Wednesday, January 4, 2012

OMG...Pole escapes...!!

This morning, Indy woke me up at 3am. I had no idea what time it was as I was unpacking till very late last night, and I was totally deadbeat. We had spent last night with the cats in their room because the wardrobe in our bedroom was not ready yet.

Indy was very persistent, so I got up and opened the backdoor.

Headcount first...1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6....

OMG, where is Pole???

Another headcount, checked under all the furniture, looked behind the plants...

Oh no, Pole is gone!

I raised the alarm and woke my husband up.

I quickly went out to the front garden and called for Pole.

There was no sign on her at all.

Thoughts of Pole making her way across that mad mainroad to cross over from SS18 to SS19 flooded my mind. Stay calm, I told myself, whatever happens will happen. Just do your best and look for her.

I continued calling her...

Suddenly, I her mewing...

Yes, it was Pole!!

She was walking on top of the 8 foot wall in the front garden. It is the wall adjoining our house and the next door neighour's. I don't know where she came from but it was unmistakably Pole.

Pole was noticeably scared and she was trying to get down to me, but it was too high.

I called my husband and finally, he got her down from the wall.

We then tried to figure out how on earth she could have escaped...

 Tiger helps us in the investigation...
It's that little gap up there, Tiger seems to say.

 We checked and yes, the netting had come away from one of the nails. Yesterday, we had already been alerted to his little gap because Pole had kept looking at it, but my husband checked it and a nail had been secured.

Could Pole have flicked the net out from its nail? And how? There is no foothole unless she jumps madly and the keeps pulling at the net until it comes loose. Cats don't do foolish things like that, do they? Or rather, they don't do things that make them look foolish (their pride is too strong for that).

If that is her escape route, OMG, she really IS an escape artiste!

We thought we'd have to ask the contractor to do something about that little gap as soon as possible.

 Here's Pole after we got her back this morning, at 3.42am.

Pole kept going back to the sidegate. That's where we realised how she got out. It was probably not through that enigmatic gap. Look at that garden chair? Pole jumped on that chair and used it as a stepping stone to jump onto the upper half of the sidegate where the vertical bars are wider in between. Gosh, how stupid of us to have placed the garden chair at that spot...and how smart of Pole to have figured it out!

And as though helping us confirm our hypothesis, Pole showed us exactly how she got out! Yes, that's her escape route.

Okay, no problem then. Just remove the chair from the gate.

So, the chair was removed and within minutes, guess what happened?

Pole didn't even need the chair. She jumped straight up to the horizontal bar, hooked herself onto it, pulled herself up and she was out in the front garden in a matter of seconds.

OMG...we are dealing with a Houdini reincarnate here....

 Looks like we'd have to get the contractor to solder bars in between the existing bars now. The design of the gate would be spoilt, of course, but what to do?

Eventually, perhaps Pole would also be happier being the front-garden cat and we'll let her be as long as we are assured she will be safe and will come back, but for now, we cannot risk having her run away back to our old house.


 Where did you go, Pole? And how long were you out there?

 I gave Pole some food but she refused, until much later....then, to my surprise, she used Tab's litter-box!

Good girl, Pole.

 Here's Pole trying to get into the kitchen. She just wants to get away from the rest. She's very anti-social. Could this be an ingrained attitude in her due to the trauma of being repeatedly chased out by Cow & Bunny four-and-a-half years back?


 Indy is nicely settled.

 I think from then until now, Pole has shown us her Houdini skills 6 times. Here she is, after a feat. It is effortless on her part. Jump, hook on, pull up, and I'm out! Easy as pie.

We decided to close all the windows inside the house and let her roam inside the rest of the house since she doesn't want to be near any of the other cats.

We did that, and Pole explored every part of the house, but the moment she could not find us, she mewed very worriedly. I suppose that is a good sign -that she gets worried if she is not sure where we are. Can I then assume that she would only go as far as she knows that she can come home to us?

So we let her roam around the entire house, but she kept mewing. I finally brought her back into the room and closed the door to the Bunny's Place, but she wasn't happy being with the other cats.

