Here are some ideas:
1. Clip Indy's nails short so that he cannot hook on to the netting. This is only a temporary measure as he still needs his nails for survival and protection.
2. Remove the two shelves. (Sobs...poor Cleo, these are her favourite look-out points.)
3. Replace the netting with polycarbonate once and for all. At least it will last for a few years. Polycarbonate is smooth. That should deter any cat from climbing and making an escape. Morever, it's not just this corner that is vulnerable. There is also the clothes line that can serve as a springboard to climb the long part of the cat-fence.
4. Forget the cat-fence. Replace it with a canopy of stainless steel wire mesh. It would double-up as extra security for us humans too. Sounds a good idea, but mighty expensive. It would be like an aviary of sorts.
All very good ideas for a troubled mind (mine!).
All afternoon, we let Tabs and Indy wander around the rest of the house. My husband's theory is that maybe Indy just wants more space to roam. We closed all the windows and let the two roam. Indy spent all his time accompanying me.
By evening, it was dinner time, and I brought Indy back into the room. Once he got into the room, he wanted to attempt to escape again.
This is not good. We need to do something proactive
So, we did Step 1: Clip Indy's front nails. I didn't do the back so that at least he still has his sharp nails just in case he needs it for protection.
Indy was very angry and it took many rounds before we could clip all the front nails.
The moment we finished clipping his nails, he made a bee-line to the shelf and "challenged" us. Despite the yellow chair being there, he tip-toed over it, found a tiny space to land his feet and he was about to make this jump.
My husband said to let him try and let him fall so that he learns he cannot succeed. My frail heart couldn't bear letting him do that, or worse, risking him getting out and falling over to the neighbour's house, so I stopped him and carried him back to the room.
But Indy was very adamant and determined. He was bent on showing us that despite his nails being clipped, he can still escape.
And oh, I had taken off his tshirt too. Cathy reminded me that if he escapes out to the "real world", the tshirt can become a death-trap. It could cause entanglement and strangulation. All sound advice. Thanks!
By now I was desperate. So I told my husband that we should just dismantle at least that higher shelf.
My husband took a hammer (ready to smash the whole shelf as the screws were in a position which was difficult to remove).
Fortunately, one knock and the whole shelf came off quite easily. The parts are all intact, so just in case we want to use it, we can install it elsewhere.
Step 2a - Done! (Dismantle one shelf)
The small shelf is gone now...sobs.
But Indy was still determined.
First, as what all good engineers do, you survey and make all your mental calculations.
Pole watches...(and I worry).
Bunny (he can use his front right paw now and it is almost as good as new) watches from his rattan trunk.
Indy sniffs at the spot of the (now removed) shelf. His springboard to freedom.
He calculates. Can I jump from here to the netting?
So he gets up onto the chair...
Up onto the longer shelf and makes his mental calculations.
He is fast...
Oh no, he is going to jump...
I know he is. I could see all his muscles twitching.
Should I stop him? My heart raced.
Before I could decide, he jumped!!
He managed to hook onto the lower part of the netting for only a split second, then he fell immediately!
It must be due to the nails being cut short (Step 1 worked!).
Cats always fall on all fours so he did not hurt himself.
After the fall.
He went back into the room and sat grumpily.
I took my handphone, called my contractor and asked him if it would be possible to replace the netting with polycarbonate. He said he will swing by in the next few days and give me an estimate. But he did warn me that it might make the place warmer since the polycarbonate is not air-permeable.
From then until now, Indy went back there to try again (talk about strong will, Indy beats us hands down!), but I don't think I can bear this heart-stopping moments, so I carried him back and put him into the condo.