Petey in the Morning
Petey just wants a good time. He wants to play. And a good game of bed mice is the Best Game Ever. You see, under the covers, Larry's feet make the best, and most intriguing bed mice. From above, he will hunt them, stalk them, and jump on them, and chews them. That's okay when it's 10 a.m. on a weekend. Somehow not so charming when he plays the game at 5.
Rocky in the Morning
Rocky is a little more on the destructive side, and like Simon's cat, is more motivated by his stomach. First he tries to motivate by walking around behind our heads. Then he proceeds to lick Larry on the nose. Then mine. Then he works his way over to my nightstand. Wham!! Book thrown to the floor. Thud!! There goes the box of kleenex. Then it's on to the glass of water, dipping in his paw, and ever so slightly nudging...
So it didn't take long to decide that these guys will sleep in the basement.
But Keeta, the Escape Dog, isn't the only Escape Artist in the house (see Diary of an Escape Artist). It's not easy keeping cats in the basement either. Although they do have a cat door, which during the day operates just like a normal cat door to give them access to their facilities, but in the night time, that's where they are put to stay.
But it didn't take long for Petey to learn how to open the door. Yes, it had a lock. But he figured how to work that. Then he taught the finer points of the operations of the cat door lock to Rocky, and then the two of them could come and go at will. Eventually the lock was broken. Kitty success.
But what Petey had created was a kitty monster bent on escaping. And he found that if Rocky did all the work to escape, he could follow.
So next was packing tape. Two pieces on the outside of the door, one vertical, one horizontal. But Rocky is a persistent dude. He decided that if he worked hard and long enough, he could break through. And then, one day he did, and then it didn't matter how much tape was on the door. He knew the trick. And Petey followed.
Then came the cassette case. This case is not your average case - it holds about 100 cassette tapes, and has a handle. That went in front of the packing tape reinforced door. Rocky discovered that if he worked hard enough, he could then break through the tape, get the door jammed up on the case, so that the case actually held the door open. And Petey followed.
So now there's packing tape, a cassette case, and a braille writer in front of the door. Now, a braille writer makes the old Smith Corona look like a toy. It weighs a good 30 pounds of solid cast iron. Maybe more. And that's done the trick. Miss any one of these items in the system, and you can count on Rocky in the wee hours, breathing on my face with kibble breath.
The cats are contained, safely secured in the basement, and no cats visit us unsolicited in the wee hours of the morning. There they stay until we're ready to let them out.
Contributed by Jamie Naessens