Sunday, 12 December 2010

In a Flap

Having had the kitten's litter tray in our lounge for the first week of their residence, and subsequently moved it to the kitchen so that we could tidy up and reduce the mess, we decided that the time had come to get the boys to use the litter trays in the outhouse attached to the kitchen, which is where the girl's litter tray's are, to reduce the volume of litter being trod around the house by both small paws and human feet.

When both Parsnip and then Crystal arrived, the humans spent hours passing both bowls of food - and the cat!! - backwards and forwards through the cat flap to teach them how to use it. This caused endless hilarity and usually resulted in each cat eventually using the cat flap more often than needed, just because they could, once they had mastered it as it became another cat toy.

We knew that Jasper wouldn't be a problem. He's been using both the litter trays when the kitchen door was open and the cat flap (both as a game and out of necessity) but we both realised that Dino would be more difficult.

The first time that Dino went into the outhouse to explore and had the door shut on him by mistake, he cried pitifully to be let back in. The subsequent times all resulted in much vocal encouragement by the humans, standing in the kitchen and a real struggle for a small Abyssinian kitten to work out how to push the flap with his nose and get back into the house. When we saw him go into the outhouse, we had shut the door on him a couple of time, on purpose so that he had to come back through the cat flap and had called him and encouraged him and praised him each time.

To be honest, we weren't convinced that when he actually needed to go to the loo, that he would remember to use the cat flap and I fully expected to come home one day and find either an accident, or him stuck in the outhouse and not able to get back into the main house.

The intention was to leave the back door to the outhouse open for a day over the weekend with the kitten litter tray next to the two which the girls use, but all good intentions were scuppered when The Housekeeper put the tray outside, hoovered up the spilt litter, changed the bin bag and closed the kitchen door, then went to bed.

At about 3am she woke up and realised that she hadn't moved the tray back into the house - but - to our amazement the next morning, there had been no accidents and both the kittens proceeded to prove at 8am the next morning that they knew exactly how to use the cat flap and where their trays were.

Another kitten milestone. Phew!

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