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Old 11-30-2019, 09:15 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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"How make door work?" (or: I think my cat might be stupid)


For the record: I am not casting aspersions on my feline overlords for not being able to figure out doorknobs. Closed doors are, well, a closed door to cats, and I completely understand that they would be baffled by such a complex machine.

Doors ajar, though? That's a bit more... special.

Look, Merlin, it's not rocket surgery, okay?

1. Outward-facing doors. You walk into the crack. You keep walking. The weight of your body, unless you are a very small kitten, will push the crack wide enough to slip through.
2. Inward-facing doors. You hook a paw through the crack, around the other side, and pull. Again, very small kittens are exempted.

The vast majority of cats eventually learn to master Method #2. And even if that proves too complicated, they can eventually figure out Method #1. This is true of every cat I have ever seen at a door.

Every cat minus one.

Merlin.

This morning Pie and Merlin were both in my room. It's part of their normal routine by now; they know that Malleus waking up equals scritchies and breakfast. While they were in there, I closed the door to a crack in order to get dressed.

At about that point, Merlin decided he wanted out. He walked over to the door, saw that it was no longer big enough, and sprang into action. By which I mean he lay down in front of the shrunken opening like a lump, and waited for someone else to do something about it.

Pie also wanted to go out, but she had her own problem, which was that the door was blocked by a pile of black kitten. She made a valiant attempt anyway, reaching her paw out to pull it open.

Aha, but Merlin saw this, and assumed that Pie wanted to play. To be fair, it was not an unreasonable assumption. He met her questing paw with his own. She tried again, and he cheerfully jumped on her. That is, he jumped just enough to block her, but not enough so that he was actually moved out of her way.

Pie started hissing at him, but would Merlin take a hint? No, not he! Whack whack. Slap slap. Hiss hiss.

I don't think he was even watching when she opened the door. He just got bored, walked away, and then when he turned around, whoa, an opening! Door work in mysterious ways.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:06 AM
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We have a brother-sister pair, Irving and Ophelia, who are three years old. We collectively refer to them as "the kids" or "the knuckleheads." They are both completely against any doors being closed. If a door is not latched, Irving won't just worm his way through; he jumps on the door so that it swings wide open.

We got them shortly after we moved into our condo. Before I fixed it, my daughter's bedroom door wouldn't latch properly. The kids quickly figured out that they could throw her door open any time they wanted, so Daughter started moving her hamper in front of it when she didn't want them in there.

Her door is right of off our loft, where mine and my wife's desks are. So one day I watched as the kids, working together, quietly tried to force their way into her room. They would push on the door a little bit, then hang back to make sure they weren't caught. They almost had a large enough space to get through, when... Irving decided it was time to put his sister in a headlock and wrestle her down to the floor. So now they're rolling around, bumping into the door. After a few seconds Daughter goes "Ugh!", closes the door, and barricades it again.
  #3  
Old 12-01-2019, 12:32 AM
simster is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
For the record: I am not casting aspersions on my feline overlords for not being able to figure out doorknobs. Closed doors are, well, a closed door to cats, and I completely understand that they would be baffled by such a complex machine.

Doors ajar, though? That's a bit more... special.

Look, Merlin, it's not rocket surgery, okay?

1. Outward-facing doors. You walk into the crack. You keep walking. The weight of your body, unless you are a very small kitten, will push the crack wide enough to slip through.
2. Inward-facing doors. You hook a paw through the crack, around the other side, and pull. Again, very small kittens are exempted.

The vast majority of cats eventually learn to master Method #2. And even if that proves too complicated, they can eventually figure out Method #1. This is true of every cat I have ever seen at a door.

Every cat minus one.

Merlin.

This morning Pie and Merlin were both in my room. It's part of their normal routine by now; they know that Malleus waking up equals scritchies and breakfast. While they were in there, I closed the door to a crack in order to get dressed.

At about that point, Merlin decided he wanted out. He walked over to the door, saw that it was no longer big enough, and sprang into action. By which I mean he lay down in front of the shrunken opening like a lump, and waited for someone else to do something about it.

Pie also wanted to go out, but she had her own problem, which was that the door was blocked by a pile of black kitten. She made a valiant attempt anyway, reaching her paw out to pull it open.

Aha, but Merlin saw this, and assumed that Pie wanted to play. To be fair, it was not an unreasonable assumption. He met her questing paw with his own. She tried again, and he cheerfully jumped on her. That is, he jumped just enough to block her, but not enough so that he was actually moved out of her way.

Pie started hissing at him, but would Merlin take a hint? No, not he! Whack whack. Slap slap. Hiss hiss.

I don't think he was even watching when she opened the door. He just got bored, walked away, and then when he turned around, whoa, an opening! Door work in mysterious ways.
Sounds more like Merlin has trained Pie to open doors for him.

