........ but not with Lloyd Grossman....... this week's challenge, should you wish to accept it, is to persuade Button to use the cat flap...... having spent a large amount of time, myself, gazing at the view in the photo, I can tell you it's not as easy as it sounds.
Firstly - cats are used to "staff" - they have staff to provide their food and staff to open doors for them, staff to rub up against when the need arises etc. So WHY would any self-respecting cat use an automatic door?? Sigh.
Secondly, it wasn't helped that I decided to go all techno-whizzo with the cat flap and get one that is activated by the microchip in the cat. This would be fine - except that I have now discovered that the place the vet puts the microchip is too far along the back of the cat to activate the door opening. I discovered this after ramming poor Button's head into the cat flap saying "Open, darn it". You know the pictures of cartoon cats who have run into a wall - flat-iron face etc? Yup that's how Button felt.
Eventually I took the batteries out the whizzo-gizmo and it operated like a regular cat flap. Only Button wasn't to be fooled by THAT ruse, once bitten (or button?) etc. So she sits either side of the flap gazing in or out depending on her mood and location....... if *I* open the little plastic door she happily will come in or out. But is not inclined to do the work herself.
So someone suggested propping open the cat-flap to get her used to using the hole in the door if nothing else. Seemed like a good idea. Until this afternoon that is....... I heard her on the loose stones outside the back door so struck the usual pose of the last few days, face up against cat flap calling "Button, come on Butty Button, there's a good girl, who's a clever girl then?" (not me clearly.....). And there is Button, pleased as punch, ready to come in..... with a MOUSE in her mouth. Swift rearguard action of slamming the plastic door down. Anyway she'd dropped the mouse and was peering under the stones for it. So I went out, picked her up and put her in the conservatory - "Don't play with your food" is the motto in THIS house! Well as swift as only a cat can be she ran up the conservatory steps, through the sitting room, into the kitchen and "snap" out the cat flap - no problem opening the little plastic door THAT time! Ha!
So I'm not too sure what the score is at, at the moment. In Button's favour I suspect. The whizzo-gizmo cat flap doesn't work on the microchip due to microchip not being in right place, PLUS when it's windy cat flap - well, flaps - which I thought it would a bit, but it's much flimsier than I'd expected. And then Button doesn't seem too chuffed by it all either....... But I now have a hole in the door so......
However I shall persevere as she needs to be able to come and go as she pleases, particularly when I'm away. But for now...... pass me the gin somebody.......