Leaps and Bounds

Bella has graduated to jumping on counters.

While I was at work yesterday, my wife sent me a picture of someone standing on the kitchen counter. This is new behavior, as up to now, she’s ignored the high points in the kitchen. Though with foresight several weeks ago, I informed and warned my wife to start closing the cabinets in the kitchen in case this happened. The last thing we need is for Destructo-Cat to start getting into the cabinets with the glassware or plates and breaking things. And possibly injuring herself or us by stepping on broken glass or something.
She also mentioned that Bella jumped up on the stove. I’ve been concerned about this as well, since we have a natural gas stove, and it has pilots, albeit they’re under the burners and protected. Even so, I don’t want her getting curious about the inner workings of the stove and possibly getting injured that way, either.
I started this post on the 15th and decided to do it as an old post and an update. It’s now the 29th, and my wife informed me this afternoon that Bella has a new trick.

When we first adopted Bella, within a week, we managed to lose her down in the basement. New kitty, new house, new parents, it was bound to happen. The part of the basement where she got lost is a hodgepodge of old boxes, things sort of in storage, the litter box and old appliances that we haven’t either pitched or decided what we wanted to do with. So, of course, it’s a kitty play area, and for a new kitten, she was probably looking for someplace to nap. So, she did. And it just so happened that it was a day when I wasn’t expecting her not to reappear when she went there to use the box. But she was missing for several hours, and I started to get worried. Consequently, I went down and started moving things around, restacking boxes and such and looking (I thought) everywhere for her. And not finding her. After at least 5 hours, I started to panic and called the woman I got her from, my co-worker Heather. She suggested she come down and help me find her, and after about 10 minutes out, she comes, runs upstairs, and my wife tells me she’s been found. All well and good, though I’d moved enough things that there was now a clear path to the basement windows….and I knew eventually it was going to be a problem.

Sure enough, when I got home from work 2 days ago, my wife informed me that Bella had discovered the basement windows were now within easy access. Which normally wouldn’t be an issue, except for the fact one window had been converted into an exhaust port at some point in its history, whether it was for a vacuum or something else I have no idea. All I DO know is that it’s an exit (or entrance) from one side or the other, and I’d semi-blocked it off many years ago, but it had become accessible again over the years. And now it could be accessed again by a curious kitten. And that was unacceptable. So, for the second time in a couple of months, I needed to rearrange the basement to keep that from becoming an issue. We have pet gates that we’ve been using for a couple of months now, adding paper towels with cat repellant on top to keep Bella from climbing the gates and defeating them, which she managed to do almost from the start.
Without a good number of tools and material at my disposal, I had to come up with a way to block off this hole and make it at least inaccessible from BOTH sides. I just so happened to have a piece of an old desk (particle board) that was the right width, but not the right length to use to block off the hole. However, without a saw to shorten it, this wasn’t going to work on the inside. My plan for the outside was to use old brick from the semi-collapsed garden retaining wall to block off the hole. But I needed something on the inside to deter her from attempting to play at the hole, and possibly (even accidentally) opening the hole on the other side. She’s not Einstein, but she could make the argument of being on the level of Fermi, or even Curie (except for that whole radiation thing). It’s best not to let her get ahead of the curve, or we’ll never live it down.

I finally utilized what was available at the time. I found a box of wastebasket trash bags that was the right size and used the spring-loaded curtain rods that were already there to hold the box in place on the inside. I went outside and put up the brick and wood barrier, adding more brick and another piece of wood to brace the bricks on the windowsill. For the time being, it’s a good barrier, and until I can come up with a more permanent solution, it should do the trick.

Thus far, it is. Updates to follow.

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