Smart cat, that.
  #4  
Old 12-01-2019, 01:48 AM
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we changed cat feeders ... it requires a little more digging in the new one to bring food out either its above them to make the effort or they dont understand anymore ......my remaining fleabags just look at it and then look at me and meow for me to come out and see its empty so i shake it down for them ......

I do have a cat that knows how to open a screen door ..... she knows of she presses the handle hard enough and uses her other paw to push open it she can get out .....

Last edited by nightshadea; 12-01-2019 at 01:50 AM.
  #5  
Old 12-01-2019, 02:00 AM
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My Siamese are interested in the pantry door. The laundry room door. Any bathroom door. The french doors to the outside. Any time these doors are opened they come running. For various reasons. The doorknobs are the handle lever type. They have figured out the way to open them by hanging on the handle. Bear has gotten so good at it he sometimes walks ahead of me and curteously opens a door for me. Such the gentleman.
I have to keep dead bolts turned on the exterior doors. The pantry has a hook and eye so I can keep him outta there. He's watching me everytime i unhook it to open the door. He'll figure it out.
Meeko can do the opening of doors herself, she just can't be bothered to do it. She waits on her brother to do it for her. Clever girl.
I agree Merlin is letting someone else to the hard part. Smart cat, indeed.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:57 AM
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It's not just architectural doors. A motivated cat will pull open the refrigerator door, pull containers off the shelves, and help herself to whatever takes her fancy. And not close the door afterwards.

Bonus cat who knows what's up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx8DJsaKRto
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:52 AM
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If I were a cat, I wouldn't go poking my extremities through that little crack. Doors close suddenly and without warning or explanation, and they're powerful.

We may realize that if Merlin were simply to look up, he'd see it's a human making the door close, so if a human isn't reaching toward the door then it isn't about to move. But Merlin's looking at the crack. How would he know that?

Like Del Griffith says in Planes, Trains and Automobiles: "It's been a long day. It just didn't occur to me."
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:20 AM
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My poor idiot cat has cornered the market on stupid. Seriously. I joke that he has a mere two brain cells, banging together in that empty head of his.

If there is a door open that he wants closed, or
If there is a door closed that he wants opened, or
If his food dish is empty, or
If his water bowl has a moth doing the backstroke, or
If he desperately needs a "fix" of Kitty Krack (Temptations cat treats), or
If he wants lap, or
If he NEEDS lap, or
If he was just evicted from lap, or
If there are STRANGERS in his house,

He screams at me.

Sometimes I have difficulty translating.


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Old 12-01-2019, 10:00 AM
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At least he's not pissing on the carpet in front of the tv, in plain sight of god and guests to show his displeasure at the presence of said guests (I like cats, but that one...yeesh what a piece)
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2019, 10:19 AM
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Before our daughter, SIL, and granddaughter moved in, we had to replace the levers on the 2 bedrooms with round doorknobs. Taz will jump up and hang on the levers till they open. He also opens the lower cabinets in the kitchen and the vanity under the guest bath sink. And the linen closet. And the pantry. And if the door to the garage is ever-so-slightly ajar, he'll pull that open and make his escape.

Apparently any closed door is a personal affront to him. Lucky for him, he's cute.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:53 AM
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On the other end of the scale is the last indoor-ish cat we had, Baby. She didn't have the manual (pawual?) dexterity to make it happen, but she understood not only doorknobs, but locks. When our cats wanted to go out, and there wasn't some pre-existing means of egress, they'd paw at the door: So far, fairly unremarkable cat behavior. And I found it amusing to try to open the door while they were pawing at it, to knock the cat down. But if the lock was latched, of course, I'd have to unlock that, first.

Well, Baby figured this out, and if the lock was latched, she'd paw at the door as normal, and in the time it took me to open the latch, she'd get out of the way. But if the lock was not latched, then she would instead paw at the door frame right next to the door.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:10 AM
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Some years ago, my Remy loved to open a cabinet door beneath the sink and get inside. Often her sister, Jayce, would come behind her, shut the door and sit in front of it. Remy usually took her imprisonment quietly. At some point, I would come in the kitchen and see Jayce sitting there all innocent and tell her to please let her sister out of the cabinet. Eventually, I put a ruler in the handles to keep Remy out since on other occasions she would pull out sponges and tear them to pieces.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
Before our daughter, SIL, and granddaughter moved in, we had to replace the levers on the 2 bedrooms with round doorknobs. Taz will jump up and hang on the levers till they open.
We had a dog with the temporary name of Lockpick who was very good and opening doors. My bedroom had a lever on it and I had to turn it around so the locking button was on the outside because she'd learned to work the lever. She never tried to open the door when I was in it, just when the house was empty so I could sleep in peace with the door unlocked, but I kept a small screwdriver handy in the bedroom just in case she figured out the locking button and exacted revenge when I was in the room.
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