Sigh, Pole, you have a social problem, don't you? Where do you want to be?

There are going to be many workers coming in today, and I'm managing all alone since everyone else has gone to work by now.

 I guess the safest option would be to put her in the cage, but oh, believe me, she is NOT happy at all.
Just for a few hours, Pole, until we get things fixed.

I hope I can get the contractor for the grille today.



Chen said...

Congratulations. Nice new place. I did think that the gate is a bit too low and "jumpable" when I saw the pics earlier (based on my cats' jumping abilities). If you are soldering the gate, try not to put in horizontal bars, because then the cats may use the bars to climb the rest of the way until they can get over the gate. Wishing you and your family stressless unpacking and settling in.

chankahyein said...

Yes, sigh...cats!
Going to solder vertical bars, but that horizontal bar you see (that stretches across) was necessary because of the height of the gate, else there is no support - that's what the contractor said. Let's see if we can Pole-proof it this time. I need all the luck and skill I can get my hands on!

MasAyu said...

Hi, have been so busy and away but this morning I took a peep and first thing I saw is Pole's escape.

KY, my cats can dash, jump and then climb up a 11 feet tall plain wall to go over to the other side very, very easily. They do it all the time. I think Pole and the others are in the same class, the others may not have figured it out yet, but it is a matter of time .... monkey see, monkey do.

Pole WILL NOT stay confined in that area with the other cats. She will make every attempt to get out of there, even claw your canvas roof to shreds while hanging on the roof in order to make a tiny hole and squeeze herself out (cats have no collar bones and because of this, they can squeeze through even a very tiny hole, especially in desperation).

And it just takes ONE lesson for all your other cats to get the idea, even to improvise on it. Animals in the wild rely on this capability because their very lives depend on it. And their memory is very, very good.

Pooi Ling said...

can you do a plastic netting for the gate instead? i use netting to prevent my cats from going out from my house...

Chen said...

Netting is also not good. I have a cat that happily climbs nets and curtains. I once saw her climb a rough-textured wall right up to the top by sinking her claws into the textured surface. She has also learnt how to wedge herself between corners and nooks and move up and down vertically. She can jump from ground level without any props vertically right up to ceiling level in a blink of an eye. Sometimes she does all these as show-off to show me that she can! Then she'll look at me and laugh.

chankahyein said...

Cat versus human? Cat wins! I'm getting additional vertical rods soldered AND hopefully, put a row of plants in front of the gate to increase the distance between cat and horizontal bar. Think that might work? Please help this human think....!

cindy said...

Put plants?? Ha, ha, ha ...

Zeno, my Singapore cat, climbed a 11, 12 feet tall x-mas tree!

Remember the photos you shown 2,3 months ago about 'fencing for cats'? There is a cat-walk all across the garden? Well, I enclosed part of my backyard that way for my cats. (I don't have the cat-walk YET. Might be fun for them).

If you want to save 'the looks' of your gate, perhaps the best is to put chicken-wire across the bars and with a very large piece bend backwards facing inside. So that even if the cats use the chicken-wire to climb, it will have problems to negotiate the 'floppy' part. Make it 'floppy'. Firm surface is easy to climb. Flimsy surface would not carry the cat's weight.

Susleen said...

Pole reminds of my cats Ashley, no matter how I cat proof the house, she would be on top of the roof when I come back home. Sigh....from climbing on plain wall, jumping 10 feet high....she was just a spider cat who could get her way out, and like Pole she was anti social too.... I finally gave her independence of an indoor outdoor cat, which only permits her alone to go in and out from my bedroom window. But of coz I did tell myself someday she will not come back due to this independence. Which did happen after few years. As for your gate, slimmer gaps grilling would be the best (yes vertical). I would suggest for temporary wire guard netting on the grill but that would really allow Pole to climb till the top and repeat the escape all over again :P

Chen said...

Plant pots at the base? Hmm ... more likely the pots and plants shall be used as spring boards to jump over the gate.