Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Update on Shadow

Time for a seasonal update on our new cat Shadow.

For the last couple of weeks it's been confined to the house as we struggled to figure out how to install a catflap. Rejecting expensive solutions through the double-glazing on the back door or tunnels through the kitchen brickwork, we eventually settled on a DIY catflap through the front door (pictured). Never mind that this is generally considered to have lowered the tone of the entire little group of houses to which we are privileged to belong.

The new catflap in the front door

Notice how much light it adds to the hall.

Shadow himself currently reacts with paranoid fear to any attempt to coax him to the scary outside. Opinions differ amongst we humans in the house as to how much persuasion and how much coercion to apply.

Shadow resting

A persuasive approach is to put the litter just outside the back door (pictured below) and then close the kitchen door. He is then meant to do what he has to do, and find his way back into the front of the house through the catflap.

Litter training

On our first trial of this strategy, it took him two hours to figure out how to do this, and the litter remained undisturbed. In fact the real objective is to 'wean' him off litter altogether, relocating him to the new sand area which Clare dug for him at lunchtime today (pictured below) at the back of the garden.

The target objective

At present rate of progress this is surely a project for 2009.

I should say that when Shadow is not being 'persuaded' to use the new catflap, or to encounter the outside world, he remains a contented and happy creature, albeit one addicted - day and night - to duvets.