Too Much of a Bad Thing

On weekends I usually let the cats out back to catch some air in the morning after breakfast.  Rhea hasn’t made any attempts at getting out until evening but today was breaking new ground.

Davout came in and got my attention.  This is at least the third time I’ve noticed him doing it, so it isn’t a coincidence.  I got the keys to the pool area and went over to fetch her, but she wasn’t there.

Julius was there, sitting on the wall where the pool area meets my property meets the back wall…looking down over the back wall.  I couldn’t see Rhea, but I could hear her over the back wall.

I got a chair and looked over and she was there, all right.  The wall is about 5 and a half feet tall on my side, and the ground is graded away so it is higher from the other side.  There’s no gate, and the only way around is to walk to the end of the block and back over and around.

I tried something desperate – I hung a towel over in the hope she might grab on or climb it. She sniffed at it but didn’t grab on.  So I went back home and got out the ladder.  Julie followed me into the garage and was locked in there for a long time.  Sorry!

I used the ladder to get on top of the wall, then sat there, pulled it up with me and set it on the other side to climb down.   It came up a foot or two short when placed on that side.

Later in the day I sat with her to see how she gets out

So now came the maddening part.  Cats often revert to a more wild state when they are scared or in unfamiliar territory.  Indoor cats who escape will hide and not come out even when their owners are right there.  Rhea wasn’t in that state, but she didn’t see me as her savior either.   She didn’t come up to me, but she didn’t flee and hide.  She was walking up and down the wall looking for a way over and not letting me catch her.   She seemed to be examining the few trees left over there to see if they were any use.

The city had been doing work over there this spring and the area was covered with wood chips.  This didn’t go well with my sandals and my feet were taking a beating.  I had to stop and pull stuff out so I could follow Rhea as she moved several houses down before coming back.

The wall she’s facing is the back, the side is the pool

Luckily for me my neighbor’s son saw my antics and came over to help.  Between us we cornered Rhea and he managed to grab her as she tried to move past him.  Even then she didn’t run, but tried to walk around him.   I was able to put her on the wall, climb up and then drop her on a table while I reversed the ladder process.  The neighbor’s son is fit enough to climb it on his own.

Up she goes!

The tree leans toward the pool side, so it isn’t surprising that she jumped that way first.  It might even have been the fact Julie was up there that led her to jump down the other side today.

I managed to get up and grab her after this picture before she got over the wall.

Before I did the final test I took Rhea out back with her lead.

She’s not a huge fan.  As I found out, without the lead she will still climb the tree.

With the lead dangling she isn’t so wild – so far – and Davout keeps grabbing it to stop her.

That’s even more annoying than having a lead on in the first place.

I’m going to have to find a way to keep her from climbing that tree and going over the wall, She doesn’t seem to be a huge jumper, but she’s a good tree climber.


About Oldcat

Engineer with Cats
This entry was posted in Cats, Julius Caesar, Marshal Davout, Rhea Silvia and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Too Much of a Bad Thing

  1. Jo Woolf says:

    Oh dear!! This is getting a bit serious. I can imagine Purdey would just as bad. I’m guessing that there are more hazards in the shape of wild animals than there are over here, meaning you can’t just leave her to do her thing?


    • Oldcat says:

      If it were just the pool area, I might be ok with her wandering there eventually The issue here is I don’t think she can get back over the wall from where she got to today. When Julie first went wandering there were trees right up against the wall for him to climb back over. I don’t know if he ever goes over the back wall since they cut them all down. I’ve no evidence that he does.

      The wild animal issue isn’t tremendously bad in my particular area, being squeezed between some roads and an interstate highway, but there are coyotes in the area in general.that will kill cats.


      • Jo Woolf says:

        Oh, I see. So she literally just jumps straight down off the wall and then there’s no means of getting back up. She hasn’t thought this through! The trouble is that with some cats the urge to do something that will get a bit of adrenalin going is absolutely irresistible, and you know darn well they’re going to do it until you’re a nervous wreck. I would be tempted to think about where she could get back up and whether you could put something there to help her.


      • Oldcat says:

        That would be some project – 6 foot of burlap, say, attached to the wall. Then I’d have to train her to use it. I think I prefer a prevention strategy. I can always let the cats out front to explore the pool area where they can run back home.


  2. Delaney says:

    Aesthetics would be an issue, but you could possibly wrap a section of the trunk with metal flashing or the like so that Rhea couldn’t climb there.


  3. weggieboy says:

    The little rascal! Good luck finding a solution to Rhea escape artistry. I hope it is one she can find agreeable since she (and the boys) do enjoy the garden.


  4. nadbugs says:

    Wow. I found myself admiring your attentive and knowledgeable persistence very much. Just reading this post was stressful! But I bet you will figure this out in no time. Then tell us about it please, in such detail. Makes me remember well when Bugsy got out. [shudder]


  5. kimkiminy says:

    Wrap the tree in something objectionable to her, like maybe tin foil.


  6. Davout is such a good brother… 🙂 hope you can figure out how to keep her in


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