so he was running all over the place trying to catch it. The only one who took any notice of the new door and went immediately to investigate was Ben which was astonishing because he is the consummate fraidy-cat. Two hours later Casper was still not himself and I thought about getting him high on catnip in the hope he would forget the horrors of the day. But just then he jumped into the windowsill and proceeded to have a bath. Casper washed away his ordeal and when he was finished he curled into a ball and went to sleep
The door still needs painting (ugh more upheaval) but for now at least it’s been installed so the biggest part of the job is over!